October 29, 2019
By Ralph Mroz
We’ve all been there. We need to shut down the power to a circuit, but we don’t know which breaker controls it. If we have a partner maybe the panel will be close enough to the work area that we can yell to each other as one of us flips the breakers one by one. If we’re not that close then hopefully each location has cell reception (I’ve used hand-held CB radios for this purpose in the days before cell phones were common). If we’re alone we can use the old trick of plugging a noisy tool in to the circuit and hope we can hear it power down as we try each breaker. We took a look at the Ideal Automatic Circuit Identifier With Digital Receiver.
Ideal Automatic Circuit Identifier With Digital Receiver – Feature
- Digital Receiver & GFCI Circuit Tester
- Fully automatic operation
- Positively identifies circuit breakers and fuses without service interruption
- Visual and audible indicators
- 2-year warranty
Ideal Circuit Identifier With Digital Receiver – Benefits!
But what if we’re alone and the panel is too far away from the circuit for any of these approaches? This happens frequently. We could plug in a heavy-load item (such as a heater) into the circuit and then use an ammeter to see which breaker is drawing a heavy current load…but this isn’t reliable if there are many similar loads being fed by the panel. If only there was a tool designed just for this situation…
Ideal Circuit Identifier
There is. The IDEAL Automatic Circuit Identifier w/Digital Receiver & GFCI Receptacle was designed for just these situations. It consists of two components. The GFCI Receptacle looks just like a standard outlet wiring tester and operates like one. Plug it into any outlet and its LED array will tell you if that outlet is wired correctly, and if it isn’t it will tell you the problem. But it also generates an RF (radio frequency) signal that gets transmitted down the line. If you then go to the panel and run the Digital Receiver along with the breakers, it will indicate (visually and audibly) when it’s found the breaker that controls the outlet the Receptacle is plugged into. That’s it! Easy peasy. No need to interrupt power anywhere.
One Person Operation
The Ideal Automatic Circuit Identifier With Receiver is so simple that there’s not much to say about it except that it works, and works well. I tried it out on several houses, and it worked perfectly.
A Necessary Tool For Your Tool Bag
Almost every tradesperson has a need to single-handedly shut down a particular circuit — some often and some occasionally — but it’s a need that almost everyone has. The Ideal Automatic Circuit Identifier With Receiver is, well, ideal, for the job. It’s the kind of tool that can save hours of time and inconvenience. Also, who knows what unpleasant results you will avoid if you accidentally kill the wrong circuit trying to locate the one you want to shut off. I strongly suggest that every “tradie” get one.
For original artwork, click here.