A circuit breaker locator is essential for my occupation as an electrician working on home and office projects. This device saves me time and effort, especially when I’m working on a large project that requires numerous circuit breaker banks. So, we have compiled a list of the best circuit breaker finder in this article.
If I need to turn off the current in one portion of a structure that lacks a clear circuit diagram, I don’t have to guess and toss switches at random because I can quickly discover the proper one by plugging in the transmitter and pointing the receiver.
Few things irritate an electrician more than an unmarked electrical service panel. We should assist the future “sparky” by identifying all circuits and where they lead. It’s not only to be polite. It’s a matter of safety.
Homeowners are not immune to this annoyance. Electrical panels are ravaged by time and inexperience.
What’s the good news? Putting together your panel is neither difficult nor risky. It only takes a simple, low-cost circuit breaker finder.
It can be difficult to discover the correct circuit breaker for a certain electric circuit when working on your home’s electric circuits. This is owing to the fact that most household electric panels contain several circuit breakers.
Circuit breaker finders are comprised of two components: a transmitter and a receiver. When you plug the transmitter into the receptacle (or bulb, if you’re using adapters), it transmits a signal to the panel. Place the receiver over your panel’s breakers. The first pass is used to calibrate the receiver. A tone or light notifies you of the correct breaker on the following pass (or both).
Fortunately, locating the proper circuit breaker should be very simple if you use something like the top circuit breaker finders listed below, which have been chosen based on the following criteria:
To use a certain circuit breaker finder in your home, you must first confirm that it is compatible with the electric voltage used in your home. For the same reason, most circuit breaker finders feature voltage ranges such as 90-120V, 80-140V, and even 24-300V, where having a wide range of supported voltages is always beneficial.
In addition to a supported voltage range, the circuit breaker finder must support the outlets in your home.
Fortunately, all of the finest circuit finders listed here support GFCI outlets, which are the most often used outlets for electric circuits, resulting in excellent compatibility.
Controls & Indicators:
You also need the correct controls and indicators to get the most out of a highly compatible and adaptable circuit breaker finder. This contains three indicator lights, a power switch, and, in certain cases, a sensitivity slider.
Even though these are some of the most crucial considerations, there is much more to think about when purchasing a circuit breaker finder. As a result, all of the finest circuit breaker finders listed here have all of their key features and options outlined right next to them.
Furthermore, you can discover a thorough “Buying Guide” and a few typical FAQs regarding the finest circuit breaker finders on this page so that you can simply choose the best one.
Best Circuit Breaker Finder 2023
Klein Tools Circuit Breaker Finder
Extech CB10 Circuit Breaker Finder
Sperry Instruments Circuit Breaker Finder
Klein Tools ET300
Triplett Circuit Breaker Finder
Amprobe 3472789 BT-120 Circuit Breaker Tracer
Ideal Industries Digital
Klein Instruments is one of the most well-known brands of electric testing tools since all of its products are highly adaptable while also being highly accurate and trustworthy for testing.
The Klein Tools ET310 circuit breaker finder is ranked first on this list because it is an industry standard due to its great durability and reliability.
While it does not have the widest voltage range (90 to 120 volts), it is highly adaptable.
You can then use this circuit breaker finder in conjunction with GFCI outlets without incident.
Taking a closer look at the circuit breaker finder, it just weighs 7.2 ounces, making it fairly light.
It also includes useful features such as a power switch and three power indicators.
Because Klein Tools is a well-known brand of testing tools, the accompanying one-year warranty is to be expected.
For most experts, I believe the Extech CB10 is an outstanding circuit breaker detector.
It is a small device that has advanced functions while being plug-and-play.
It not only locates circuit breakers but also examines receptacle wires to ensure proper and adequate installation.
The sensitivity setting is the feature of this useful tool that I like the most.
For quick detection when working on a large structure, I would require the receiver set to its highest sensitivity.
However, if the socket is close by, I will reduce the sensitivity for a more accurate reading.
I particularly enjoy that the receiver’s LED lights feature an up/down indicator, which shows me where the correct breaker is in relation to my hand’s position.
It allows me to work twice as fast as other electrical circuit finder brands.
Another feature I appreciated was the loud tone, which is especially beneficial while I’m working in a construction area.
Despite the loudness of the work around me, the combination of LED and auditory tones for finding the proper breaker allows me to work faster.
One point of concern is that the grounding pin is a little fragile.
You must use caution when plugging in and out the device, especially in newer outlets.
If it fails, you can still use the transmitter, but the receptacle wiring checking function is no longer available.
The Extech CB10 circuit breaker finder is simple to operate.
It makes my job easier and faster to complete, and I can also use it to assess the quality of my outlets.
Sperry Instruments is another wonderful option if you want something extremely useful but don’t want to spend a lot of money on your tools, which is also true for its circuit breaker finder.
This Sperry Instruments CS550A circuit breaker finder is ranked third in this article because it is an excellent value-for-money solution for the majority of people.
Given its low price, it provides a fairly stable voltage range of 80 to 140 volts.
