Can I use a circuit breaker finder to map connected outlets?

At my office, we have very limited access to the circuit breakers so we have very limited ability to figure out how the circuits are worried. We’re now in need of getting a clear knowledge about what outlets are connected in order to distribute our loads more evenly. So we’ve been looking at the possibilities for doing this outlet-to-outlet correlation and the most obvious possibility are circuit breaker tracers/mappers. HOwever, we aren’t able to map them to the circuit breaker, we would ideally just use the system to map between the outlets but would this work? If they wouldn’t work, would there be a way to hack it to make it work? Seeing as how they don’t require the power to be off or on, it seems like the signal could be picked up anywhere along the connectivity, but it would be great to have a more expert/experienced opinion before something bad happens.

Yes. That device will transmit frequency from one outlet to all others in the circuit. At a 40 dollar solution you’re on the right path.

Be aware though there is a chance of false positives using that type of device in a commercial building because the frequency can sometimes be heard on parallel lines. Circuits are often done with 12/3 mc cable which contains two separate shared neutral circuits and is sheathed in a grounded tube. The second circuit and ground could also pick up the frequency.

Great that’s what I was hoping! I’d prefer false positives over false negatives as far as the connectivity goes as we’re trying to spread the loads anyway! Thanks.

I’d go with the cheaper, more positive solution of cutting the breakers one at a time and mapping the dead sockets. A plug-in socket tester would make it very convenient (moreso than a lamp, etc.) and is about $5 at any hardware store. Get one with a GFCI tester and you can use it to proof out proper socket wiring and GFI function as well.

If you have limited access to the breaker panels is it safe to assume that you are tenant? If so contact your landlord. Before a new tenant moves into one of our suites I check the every outlet works and at the same time if they are not labeled I get out the circuit tracer out. And I label all the outlets.

If we have a problem with breakers tripping in a suite that is not labeled I get out the circuit treacer and the P-Touch and label the outlets that I can get to.