How To Label your Electrical Panel


There are certain jobs that every homeowner should to do. And the best jobs are the ones you only need to do once, like labeling your electrical panel.

Having a clearly labeled electrical panel will make life easier and safer. If there is an emergency and you need to quickly shut the power off or if you are doing repairs or installations, having a clearly labeled electrical panel will make your life much easier.

However, depending on the size of your house, it can be a big job to start from scratch. So here’s a handy guide to help make labelling your electrical panel a little easier.

1. Call a friend

Or a family member or a neighbour. Having a helper will make this job much, much easier. Plus, you’ll have someone to celebrate and relax with when it’s finally done.

2. Assign duties

One person needs to flip switches and test plug ins in each area of the house, while the other person needs to be stationed at the panel.

3. Turn circuits off

Start with having every circuit in the house. Then turn the circuits on one by one and while your helper reports back with which light fixtures or appliance turned on.

4. Write it down

Choose whichever system you’d like, either creating a number chart or labeling the circuits directly, or both just to be safe!

A couple of things to note.

Some sections of the electrical panel may not belong to a single specific breaker. If you find this situation, it may be a case of improper wiring. If you discover poor quality or DIY electrical wiring in your home, call an electrician to come and have a look. Faulty, inferior or aging wiring can malfunction and lead to serious damage, even fires. Remember, safety first!

You might find that high energy appliances like washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, water heaters and oven can require multiple breakers in order to operate. Don’t worry if this is the case in your home, it’s normal!

Labelling an electrical panel is actually a big job, but it will go by quickly if you enlist the help of a friend or family member. And if you feel frustrated that it’s taking a long time to finish, just keep the end goal in mind. It’s much more frustrating to try and sort it out in an emergency situation.
And don’t worry, it’s one of those jobs that you only need to do once, and you’ll be very glad once it’s done.

If you live in Surrey or the Lower Mainland and have questions about the wiring or electrical panel in your home, BPM Electric is here to help.

Happy labeling!