Labelling your electrical panel is important for 4 big reasons: 1. it’s an electrical code requirement  2. for safety.  3. to identify overloaded circuits and 4. to easily identify breakers for DIY or renovation projects

We built our house in 2005 and over the years I have done more than a few upgrades to it.  A few of which required that I shut off the breaker to whatever room I’m working in.

This is our electrical box:

electrical box

Pretty typical of the time.  Wires neatly organized and the electrician/s kindly put up charts for what each breaker is for.

But you’ll notice the chart doesn’t line up with the breakers at all.  You’ll also notice that the breakers themselves aren’t numbered to correspond to the chart.

Such a stupid thing, but one that has always bugged me.  I’ve tried counting down the breakers to the number of lines on the charts, but it still didn’t work out.

The other week I was replacing a light fixture in my daughter’s bedroom (post coming soon), but I reached my limit with flicking every breaker on and off to find which I needed.  It was time to quit wasting time…

I challenged my daughter by turning on all the lights on the upstairs and then having her run/walk from room to room to tell me which had turned off with each switch.  We were on the phone so she would just say “master bedroom” etc. every time she heard me click another breaker.

I thought it was kind of fun actually, and she was laughing.  I made a game of it by telling her to run from room to room, and she was laughing as I yelled “run, run, run!”

There are 34 breakers there.  She ran over 1,300 steps going back and forth from room to room. 😂

electrical box, labelling your electrical box


While the breaker was off, I used my Dymo label maker to label each.  (Amazon affiliate link.  Please see bottom of page for full affiliate disclosure)

   I love this little guy because the refills are so inexpensive.  

Once we had the upstairs done, she played along to figuring out the main floor – including appliances.

Why labelling your electrical panel is important

Many electricians recommend labelling your electrical panel for safety reasons.  Should you have a fire in your oven (one example I came across) having your circuit breaker clearly labeled can save you precious minutes in shutting the power off to that appliance.

If you find your breakers are tripping frequently, having a labelled electrical panel will help you to identify how many items are on a single circuit so you can stop from overloading it and/or get the circuit separated.

The simplest reason to label your electrical panel is that it is an Ontario Electrical Code requirement.

Labelling your electrical panel may seem like a “make work project”, but it’s actually pretty important to do.  Not only will it save you time if you are doing work in your home and need to shut power off, it will help you easily find shorted breakers and it can help you in an emergency.

electrical box, labelling your electrical box

Chloe wasn’t interested in helping after the main floor, but the majority have been labelled and are now easy to locate.

It’s taken me almost 18 years to do this chore, but now that it’s done I’ll be able to save time on every DIY project going forward.

electrical box, labelling your electrical box

Pin it to remind yourself and share with friends so that they can label their panels too.

electrical box, labelling your electrical box

Have a great one!