Electrical Circuit Tracer: Everything You Need To Know

Circuit Tracers: More Than Satisfies The Eye

The timeless application for the circuit tracer includes finding which breaker provides a given 120V load (Photo above). Circuit tracers aren’t restricted to 120V circuits or merely finding breakers. These gadgets can likewise find neutrals, ground lines, branch circuits, feeders, control circuitry, and more. What’s a common Code violation that makes your task tougher and more pricey to perform?

There’s absolutely nothing complex or mystical about using a circuit tracer. The most basic circuit tracer plan consists of 2 parts. A circuit tracing kit might consist of additional devices, such as a signal generator that you clip into a circuit– this is helpful for gadgets that are hard-wired (vs. devices that plugin).

Why And How To Use Circuit Tracers?

A lot of modern residences consist of a complicated system of cables, grind lines and other electrical conduit needed for everyday electrical functions. The intro of the circuit tracer greatly simplified the tracing of electrical cables. A circuit tracer might likewise be utilized to locate ground lines, control circuitry, neutrals, feeders, branch lines and a lot more.

A circuit tracer includes 3 parts: receiver, transmitter and probe.


The transmitter is connected to one end of the circuit, such as an electrical outlet. It sends a signal that travels along the wire it is linked to.


The receiver is utilized to spot the signal being sent on the electrical circuit. It is typically a handheld system.


The circuit tracer receiver includes a probe, which houses 3 sensors. An electrical field sensing unit locates completion of a conductor.

How Do Circuit Breaker Finders work?

Having looked at the best circuit breaker finders and tracers, we likewise wanted to cover how circuit breaker finders work. They can peer into walls and trace both open and hot circuits. What’s the difference between a circuit tracer and a breaker finder?

Circuit Tracers Vs Circuit Finders

Tracer is not a terrific word for the simpler circuit breaker finding devices. A tracer is normally a gadget used to follow the path of a circuit. Pros use these more advanced gadgets to trace wires in order to remodel a home without being blind to what’s going on behind the walls you might or may not be eliminating. You can also utilize these tools to follow or find shorts wire situated within a conduit. And you can do this on stimulated (live) or de-energized (open) circuits. 


Every circuit is comprised of 3 significant components:

1. a conductive “path,” such as wire, or printed engraves on a circuit board;

2. a “source” of electrical power, such as a battery or home wall outlet, and,

3. a “load” that needs electrical power to run, such as a lamp.

There are also 2 optional components that can be consisted of in an electrical circuit. These are protective devices and control gadgets. Control and protective devices, however, are not required for a circuit to work. They are optional.

Circuits Are Made Up Of 2 Distinct Elements:

  • active aspects, which are defined as the sources of electrical energy,
  • and passive components, which carry or use the electrical energy for some specific reason.
  • a source of electrical energy, in this case, simple household current;
  • a protective device that senses current flow on the circuit, the circuit breaker in the panel box,
  • a control device that redirects the present, the switch in the thermostat;
  • and a passive aspect, such as an air conditioner that cools the space down until the circuit opens, shutting the a/c unit off.

Best Electrical Circuit Tracer: Top 11 of 2020 Reviewed.

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