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Having a well-organized labeling system for your home’s breaker and sockets is a goal many strive for but few achieve. We know why it matters: Nobody enjoys figuring out which breaker is associated with that particular outlet when the time comes to do a renovation or repair. It will never be the first you try; you can be sure of that. You have to go through at least half a dozen, turning off devices, clocks and WiFi unnecessarily and yelling at your partner up the stairs: “Was it this one !? How about that !? ”

But you can do this – you can now call your breaker to help your future you many times. (And a Redditor has a bonus labeling trick you probably didn’t think of that can help.)

The best way to label your breaker

Contrary to popular belief, correctly labeling your breaker bay should be a little more complicated than writing “kitchen” on a piece of tape next to the switch. If you want to go all out, electrical product suppliers D&F liquidators recommends locating each outlet, testing every switch and breaker, and then compiling a complete electrical directory.

Also, you should label a room in such a way that it is clear not only to you, but also to all future owners of the house. As D&F explains, “Instead of writing ‘kids room’, write ‘southwest room’ and stick the index on the inside of the breaker plate.” They even suggest drawing a floor plan for accuracy; But either way, you’re much better off than you were at the beginning.

The inscription on the inside of the outlet cover is also helpful

Labeling the inside of the socket cover itself is another way of keeping track of which socket is connected to which circuit breaker – especially if a room is divided between two circuit breakers. In my apartment, for example, a socket in my kitchen is on the same breaker as the right side of my bedroom because they share a wall. In this case, the kitchen / bedroom identification of the circuit breaker would not be specific enough if a fuse blows.

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Instead of this, as a Reddit user u / nullvoid88 suggests:

An oldie … whenever you’ve turned off an electrical record you can take notes on the back. Breaker number, installation date (s), splash of color, etc., etc. Often comes in handy!

You probably don’t have to do this with all of the outlet covers in your home – just the few areas you know can be puzzling to you, an electrician, and future residents of the home in a pinch.