A circuit breaker is a very common and handy tool to protect the electrical systems from overloads.
But it can be slightly difficult to identify which breaker controls what switches, outlets, or light fixtures unless your circuit breaker box is mapped very carefully.
The device that makes this possible is the circuit breaker finder, which is capable of locating a circuit in the breaker box.
Before buying one, you need to take care of certain factors which will ensure that you get nothing less than the best circuit breaker finder out there.
Here is a guide to your best possible options.
Purpose of Circuit Breaker
A circuit breaker finder is also used with circuit breakers and is used to locate the position of a circuit in a circuit breaker box.
You need to be aware and mindful of how you are going to use a circuit breaker finder before you buy one. You must also be familiar with its method of use.
If you are not sure about any one of these, you can talk to an electrician and have him do the job for you, to avoid any safety risks.
You do not want your product to wear out with time and your money to go to waste. To avoid that from happening, make sure you consider the factor of durability before buying your circuit breaker finder.
Even though these usually do not wear out with time, but buying something cheap in quality will increase the odds of you losing the freshness and feel of the product over time.
Circuit breaker finders are used for different purposes.
So make sure you know what you want to use it for, to avoid wasting your money on something that is not what you need and coming back home to regret the decision you made.
This, combined with the budget planning, is going to help you come home with the best product you could afford.
The circuit outlets that circuit breaker finders are compatible with also varies from product to product.
So take a look at the power outlets inside your home, and get a circuit breaker finder that runs by your needs.
Top 15 Circuit Breaker Finder ReviewsWhen you step inside the market to get a decent product to suit your priorities, you are, of course, met with a million options.
It is almost impossible to consider every option individually as there is an unlimited number of them available.
So, here is a list of carefully selected and then compiled best circuit breaker finders, for your ease.
This product is used to test the wiring of the electrical outlet; if it is done properly.
All you need to do is to plug it inside the outlet and see as to which lights are lit on the tester. The ergonomic design it offers is simple and easy to use.
False readings are prevented due to the premium neon lamps. It also is resistant to impact due to a tough case.
- Ergonomic design for best comfort
- Tough case to resist impact
- False reading prevention
- Tests all kinds
- Only the 61-165 tests for AFCI
- Does not give amps
- ESD not addressed by tester
This unit will automatically indicate the correct breaker for easy, simple, and quick breaker identification. Not only that, it affirms the presence of power.
The handiest feature is that it works for the range of 120-240v circuits. It comes with a non-contact voltage sensor.
Also, the kit includes a GFCI receptacle tester. It is either made in the USA or is imported. Which means quality is ensured.
- Operation is fully automatic
- No service interruption while identifying circuit breakers
- Verifies power presence
- Works for 120-220v
- GFCI receptacle tester included
- Includes noncontact voltage sensor
- Is not able to identify more than what outlets are related to one circuit
- The two testers do not work for 220v
- Does not come with protective casing
Use this digital circuit breaker finder to accurately find the respective circuit breaker of any 120v outlet. Contains a flashing arrow indicator to quickly tell when you got a hit.
The strength of the transmitter can be determined by the fact that it can reach up to 1000 feet! Controlled by the microprocessor to make identification much easier.
Highest quality material, superior workers, and artisans all come together to forge this piece.
- Auto power off to save power
- Flashing arrow indicator
- Strong transmitter, reaches 1000 feet
- Controlled by microprocessor
- Does not work with double breakers
- Does not go above or below 90-120v
- Doesn’t come with orange shock absorber
- Only detects the breaker
Here is the best circuit tracer for the money. This device can be used as a wire tracer, circuit tester, and for telephone line maintenance as well.
Detects wires in a wide range of applications, for example, buried wires, broken, single strand wires, etc. Also offers CONT mode that makes the usage highly flexible.
With the availability of the tone signal, you can track the cable as quick as possible, which saves time and ensures safety.
- Detects wires in a wide range of applications
- Tone signal enables the quick and accurate result
- Adjustable sensitivity to avoid false detection
- Not designed for live electrical circuits
- The probe is sensitive; picks up other noises
- Doesn’t trace through drywall
This piece offers easy to purchase, and is a complete and portable irrigation system which is battery operated.
The best part about it is that it activates and chatters solenoids. It also manages to display the condition of the irrigation wire being open, short, or good.
Will also send tracing tone to identify wires with its advanced probe. The kit comes with the Pro218F Tone Probe, Pro48 Solenoid Activator, and a Pro21 Carrying case.
- Activates and chatters solenoids
- 24 volt AC
- Displays the condition of irrigation wire
- Send tracing tone to identify wires
- Maximum functional depth is not much
- Does not find broken wires
It offers a wide range of use due to its line function. Also manages to detect line level or positive or negative polarity.