And, like more expensive options, this one works wonderfully with GFCI outlets.
The weight of this circuit breaker finder is 8 ounces, which is slightly greater than others due to its slightly larger design.
The main issue with this circuit breaker finder is that it only has a single LED and a power button, which may be inconvenient for some.
If it isn’t, you’ll be relieved to hear that it comes with a one-year warranty.
When I was seeking a digital circuit breaker finder, I came across the Klein Tools ET300.
It’s one of the more advanced finders on the market, with an integrated computer to help process and identify the transmitter’s signal.
If there’s one thing I like about this, it’s that the Klein Digital Circuit Breaker Finder includes accessories specifically made for the Klein ET300.
To operate the transmitter on non-outlet circuits, you can order a bulb circuit adapter and alligator clips.
There’s also a case created specifically for the gear and its accessories, allowing you to transport everything in one small container.
The transmitter’s 1000-foot range is particularly useful, especially when working on large projects.
While it may appear to be excessive, circuits in some structures can really travel quite a distance, especially when the building’s layout is taken into account.
It operates on systems up to 120 V, thus it is suitable for most household systems.
However, if you intend to use it in an industrial or specialized situation, you should double-check the voltage.
I also like the flashing arrow indicator on the receiver, which indicates to me where the breaker is on the apparatus, and the auto power-off battery saving feature.
But there is one feature I wish they included: the option to connect the receiver to the transmitter.
In that manner, I can carry the device as a single tiny box and attach it to my tool belt.
You may buy the case, but it’s a bit big compared to having both as one piece.
If you value precision, I would recommend the ET300.
Because of its signal processing capabilities and accessories, it is a reliable circuit breaker finder for light switches, plugs, and open wiring.
Triplett and all of its electric testing instruments are among the best available if you want something highly adaptable but don’t want to pay a premium for it.
The Triplett CBF200 circuit breaker finder is one of the finest value selections on this list because it is ideal for heavy-duty use without charging a premium.
Unlike most other circuit breaker finders, this one has a wide voltage range of 24 to 300 volts.
The best thing is that this voltage range can be utilized safely with GFCI outlets.
This circuit breaker finder is clearly on the heavier side at 9.6 ounces due to its larger and higher power internals.
Another excellent feature of this item is that it comes with 8 LED indicators and a power switch.
And, because it is designed for heavy-duty use, Triplett includes a one-year warranty, which is always a plus.
The Amprobe BT-120 Circuit Breaker is ideal if you need something straightforward that will function right away.
This equipment is compatible with all common electrical systems rated from 90 to 120 V, so I can use it for the majority of the home and office projects I work on.
The detection system is as simple as plug and test: simply connect the transmitter to the circuit breaker panel and test the receiver.
It doesn’t get any easier than that.
I liked it a lot because I don’t have to train my employees to utilize it!
I really enjoy how the receiver adjusts its sensitivity automatically.
Its onboard technology may alter the wattage it produces such that the signal is only received on a single breaker.
This function allows me to work much faster by eliminating the requirement for me to manually set the receiver sensitivity on my side.
The LED indicators on both the transmitter and receiver make my job easier as well.
The red transmitter LEDs illuminate to signal that the receptacle into which it is inserted is powered.
When you detect the correct breaker with your receiver and turn it off, check to see if the transmitter LED is off.
It is a straightforward but smart workflow system.
I simply wish the receiver had directional LED lights that showed me where to move it when I was on the breaker panel.
It comes in handy especially when I’m working on massive buildings with more than a dozen breakers.
The Amprobe testing is ideal if you want something straightforward and simple to use.
Its simplicity will be appreciated by you and your team.
Excellent Industries and the majority of its solutions are among the more premium and high-end offerings available, as they are ideal for heavy-duty applications requiring versatility.
When it comes to high-duty usage, the Ideal Industries Inc 61-534 circuit breaker finder is one of the top selections on this list.
Ideal Industries has provided a wonderful voltage range of 80 to 300 volts with it, which is considerably higher than others.
You also receive a GFCI outlet to help you make the most of this voltage range.
Moving on to the physical attributes of this circuit breaker finder, it does weigh a touch more than 12 ounces due to its high-end internals.
Fortunately, the broader side allows it to accommodate 5 LED indications and a power switch.
And, with such a high price tag, a one-year warranty is to be expected.
Buying Guide for the best Circuit breaker Finder
Whether you work on electric circuits as a professional electrician or want to fix anything at home, you’ll need the correct tools. In addition to useful tools, you will need to employ detectors and meters when working on electric circuits.
All of the top circuit breaker finders that we discussed above are such useful tools. We have already discussed their important specs and features to assist you in selecting the best circuit breaker finder for your needs. Also, make sure to read my entire shopping guide for the finest circuit breaker finders listed here:
To utilize any type of electric testing tool, it must be compatible with the voltage being tested. Similarly, circuit breaker finders have a supported voltage range within which they may locate and detect an electric circuit breaker. If you want something extremely versatile, use a circuit breaker finder with a wide supported voltage range.
