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James says: “My main circuit panel, like most, is underdocumented.  Finding the breaker to turn off a particular circuit by trial-and-error is very annoying and disruptive.  To avoid this problem, I bought a Sperry circuit breaker finder.  Now, I can simply plug the transmitter into the circuit I want to work on and find the breaker by moving the transmitter over them.  I also bought a light socket power adapter so I can also trace lighting circuits.”

Nice idea, James!  I have a cheapie version that I’ve used a few times, and it’s really a life saver.  Your version looks to be quality, and it isn’t that much more expensive.

Street pricing starts around $25.

Circuit Breaker Finder [Sperry]
Street Pricng [Froogle]


9 Responses to Reader Find: Sperry Circuit Breaker Finder

  1. Myself says:

    Draw a floorplan, grab a helper, and map every outlet in the house at once. It’ll only take an hour or so, and you’ll only have to reset all the clocks once. Better than fighting with it every time.

    When you’re done, redraw the floorplan into a concise circuit map and tape it inside the breaker panel door, or otherwise secure it nearby. You’ll thank yourself!

  2. jeff says:

    I have a similar tester and like you, had the idea of getting a light socket adapter. The tester for some strange reason only works in wall outlets and not light sockets. I know the transmitter is getting power because it lights the LED but the testing wand can’t pick out the circuit back at the panel. Anyone encounter a similar situation or have any ideas what the issue might be?

  3. Quentin says:

    Like James, my circuit panel is also very underdocumented. I could spend a day mapping it all out, but I’d rather just spend an afternoon mapping it all out.

    I’ve been looking for an affordable one of these in Canada for a long time. The only ones I’ve been able to find are $100+. Do any of my fellow Canadians know where I could find one for

  4. Myself says:

    Jeff, it might be polarity-sensitive. Try plugging the transmitter into the socket adapter the other way around. Of course in AC there’s no positive/negative polarity, but if it’s trying to put a signal on the hot wire and it’s ending up on the neutral instead, that could cause your symptoms.

    Quentin, none of the US vendors will ship across the border? Postage to Canuckistan can’t be *that* bad. 🙂

  5. Dean says:

    Sounds obvious but make sure that the light switch is one. Otherwise there is no circuit back to the switchboard……

  6. Dean says:

    Sorry make that ‘light switch is on’

  7. Sylvain says:

    jeff: you may be checking with the detector at a sub-panel rather than the panel where the lights are. If your panel is in a closet rather than the garage or somesuch this is more likely to be the case.

  8. melvin says:

    Quentin, none of the US vendors will ship across the border? Postage to Canuckistan can’t be *that* bad.

    Sometimes they won’t. More usually they’ll only ship UPS/FedEX (instead of USPS) and C$70 in brokerage makes a $35 tool a $100 tool. If they’ll ship USPS brokerage is only $5.

  9. joe says:


    I am currently in the process of installing 240V circuit breaker for my electric dryer. I am not an electrical engineer but a software engineer. So, you can guess that I’ve never worked with electrical wires. But my wife and I are desparate to put a 240V outlet for our electrical dryer and So, I have been reading up on how to wire and hook up for circuit breaker. Could someone help me by giving me a step by step instructions? I would appreciate it. Thanks.

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