Find your Power Zones with Circuit Detective
As we strive for more knowledge of how we use energy in our home, at some point we begin to wonder how different zones of power are organized in our home. I encountered this issue when I worked on installing my TED 5000 Power Monitor into my dual panel 400 amp service in my home. This required two transmitters(MTUs): one for each panel. Unfortunately, I now have to toggle between the two transmitters in my Google Powermeter. Unless I was able to confirm which outlets, lights and appliances were controlled in each panel, it will be very difficult to determine where my power is going.
If your circuit breakers are not labeled properly in your circuit panel, there is no easy way to find out which breaker controls different outlets, lights and appliances . I have an incomplete map or key of my circuit breakers so I started Googling to see if there were any tools to help. I found the Circuit Detective!
The Circuit Detective comes in two pieces. The transmitter plugs into an outlet and the receiver is used at the breaker panel to scan the breakers until you find the one that controls the outlet. It is really simple to use.
If you want to track a light fixture, you will need to buy a small adapter at the hardware store that screws into the bulb outlet and has a plug outlet on the other end. These were common in the early 20th century when homes only had a few plugs and lights retrofitted into the home when neighborhoods were attached to the grid. Once the adapter is in place, you can plug the transmitter into the outlet adapter in the light fixture.
Once the transmitter is in place, open up your breaker panel door and begin to place the receiver over each breaker until you get a blinking arrow and hear a tone. When the arrow blinks, you have found the breaker that controls the outlet or light in your home! It doesn't get much easier than that.
The first time you use the device, you do need to calibrate it by scanning your complete breaker panel so the microprocessor calibrates to your panel. Once this is done, you can follow the instructions above to build your own power map of your home and circuits!
- The Mapawatt Team