Forum Thread

Circuit Breaker Finder?

4,483 1,041 November 13, 2017 at 02:12 PM
Can anyone recommend a decent\reliable\inexpensive Circuit Breaker Finder? Was thinking of getting the Klein ET300 to try and figure out which breaker is tied to my external security lights (one of which needs to be replaced) without going and randomly turning off one breaker at a time and then running to see if it is the right one. Reviews seem pretty solid though wondering if anyone has ever tried one.

15 Comments

1 2

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2008
L10: Grand Master
6,009 Posts
2,383 Reputation
#2
They work fine, but you'd need an adapter to connect to the bulb socket. If the fixture itself is damaged it may not be much help. Personally I just power down anything I care about and then flip the 4 or 5 breakers that I think are most likely.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Why do conservative politicians oppose conservation?
Have you ever stopped to think the long-term GOP immigration policy might be to make the United States of America a less desirable place to live than Mexico?

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it" -Joseph Goebbels
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Sep 2010
L6: Expert
1,055 Posts
420 Reputation
#3
I have this one https://www.harborfreight.com/cir...96934.html and it works fine. You have to pay attention to that "UP" marking on the detector while scanning the panel to get an accurate result. You can also find 20% off coupons to save a few more bucks.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Nov 2004
L9: Master
5,308 Posts
1,519 Reputation
Pro
#4
I use the harbor freight one, it has the same design as the klein but probably with lower quality parts.

For lights, I use it with the IDEAL TL-532A, $7.5 on ebay or $15~ else where https://www.ebay.com/itm/IDEAL-TL...2749.l2649
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
14,197 Posts
5,243 Reputation
#5
Quote from jkee
:
They work fine, but you'd need an adapter to connect to the bulb socket. If the fixture itself is damaged it may not be much help. Personally I just power down anything I care about and then flip the 4 or 5 breakers that I think are most likely.
Yep this is what I recommend and to save $40. You can usually guess pretty close too and get it down to 2-3.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Oct 2010
L9: Master
4,483 Posts
1,041 Reputation
Original Poster
#6
Quote from LiquidRetro
:
Yep this is what I recommend and to save $40. You can usually guess pretty close too and get it down to 2-3.

Yeah I just loathe the idea of having to turn off power to my furnace, hot water heater, security system, computers, etc. while guessing. It could in theory be on almost any of a dozen or so breakers. About the only ones I can rule out are the larger current ones for the AC, kitchen, etc. I have a number of security lights around the perimeter of the house and I do not know how the electrician wired them to the panel. That said, I suspect the one breaker marked "basement" as the most likely based on where the light switch is for the light in question (in the basement stairwell at the top of the stairs). The lights pre-date me finishing the basement and I believe that was the breaker for the power to the basement lights, the outlet by the panel and whatever else.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
14,197 Posts
5,243 Reputation
#7
Quote from YanksIn2009
:
Yeah I just loathe the idea of having to turn off power to my furnace, hot water heater, security system, computers, etc. while guessing. It could in theory be on almost any of a dozen or so breakers. About the only ones I can rule out are the larger current ones for the AC, kitchen, etc. I have a number of security lights around the perimeter of the house and I do not know how the electrician wired them to the panel. That said, I suspect the one breaker marked "basement" as the most likely based on where the light switch is for the light in question (in the basement stairwell at the top of the stairs). The lights pre-date me finishing the basement and I believe that was the breaker for the power to the basement lights, the outlet by the panel and whatever else.
To find some outside lights you can be more precise about it then shut off 100%. Big appliances take more power, so you can rule out a kitchen, most likely bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. It's most likely in a garage, hall, maybe the basement. It won't be that room in the middle of the house or places that use a lot of power like the kitchen. I would take the opportunity to figure out your panel if it really bothers you and label it so it's a largely one time inconvenience. Most code requires labeling too. Other then the computers, and the water heater (if it's gas) should not care about loosing power for 5 minutes. It's a good opportunity to check your devices for bad backup batteries too (Thermostat etc).

Personally I would rather spend that money elsewhere and not on a meter. If the cheap harbor freight one is fine it's not too bad but I would definitely label so this is something you can put behind you.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2008
L10: Grand Master
6,009 Posts
2,383 Reputation
#8
Quote from YanksIn2009
:
Yeah I just loathe the idea of having to turn off power to my furnace, hot water heater, security system, computers, etc. while guessing. It could in theory be on almost any of a dozen or so breakers. About the only ones I can rule out are the larger current ones for the AC, kitchen, etc. I have a number of security lights around the perimeter of the house and I do not know how the electrician wired them to the panel. That said, I suspect the one breaker marked "basement" as the most likely based on where the light switch is for the light in question (in the basement stairwell at the top of the stairs). The lights pre-date me finishing the basement and I believe that was the breaker for the power to the basement lights, the outlet by the panel and whatever else.
If your computers aren't on UPS just hibernate them. Your furnace and hater heater don't care about power outages, but they should be on their own circuit that's labeled. Your alarm system should have battery backup for 12-24hrs.

