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How do I trace a home electric circuit from the breaker to its terminus?? Answered

Just moved into a 60's home.  The electrical system has some "unique" aspects.  Everything works and the building inspector didn't find any glitches but the main panel wasn't labeled.  I spent a day tracing out most of the circuits.  I ended up with two 110V circuits that don't seem to power anything in the house.  ( hey that is better than the 3 110V and 2 240V unknown circuits that i started out with! )  I have accounted for things like outside lights and outlets, attic fan and lights, extra outlets in the garage, and a line out to a shed.   The breakers are wired and "on".    

So can I trace these circuits from the main panel to where ever they end up?

Discussions

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Vyger

3 years ago

It's possible some are not connected. They just terminate in a junction box and were left for future expansion.

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iceng

3 years ago

There are AC black boxes that you plug into a wall socket and a pen detector that will buzz at the associated breaker in your power box.

They may cost about $60.... I would try to borrow one.

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Vygericeng

Answer 3 years ago

+1

I have a cheap one. It works very much like the network testors. It puts a signal into the line that you then pick up with a receiver. it won't show you where the wires run but it will show begining and end.

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iceng

3 years ago

No but you can work back from a lamp or outlet back to the distribution panel :-)

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mpilchfamily

3 years ago

Sure you can trace it out if you want to open up all the walls and ceilings. Short of that there is no way of tracing it all out and ensuring you don't have a bunch of illegal boxes and junctions hidden behind the wall. Best you can do is flip the breakers and check every outlet and light like you've already done.