The tracer function it offers enables you to find a pair of lines amongst many others. You will also be able to check continuity of the circuits with this gadget.
Not only this, you can locate the breakpoint, without exposing the wire through its cover.
- Build quality is great for the price
- Offers wire tracing function
- Professional line finding
- Judges all kinds of circuits
- The push button isn’t stiff enough
- Plastic feels cheap
- Does not test all lines of a regular phone line
- Will die out after a little rough use
- No circuit protection
This device is designed to trace wires, without causing the insulation any harm at all.
Checking short circuits and open circuits is also one of the functions it has to offer.
The package also includes the sender and the receiver. It will also go easy on your budget.
- Internal protection against overloads and surges
- Adjustable sensitivity
- 6-24 DC voltages
- LEDs on transmitter and receiver show short or open circuit conditions
- Not loud enough
- Doesn’t get the same reading twice sometimes
- Will give mix readings in some cases
They give safety number one priority, so there’s that. Accuracy and durability are other beneficial features offered.
It operates at 120V Ac and 60Hz. The technology used deducts the need of adjustment dials.
This circuit breaker also is quick and easy to use, because it manages to accurately identify the circuit breaker or any fuse that protects an electrical circuit.
- Offers audible and visual LED alert
- Adjustment dials unnecessary
- GFCI test functionality
- Offers quick and easy breaker identification
- Can’t be used to trace the actual line
- Does not work on a circuit with no power
- Only used for outlets
This circuit breaker locator comes with a microprocessor for highest accuracy. Product is simple to use, arrives with a remote and the main unit to better locate breaker locations.
The best thing about it is that it does not require a battery, and can be powered by the outlet.
The main unit uses a 9V battery to power itself. The product is reliable and ensures long life. Also, it goes easy on the budget.
- Controlled by the microprocessor
- Automatic; no adjustments required
- 120/220V AC transmitter
- Visual and audible indication
- The power switch is unreliable
- Readings not consistent
- Comes without a case
This tracer locates both energized and non-energized wires, neutrals, breakers, and grounds to identify ground faults, shorts, and broken wires.
The device can trace wires in floors, walls, computer cables and conduit, all while not interfering with sensitive electronic equipment.
The battery booster it has to offer can strengthen signals for the sake of open tracing.
- Locates all kinds of wires
- Readable energized and non-energized systems
- Clamp-on transmitter attachment
- Energized wires traceable up to 13 feet deep
- Picks up random signals
This device sends locator signals through the outlet wiring. The receiver, then, picks the signals to locate the breaker.
It can be used on 120 volt energized circuits. The transmitter can also be used to test GFCI protected outlets.
- Pinpoints one breaker
- Transmitter tests GFCI
- Doesn’t work with any other than 120V
- Cannot be used to trace circuits that have lost power
All the products of Amprobe are tested for accuracy, ruggedness, safety, and reliability in the state-of-the-art test lab.
It features distortion alert and signal select, which results in superior accuracy. It manages to trace the live wires that are buried up to 4 feet deep.
In total, it gives three sensitivity settings. Visually indicates a clean signal of the line you are tracing, minimizing false signals.
- Pinpoints ground and short faults
- Traces buried wires up to 4 feet deep
- Performs tests without the need to cut off power
- Offers accuracy
- 9-300V AC/DC
- Three sensitivity settings
- The red buttons push easy
The gadgets of Southwire are differentiated because of their reliability, value, safety, and utility.
This piece manages to trace the non-energized cables that are located behind drywall. The tone is louder and clearer.
It also features an angled bed of nails, which accounts for an efficient connection by penetrating the insulation.
- Tracing non-energized cables behind walls
- Positive cable detection
- Onboard test lead storage
- The probe has a replaceable tip
- The signal generator does not have a speaker
- No live wires can be involved
- Can’t be used on 120V circuits
Once you connect this device to your car battery, you will be able to enjoy a range of features.
It allows you to supply ground or power with an indicator tone and white LED lamps. Works with the 12-24V DC systems.
You can also identify positive and negative, as well as open circuits without having to re-polarize hook up slips.
- Supplies ground and power
- 4mm banana jack
- Tests for continuity and bad grounds
- 20 feet power lead
- 8 amp breaker protection
- Does not come in a case
- Does not come with cigarette plug
- Cannot be used with a clamp meter
It works off of 12-24V sources. Features test light, voltmeter, short circuit indicator, built-in flashlight, continuity tester, relay tester, and bad ground indicator.
- Continuity tester
- Signal circuit testing
- Trailer light testing
- Polarity and voltage testing
- Audible monitoring of electrical signals
- Other attachments don’t fit the probe
- The ground wire is no more than 1 foot long
Frequently Asked Questions
Do circuit breaker finders work?
Yes, a circuit breaker finder does work. All you need to do is that, use the electronic receiver which is paired with the transmitter at the breaker box.
