Don’t Waste Time Chasing Unmapped Electrical Circuits

06/16/2018

A Simple “Electrical Map” Can Save You Time And Money

True story:

A Colorado homeowner was hosting a big neighborhood summer party at his house.

Most of the preparations were complete, but when it came time to plug in the portable cooler on the back patio (a party essential), the darn thing wouldn’t work.

The outdoor outlet was “dead.”

The party was well underway, and guests had arrived (without being offered cold beverages) before the electrician finally arrived and determined that the problem was a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) that had been tripped in the garage, upstairs, a long way from the uncooperative outlet.

A simple push of a button, and things were back to normal.

But the host, who’d spent two hours looking for the cause of the problem, was mystified (not to mention frustrated).  How in the world was he supposed to know those outlets were on the same circuit?

The electrician offered to come by later in the week and create an electrical map of the property, so nothing like this would happen again.

The homeowner gratefully set the appointment.

Electrical Mapping: An Easy Solution To Frustrating (Or Dangerous) Problems

It’s a sad story when a party suffers for lack of an electrical map… but the story could have been much worse.

In the process of creating your home’s electrical map, your qualified professional electrician can check everything in the system, and might discover a dangerous problem hiding behind the walls.  And that might prevent a house fire.

But even if there aren’t any dangerous deficiencies in your home’s electrical system, it’s just handy to have an electrical map.  When it comes time to have a new light fixture or appliance installed, it saves your electrician time (and saves you money) when everything on the electrical panel is clearly and accurately marked.

Electricity travels in a circle – a “circuit,” in other words.  And each circuit in your home powers a certain number of demand points {light switches, outlets, etc.) on its way to and from the control panel.

Some of the bigger items have their own circuits.  Think laundry machines, refrigerators, things like that.

But most outlets or switches share their circuit with other demand points.

In the case of our party host’s home, the circuit that controlled the outdoor outlets also controlled the outlets in the garage, which makes enough sense when you think about it.

But without a map, the homeowner spent too much time in frustration, trying to chase down the problem.

Next summer’s party is sure to go off without a hitch.  And preventing future frustrations like this (or potential problems that could be far worse) turned out to be a simple matter (and relatively inexpensive) once the homeowner engaged the services of a qualified pro electrician.

Don’t chase your tail.  You can easily get your electrician to create an accurate, “current” map of the electrical system in your home.  And when you need to find a particular breaker, it’ll be as easy as enjoying a backyard summer party.

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