I'd go for an LED light fixture for the replacement.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Oct 2010
L9: Master
4,483 Posts
1,041 Reputation
Original Poster
#9
Quote from LiquidRetro
:
To find some outside lights you can be more precise about it then shut off 100%. Big appliances take more power, so you can rule out a kitchen, most likely bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. It's most likely in a garage, hall, maybe the basement. It won't be that room in the middle of the house or places that use a lot of power like the kitchen. I would take the opportunity to figure out your panel if it really bothers you and label it so it's a largely one time inconvenience. Most code requires labeling too. Other then the computers, and the water heater (if it's gas) should not care about loosing power for 5 minutes. It's a good opportunity to check your devices for bad backup batteries too (Thermostat etc).

Personally I would rather spend that money elsewhere and not on a meter. If the cheap harbor freight one is fine it's not too bad but I would definitely label so this is something you can put behind you.

Yeah I know it is not the AC or Kitchen or anything on a breaker of greater than 15 amps or on anything on the second floor or attic. Most likely it is tied to the original basement breaker or to the family room\formal dining room (which are on the other side of the wall where the light is). Though in theory he could have connected to any of the 15 amp breakers.

The panel is labeled pretty well in most cases. It just is not precise enough in certain areas, notably on these external lights. The electrician I had do the work probably got lazy and did not note which breaker(s) he connected to.

Out of curiosity, why would a gas water heater be of any greater concern?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Oct 2010
L9: Master
4,483 Posts
1,041 Reputation
Original Poster
#10
Quote from jkee
:
If your computers aren't on UPS just hibernate them. Your furnace and hater heater don't care about power outages, but they should be on their own circuit that's labeled. Your alarm system should have battery backup for 12-24hrs.

I'd go for an LED light fixture for the replacement.

I have UPSs on most of my PCs, but I would probably shut them down gracefully anyway just to be safe. There is battery backup for the security system. The light fixture already has LED bulbs in it, though from the looks of things I will end up getting a new one with the leds built in anyway as they seem to be the best buys\products on the market currently. Probably end up with 2 spare LED outdoor rated par 38s as a result when all is said and done.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
14,197 Posts
5,243 Reputation
#11
Quote from YanksIn2009
:
Yeah I know it is not the AC or Kitchen or anything on a breaker of greater than 15 amps or on anything on the second floor or attic. Most likely it is tied to the original basement breaker or to the family room\formal dining room (which are on the other side of the wall where the light is). Though in theory he could have connected to any of the 15 amp breakers.

The panel is labeled pretty well in most cases. It just is not precise enough in certain areas, notably on these external lights. The electrician I had do the work probably got lazy and did not note which breaker(s) he connected to.

Out of curiosity, why would a gas water heater be of any greater concern?
The pilot light is electric. It's probably not constantly sparking but I think on some it can be set to go out if electricity is lost. I know mine doesn't do that though. I get what your saying about the labeling my exterior lights are not labeled either but I have found them and then added it when I did.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2008
L10: Grand Master
6,009 Posts
2,383 Reputation
#12
Quote from YanksIn2009
:
I have UPSs on most of my PCs, but I would probably shut them down gracefully anyway just to be safe. There is battery backup for the security system. The light fixture already has LED bulbs in it, though from the looks of things I will end up getting a new one with the leds built in anyway as they seem to be the best buys\products on the market currently. Probably end up with 2 spare LED outdoor rated par 38s as a result when all is said and done.
Old fixtures with motion or dusk to dawn generally don't play well with LED flood light bulbs. These fixtures often dim the bulb some or have a certain minimum load required to function and led bulbs usually don't work well in either of those circumstances.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined May 2017
L6: Expert
1,133 Posts
160 Reputation
#13
don't forget they only work on live circuits so pretty useless for finding dead circuits,your better off just flipping breakers off,put a radio on the circuit then flip breakers one by one
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jul 2003
L10: Grand Master
34,304 Posts
6,120 Reputation
#14
Quote from jkee
:
Old fixtures with motion or dusk to dawn generally don't play well with LED flood light bulbs. These fixtures often dim the bulb some or have a certain minimum load required to function and led bulbs usually don't work well in either of those circumstances.
I had swapped out the porch lights with cfl's and they would die in about a month...I was like WTF???? oh...yeah...they had dusk to dawn sensors they screwed into that were killing them.

Took out the D2D sensors and they lasted months!!!
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
worshipTHANK YOU to those whom have fought and are fighting for our FREEDOMworship

Please Support Autism Awareness [autismspeaks.org]
Yahoo!Yahoo! 7/11/2009
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Oct 2010
L9: Master
4,483 Posts
1,041 Reputation
Original Poster
#15
Quote from DC
:
I had swapped out the porch lights with cfl's and they would die in about a month...I was like WTF???? oh...yeah...they had dusk to dawn sensors they screwed into that were killing them.

Took out the D2D sensors and they lasted months!!!

I have 3 others of the same model working fine with LEDs. No dusk to dawn feature (just a motion sensor), no dimming or dimmer switches. My guess is the transformer is going in the unit.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Page 1 of 2
1 2
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2018. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard