Simple Solutions

2 Easy Ways to Map Your Home’s Electrical Circuits

By: Joe Truini

Even if you never do your own electrical work, you need to know which breakers operate which electrical circuits.

There are two surefire ways to determine which circuit breaker controls a particular electrical outlet in your home.
One of them is to plug a radio into the outlet with the volume turned on high, then turn off each breaker at the electrical distribution box, one at a time, until the radio stops playing.

Watch the video to see the Simple Solution!


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6 Comments on “2 Easy Ways to Map Your Home’s Electrical Circuits”

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  • Chuck R Says:
    June 13th, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Good video! However for light switches I use a Toner kit. It’s a relatively inexpensive Tracer that gets screwed into the light socket. It emits a tone back to the circuit breaker where I use a wand to pick up the tone.


  • Official Comment:


    Thomas Boni Says:
    May 9th, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Hi, Earl! One way to identify the water heater’s breaker is to use the radio and light trick to mark every other breaker (and to ensure all other appliances are plugged in and turn off and on during your tests).
    Then, in most cases, the remaining breaker should be the only thing left. Good luck!



  • EARL L MONROE Says:
    May 9th, 2019 at 7:25 am

    My breakers are not marked and I need to identify the hot water tank. how would I do that? No light or radio.



  • Guy Haas Says:
    April 24th, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    In today’s homes, there will usually be several electronic devices that should not be abruptly turned off (computers for example). Also (wearing my technical writer hat) you do not say to switch the breaker back on before moving to the next breaker……



  • Christine ONeill Says:
    February 14th, 2018 at 6:20 am

    Front overhead porch light will not work with new bulb. Believe wiring faulty. Is this something I can repair?



  • KELLYRAE MARRS Says:
    October 17th, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your show. You & your team along w/your lovely daughter are great & informative and make hard things (projects) seem understandable and easy, It also helps that you fix up very relatable homes. Ones like i’ve lived in and have bought. Not $250,000-$500,000 homes.
    I wish you traveled a little…..lot further than 100 miles from home-i’ve got a manufactured home remodel. You proably don’t do manufactured homes….but its a shame theirs a lot of us out there. I’ve got to do some rewiring, plumbing, flooring ceilings(thats what i’m working on now), new kitchen, Ive already removed some walls & maybe some leveling. Sounds like a whole season……..RIGHT.
    Anyway you’ll are wonderful! Keep the good work. oh-saw you on inside edition (i think)-nothin like the big time.
    LOVE Kellyrae Marrs-Fayetteville, tn


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2 Easy Ways to Map Your Home’s Electrical Circuits