Circuit breakers

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Old 11-03-13, 11:35 AM
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Circuit breakers

I have read countless answers to my question but very few pertain exactly to my question. When finding which circuit breaker controls a circuit, 95% say to use the wall socket transmitter. This is a great tool and I use it on outlets. The others say to turn breakers off/on and look for lights, radio etc to go off. This is a whole lot of trial and error and causing items to be turned off that you would prefer not to turn off.

How do you find which circuit breakers are controlling a wall switch, ceiling fan or junction box?
 
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Old 11-03-13, 11:44 AM
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There are bulb socket adapters that can be used with the plug in transmitters and the breaker finders.
 
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Old 11-03-13, 02:28 PM
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When finding which circuit breaker controls a circuit, 95% say to use the wall socket transmitter. This is a great tool and I use it on outlets.. ... How do you find which circuit breakers are controlling a wall switch, ceiling fan or junction box?
If you have a socket for a screw-in light bulb anywhere in the circuit you want to trace, install a either a socket adapter or a lampholder socket adapter instead of the bulb and plug your transmitter in. Make sure the power is back on to power the transmitter.

I have a Klein Circuit Breaker Finder Accessory Kit that I like. The twin-lead adapter in it is for connecting to the circuit wires feeding, say, a fluorescent tube fixture.
 
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Old 11-03-13, 03:04 PM
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Thanks for a quick reply.

I was aware of the bulb socket adapter, but did not see them at Home Depot. But since I know they are available, I should be able to get one.

But my remaining question would be for finding circuits for wall switches or junction boxes. Would you have to use that adapter kit that mentioned probes for touching bare wires? That means you would have to remove cover and pull switch out from outlet.
 
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Old 11-03-13, 03:13 PM
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You probably already know what switch operates the light, so when you use the adapter in the socket you know have identified the circuit for the switch also. Most wiring is daisy chained so you will have few if any junction boxes to sort out.

The adapters screw into the socket. No need to touch bare wires.
 
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Old 11-03-13, 03:45 PM
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You are absolutely right, I wasnt thinking that way, but your advice makes sense.

Thanks and I think this answers my question.
 
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Old 11-03-13, 04:10 PM
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my remaining question would be for finding circuits for wall switches or junction boxes. Would you have to use that adapter kit that mentioned probes for touching bare wires? That means you would have to remove cover and pull switch out from outlet.
It seems that way until you work with it.

A wall switch controls either a light fixture or a receptacle. If it's a receptacle, you just plug your transmitter in, make sure it has power from the switch, and go to the breaker cabinet. If any light fixture controlled by the switch has a medium Edison (E26) threaded socket, you screw in the socket adapter, plug in the transmitter, make sure the switch is closed, etc. If all of the fixtures controlled by that switch are long-tube fluorescents, you turn the power off at the switch and open the fixture until you get to the splices where the switched power is connected to the input wires on the ballast. You pull those splices down a bit, uncap the hot and neutral splices, clamp one alligator clip on each splice, plug in your transmitter, etc.

[Note: Look at the description again. Those aren't probes. They're covered (insulated) alligator clips.]

That covers everything except fixtures with different sockets and J-boxes. The other fixtures that don't have E26 sockets you treat the same way as the long-tube fluorescents.

We've now covered everything except J-boxes, and we haven't connected to an energized conductor yet, except by plugging in. J-boxes with live conductors that do not go to either a receptacle or a light fixture are extremely rare and, in those cases where they do exist, the circuit is usually clearly indicated. I wouldn't worry about one of those until I actually found one.
 
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Old 11-04-13, 12:41 PM
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Excellant information. I get it now. Thanks for taking the time to explain to me.
 
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