The Basics Of Labeling Your Home's New Circuit Breaker Panel

Posted on: 6 May 2020


Whether the circuit breaker in your home is outdated, insufficient, or otherwise needs to be replaced, it's important that you understand the importance of clear labeling and documentation when the new panel is installed. This is especially true if your current circuit breaker panel isn't labeled at all. Here's a look at what you need to know.

Why Should Your Home's Circuit Breakers Be Labeled?

It is important that your home's circuit breakers are labeled for a couple of reasons. First of all, if you need to shut off the power to one component in your home, you'll need to identify the breaker for that region or component. Otherwise, you have to shut off the main power supply, which can make it difficult to then obtain the power you need to complete the task at hand. Further, if you are having trouble with something in your home, you need to be able to quickly identify the breaker supplying power to it so that you can shut it off.

How Do You Label Your New Circuit Breakers?

The easiest solution for labeling a new circuit breaker panel is to simply carry over the labels from an existing one, ensuring that you reconnect each breaker the way that it was connected to the existing panel. However, if your existing panel isn't labeled, this isn't an option.

Labeling a new circuit breaker panel — or an existing one, for that matter — takes a little bit of trial and error. It's often easiest done with two people. You won't be able to label the panel until you have connected and installed it, though. 

Once the circuit breaker is installed and you are confident that all of the electrical wiring is properly connected and secure, you can start working to identify each breaker's purpose for labeling.

First, make sure that all of the individual circuit breakers are turned off. Then, turn on the main breaker that supplies power to the panel. This will allow you to test each breaker and label it.

Starting with the first breaker, flip just one breaker on at a time. Have a second person in the house to look around and figure out what section of the house or which component has power when you do this. 

As you identify which section has power, label that breaker and then turn it off again. That way, there's no confusion about what did or did not already have power. Repeat this process with each of the breakers until you have labeled the entire panel.

To learn more, contact a company like Williams Electric Supply.