As you pass the receiver over the circuit breaker which carries the electronic signal from the transmitter, the receiver starts flashing and beeping rapidly.
Its working principle is as simple as that.
What is a digital circuit breaker finder?
A digital circuit breaker finder is a device that is used to locate the position of the right circuit breaker in a panel.
It locates the circuit breaker that corresponds to a fixture or any electronic outlet.
The tester has two parts, the receiver which is used to scan the panel, to locate the correct breaker, and a transmitter.
The transmitter connects to the fixture or current outlet.
How do you trip a circuit breaker?
To trip a circuit breaker, you need to follow three steps.
The first step is plugging the portable appliance into an outlet that the circuit breaker needs to serve. The second step is to open the front cover of the main breaker box.
You need to turn off the circuit breaker that is powering the electrical circuit. It is quite easy to find because many breaker boxes feature a list of circuits alongside which the corresponding circuit breaker number is mentioned.
The last step is to turn the switch off, which is located on the front of the circuit breaker. You need to go back to check if the appliance that was previously on is now off.
If it is still on, it means you have tripped the wrong circuit breaker.
Can I use a circuit breaker as an on/off switch?
Yes, a circuit breaker can be used as an on-off switch. However, the duration and frequency of such use are limited.
Circuit breakers being used to turn the lights on and off is not a very good idea. Breakers are specifically meant to protect your wiring, and they are only to be used to disconnect your circuit in case something goes wrong.
If you routinely use them to turn your switches on and off, it will reduce the life of the breaker.
How do I know which outlets are on the same circuit?
To check which outlets are on the same circuit, you need to turn the breaker off, which is feeding power into an outlet, and then check if the other outlets still have power.
For that, you need to get a lamp and plug it into any outlet that you need to check. Turn that lamp on. Then go to the electrical panel, and turn the breaker (which you reckon controls the panel) off.
Then check to see if the lamp has been turned off to verify if you have turned the correct breaker off.
Once the breaker that is controlling the outlet of the lamp is off, and all other breakers are on, the outlets with no power are on the same circuit as the outlet of the lamp.
Plug the lamp in any other outlet and repeat the same procedure to determine if the outlet is on the same circuit.
How does a circuit tracer work?
A tracer is used to trace the path of a circuit. A breaker finder will only work on the energized circuits.
Tracer has three parts, receiver, transmitter, and probe. The circuit tracer deducts the use of physical contact with the electrical equipment, which is way safer for the people operating the system.
There is a wide range of them available in the market, so make sure you find the best circuit breaker locator out there.
What is circuit tracing?
Circuit tracing refers to the process of tracing the path of a circuit. A tracer has a transmitter and a receiver.
The transmitter generates a unique signal on to the circuit, which is to be traced. The receiver is meant to detect this unique signal when it is placed in a proper orientation to the wires that are being traced.
The receiver then indicates a numerical value which will increase as the signals become stronger.
What causes a breaker to trip repeatedly?
A circuit breaker will trip if any of these three situations are encountered.
One of the main reasons circuit trips is an overload. It happens when you make a breaker provide more electricity than its capacity. This will cause overheating and in turn, causing the breaker to trip.
The second reason is a short circuit, which proves to be more dangerous than the first reason. It happens when a neutral wire comes in contact with a hot wire, causing the current to overflow in a circuit, tripping the breaker.
Last reason is the ground fault surges, which are almost similar to short circuits. They happen when the ground wire comes in contact with a hot wire, causing the circuit to overflow with current, and tripping the circuit breaker.
Can a circuit breaker fail without tripping?
Yes, a circuit breaker can fail without tripping. This happens when the circuit breaker wears out.
However, it is quite infrequent of circuit breakers to go bad due to wearing out, so we can say that the main reason why circuit breakers go bad is due to tripping.
What happens if a breaker doesn’t trip?
If the breaker does not trip immediately, it means that the circuit is probably overloaded, which indicates that there is more electricity flowing through the circuit than what it is rated for.
If you want to fix this, you need to move some electrical devices to some other circuit.
How many times can a circuit breaker trip?
A circuit breaker can trip only once. If it trips more than once, you need to replace it. Make sure you call an experienced electrician to do so.
Whether it is due to wearing out or any other reason, a circuit breaker needs to be replaced after it trips once.
Do circuit breakers get weak?
The main reason that a circuit breaker can fail apart from tripping is the breaker wearing out. However, it is quite uncommon for it to wear out with time.
So it can be said that circuit breakers will not get weak with time and will not need to be changed unless they trip.
After reading through all that, you must have grasped the necessary information as to what factors you need to consider before you purchase the correct circuit breaker finder.
By reading about the reviews of different products, you will also be able to lay your hands on the best deal possible in your budget plan.