Outlet Gizmo

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Johnny Miller

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So I see this gizmo that you plug into your outlet and then use this other gizmo to run it up and down the breaker panel and it alerts you to the correct plug by a light/sound that the outlet is plugged into. This looks like and easy way to see what outlet is on what breaker.

Anyone tired this gizmo out?

Looking to buy one these or can you rent one?
 

oldognewtrick

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I've got one, it's works ok. Great for marking circuits on the breaker panel. Use a screw in adapter for plugin to trace light fixture circuits.
 

Snoonyb

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Of the several available, that are for sale, only, they usually have a mfg. name emblazoned. Mine does, and works well.
 

Jeff Handy

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You can get adapters for at least two other bulb socket sizes.
And also an adapter to switch to alligator clips or just two metal probes, to use on bare ended wires.
These tracers work well, but sometimes give false or ambiguous readings.
Always verify by turning off the breaker, and then power should go off on the sender.
Also, if you have sub panels anywhere else, check all of them, because sometimes you will get a hit in the wrong panel.
 

afjes_2016

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I have one that works well. I used it on service calls so I could ID a receptacle circuit breaker without having to shut off many breakers in the home. Many home owner breaker panels are not marked very well so this kept me from flipping off breakers just to find the one I needed to work with.

It is handy to have. Most times it is pretty accurate. You have to run the receiver over the breakers evenly and slowly with a constant slow speed. You will have to run the receiver over the panel several times for a true reading of the proper breaker. Most times it is dead-on for the proper breaker.

If you have a sub panel where your breaker is located and you start at the main panel not knowing where panel has the breaker you are looking for the unit/receiver will beep in the main panel over the breaker that feeds the sub panel. Then you go to the sub panel and run the receiver over the breakers in the same manor to track down the breaker you need to work with.

So it is pretty handy and useful. It is handy for DIYers to map out their circuits in their homes. Either by yourself or with someone on the other end. Beats running up and down the basement stairs moving a blasting radio around from the receptacle to receptacle flipping breakers on and off for each one until you find the correct breaker and mark the circuit. With this you have one person at the panel with the receiver and your friend/whowever at the receptacle. You plug in the sender, run the receiver over the breakers, confirm which one the receiver finds by flipping it off and then the person with the sender marks a mapping diagram with them and then moves on to the next receptacle and run the same routine. This helps you from having to flip so many breakers on and off each time trying to find the correct one. When the light on the sender goes off you have found the correct breaker.
 

Steve123

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It is handy for DIYers to map out their circuits in their homes.

I mapped out every electrical plug/light/device in my house the old fashioned way -- plugged something into the outlet and turned off breakers. You would still have to do this method anyways because you have a bunch of devices like ceiling fans/lights/smoke detectors/fridges/etc that connecting the stationary gizmo into is either too much trouble or not possible. Sure they have adapters to put one into a light socket, but are you really going to get a ladder, remove the light shade, pull a bulb and screw in the gizmo, find the breaker then go back up on the ladder pull gizmo and put back the bulb and put the shade back on -- all to avoid turning off a breaker and looking at the bulb ?

Its really handy to have everything mapped out. Not waiting until you have a problem with a device not getting power and you can't even figure out what circuit its on.
 

afjes_2016

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...Sure they have adapters to put one into a light socket, but are you really going to get a ladder, remove the light shade, pull a bulb and screw in the gizmo, find the breaker then go back up on the ladder pull gizmo and put back the bulb and put the shade back on...
Usually leaving all the lighting in the house on during mapping is a start. A quick walk thru the home will give you a hint if a light is on a breaker when the light or fan is no longer on. Again using the gizmo and plugging it into a lighting fixture etc when you go to a customer's house is handy so you don't have to flip off all the breakers to find one breaker.

Using this gizmo prevents you from having to turn each and every breaker off each time you move to another receptacle.

To each his own when it comes to mapping styles. Many people try and put all the information on a label next to a breaker indicating the receptacles/lights that are on that breaker. Much better to draw a map of the house and indicate where the receptacles and lighting are on the map and then next to each receptacle and light place the breaker number next to it.

In my one room of my house I have 6 dedicated and 2 shared circuits. Easier to show this on a drawing of the room with the receptacles/lights noted by breaker number.
 

Steve123

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The way I did it, was not a literal "map". Just a list of every electrical device, and then the breaker number that controls it. Then I had the list (two sheets, front and back printing) laminated and I put it in a plastic pocket below the panel. The scribbles that the electrician left beside the breaker are mostly useless.

Breaker Map 2.jpg
 

Eddie_T

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I put each room on a separate breaker with the exception of shared walls.
 

Jeff Handy

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Usually leaving all the lighting in the house on during mapping is a start. A quick walk thru the home will give you a hint if a light is on a breaker when the light or fan is no longer on. Again using the gizmo and plugging it into a lighting fixture etc when you go to a customer's house is handy so you don't have to flip off all the breakers to find one breaker.

Using this gizmo prevents you from having to turn each and every breaker off each time you move to another receptacle.

To each his own when it comes to mapping styles. Many people try and put all the information on a label next to a breaker indicating the receptacles/lights that are on that breaker. Much better to draw a map of the house and indicate where the receptacles and lighting are on the map and then next to each receptacle and light place the breaker number next to it.

In my one room of my house I have 6 dedicated and 2 shared circuits. Easier to show this on a drawing of the room with the receptacles/lights noted by breaker number.
Another handy hint is to write the breaker number on the back of the switch plate or outlet cover.
Or the back of the junction box cover, showing all circuits passing through it.
 

afjes_2016

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Another handy hint is to write the breaker number on the back of the switch plate or outlet cover.
Or the back of the junction box cover, showing all circuits passing through it.
This was a thought of mine at one point but then I realized if I ever had to move a circuit to a different breaker I would have to go to all of the receptacle and light switch plates for that circuit and remove them and remark them and then put them back on. Much easier to mark the changes on a diagram - takes just a few minutes.

I've had to move circuits to other breakers etc already.
 

Steve123

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Another handy hint is to write the breaker number on the back of the switch plate or outlet cover.

Yep.
Actually, in my workshop, I printed small labels and put them onto the front of receptacle covers. Helps to avoid plugging too much into one circuit. Some of my larger tools pull a lot of amps and running the vacuum and another big motor on the same circuit sometimes pops the breaker.
 

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