When it comes to the supported voltages of different circuit breaker finders, it might range from 90-120V, 80-140V, and even 24-300V depending on the circuit breaker finder that you choose. The higher voltage range of 24-300V will result in the most versatile circuit breaker finder for your arsenal.
In addition to supporting all voltages, the circuit breaker finder should also support the outlets in your home.
Your circuit breaker finder will not function unless it is supported by the appropriate outlets. Thankfully, all of the top circuit breaker finders listed above support GFCI outlets, which are the most often used outlets with electric circuit breakers. In short, all of these top circuit breaker finders will be entirely compatible with the majority of electrical circuits.
Controls & Indicators
When using any type of testing instrument, you must also employ its many buttons and indicators. These are required to operate your tool, adjust its testing parameters, and, most significantly, determine the effectiveness of your electric circuit breaker finders.
Aside from the standard power switch, all circuit breaker finders will feature three indicators that will allow you to monitor how effectively your circuit breakers are working. Some circuit breaker finders may additionally include a sensitivity dial for fine-tuning your circuit breaker finder to ensure optimal operation.
While this is not true for all circuit breakers offered, some circuit breaker finders may come with a variety of accessories. To begin, many circuit breaker finders come with a carrying bag in the box for safely transporting your circuit breaker finder.
Aside from carrying cases, several circuit breaker finders include connectors and cords. And if a circuit breaker finder comes with such accessories, it will be an excellent value for money.
Size & Dimensions
Even if it may not be necessary for everyone, evaluating the size and dimensions of your circuit breaker finder is vital if you intend to use it on the go. Circuit breaker finders are typically 6 inches x 2 inches x 1.5 inches for the receiver and 3 inches x 1.5 inches x 1 inch for the transmitter.
And, in most circumstances, if you want to utilize your circuit breaker finder on the road, opting for something compact is always the best option.
Ultimately, whether you choose an entry-level or a high-end circuit breaker finder, you want it to survive as long as possible.
Fortunately, practically all circuit breaker finders on the market have a one-year warranty.
If you want something even more dependable, you may get a circuit breaker finder with a 3-year warranty.
Aside from the guarantee, you should also look at the construction quality of the circuit breaker finder because anything well-built will endure a long time with ease.
What are the Most Trusted Circuit Breaker Finder Brands?
Greenlee Circuit Breaker Finder and Fluke Circuit Breaker Finder are two well-known brands. Many professionals rely on them, but they come at a high cost.
If you’re searching for a more affordable option, I propose the Sperry Instruments CS61200P. Its unusual design makes it very easy to operate. Sperry Instruments is a well-known brand, not just for circuit breaker finders but also for other instruments.
How Do I Find a Circuit Breaker?
The majority of circuit breaker banks are housed in recessed metal boxes. They are often located in the kitchen, garage, pantry, or basement, though they can occasionally be discovered outside of the structure.
If you don’t have a circuit breaker finder, the only way to discover the correct breaker is to plug an appliance into the outlet you’re verifying and then turn off the breakers in the bank one by one. Continue doing so until you discover the correct breaker.
It is a time-consuming procedure that can take up to 30 minutes if you are working on a huge building. That is why circuit breaker finders were created. The correct circuit will be found in minutes with this program.
How Do I Find a Circuit Breaker Without Power?
A wire tracer tool is the most dependable approach to locating a powerless circuit breaker. These are designed specifically for those purposes and will function whether or not the circuit is powered. However, these are often expensive and may not be a choice if you will just use them once.
If you’re stuck on one circuit, don’t try to figure it out on your own. These energized wires on open circuits could be dangerous, so I recommend hiring an electrician who will execute the job carefully and safely.
Where Can I Buy it?
You may browse circuit breaker finder reviews, which usually include links to the products being reviewed.
There are numerous purchase guides available to you. Some of the websites you visit may earn money through affiliate sales, but they will still generate trustworthy feedback.
Furthermore, while you may get these through Amazon.com, I usually like to buy directly from the local hardware retail store’s website, but that’s just my choice.
Alternatively, some manufacturers allow you to buy directly from their website, while others recommend a nearby merchant. You might even go to a neighboring retail store if you want to see the unit before purchasing it.
What is a GFCI?
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) or residual current device (RCD) is a type of circuit breaker that cuts electricity to a circuit. GFCIs will trip on variances as small as 0.005 amps, but traditional circuit breakers will trip when the current is significant, such as 10 to 20 amps.
The breaker bank’s circuit breakers are intended to prevent overheating and fires. GFCIs, which are typically seen as the red and black buttons on outlets, are intended to protect humans against electrocution.
Circuit breaker finders and testers are basic gadgets that can save you a significant amount of time and money. You no longer have to manually turn off each breaker switch just to discover the correct circuit breaker with this gadget. This is especially important when working with circuits with equipment that requires constant power, such as PC and internet servers, camera and security systems, hospital and life support systems, and so on.
This also increases your safety because you can be certain that if you’re working on an electrical circuit, it has been totally turned off and will not electrocute you.
After reading this post, you should be able to acquire the best circuit breaker finder, which will save you time and effort on all of your projects.