In a common household, the wiring comprises of some connections. Every connection can malfunction at some point of time and can lead to some electrical problem. Earlier, to repair any kind of malfunction an engineer had to trace the wiring physically to find out the connection. However, with modern technology, this effort-taking task has been simplified a lot. Now, this work can be done with the help of a circuit tracer. A circuit tracer is a device, which is designed for electrical troubleshooting jobs. This variety of device aids a technician to decide which wire is used for connecting a malfunctioning outlet with the power source.
Editor’s Choice: 3 Top Circuit Tracer
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PTE Wire Tracer & Circuit Tester
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To Trace Circuit Breaker: Simply use Extech CB10 Circuit Breaker Finder
3 Best Circuit Tracer Reviews
1. Tacklife EST01 Advanced GFCI Outlet Tester Power Socket Automatic Electric Circuit Polarity Voltage Detector Wall Plug Breaker Finder
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With no battery to charge and no confusion to read, this easy-to-understand Tacklife EST01 is the best option for finding breakage in circuits, without connecting any alligator clip or such. While the ABS housing empowers the device enough to withstand accidental dropping, the bright LED display provides exactly what you need at a glance.
The 3 indicators show the status of the circuit and seeing the light pattern from the label, even an amateur can find out the fault with the circuit. The Green LED indicators are appreciably functional, their effectiveness remains intact under the sunny sky also. Another significant feature includes its built-in light, that keeps it equally efficient during your nocturnal use.
Though it’s the most inexpensive model in our list, it does still have a smarter feature – GFCI test button. This button is beneficial to test socket quickly and to eliminate the risk of electric shock. Five different patterns are the real time saver. The package comprises Advanced GFCI Outlet Tester, 3 US Pin Plug and instructions in English. Not to mention, with Tacklife Warranty Card and the 24-month warranty, you’re going to have real peace of mind. Perfect for gifting in various occasions.
2. Wire Tracer & Circuit Tester with RJ-11 Plug and Alligator Clips (Tone and Probe Kit) by PTE
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This sleek-looking wire tracer & circuit tester is noticeably a multi-purpose kit. It offers many of the same features that the GTC FF310 carries but for a cheaper price. It accompanies a sender and a detector that help you identify and trace wires or cables. During the process, the gadget never hurts the insulation though. You’ll appreciate its dual role. Firstly, as a circuit tester, it lets you check the presence of resistance in the wire; and secondly, you can trace the wire using the detector probe. As the probe approaches the wire, the signal tone gets louder.
Thankfully, by adjusting the volume knob, it’s possible to discover the wire instantly even if it’s hidden inside a pile. In identifying telephone lines – whether they’re busy, clear, or ringing – this tool is nearly unbeatable. Since all these traits come at a relatively measly expense, witnessing some shortcomings isn’t any unexpected matter.
To be more precise, it’s not super reliable: a few users, while working on noisy areas, experienced complexities in hearing the tone; two 9-volt battery needs separate purchase, which again takes forever to respond. However, for using in a quiet place, this affordable tool is highly recommendable. Its 1-year warranty is like the frosting on the cake.
3. GTC FF310 Short and Open Circuit Finder and Tracer
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The GTC FF310 nails all the core aptitudes of a good circuit tracer by combining non-contact technology, flexible probe and adjustable sensitivity we’ve seen to date in a circuit tracer that’s workable on DC voltages from 6 to 42 volts.
It also has basic-but-effective transmitter and receiver LEDs. But what really sets the GTC FF310 apart is its advanced circuit tracking features such as variable audio or visual signal (for getting feedback promptly) and secured interior (against power surges and overloads). All these make it worth the premium over the typical circuit finder.
It also serves new generation vehicles and you can operate both mixed and single 42-volt systems. Plus, you’ll find its 8” pliant antenna probe very handy while tracing circuits set in a constrained area. We think alligator clips and the auto polarity on the transmitter with 5 amps leads make it the better pick for most people.
Its versatility lies in its capacity to detect broken wires, short and open circuit, and current leaks on any electrical circuit. Besides, one single tool can serve motorcars, farming equipment, recreational vehicles and so on. The best part about this kit is – you can take benefit of these traits without displacing the cable’s body panel. So, troubleshooting inside tubes or under upholstery will take not more than a few moments.
Ideal Circuit Tracer
The best application for an excellent circuit tracer is for detecting a 120V load in circuits. However, these tracers are not just limited to 120V circuits. They can locate neutrals, underground lines, branch circuits and more. An ideal circuit tracer can find out the 120V supply voltage but can also perform a lot of other things. There are some more of the uses of ideal circuit tracers as well. What is an ideal circuit tracer? The answer to this question is simple. For a safe, quick and dependable way for finding the right circuit line, this is where the ideal circuit tracer proves its ability.
Most of the electricians always need an ideal circuit tracer to determine not only the 120 voltage and bit also they can have a lot more uses. If applied correctly, the ideal circuit tracer can make give you an edge always being a service provider. Ideal circuit tracer is Much More than just to find a breaker. The tracer arrangement is of two components. One is used to plug a sending unit into a receptacle to start the flow of a detection probe over individual breakers until the right one is found. An ideal circuit tracing kit includes additional accessories, like a signal generator that can be clipped into the circuit. Coming to other qualities of ideal circuit tracers – Here are the qualities.
Locating shorts to the ground.
First, make some section of the feeder wiring to make things easy and fewer complexes. For this, divide the wires into smaller sections to isolate the fault. However, it is a time-consuming method that requires a great deal of cutting/splicing. But if you have an ideal circuit tracer, you can easily locate the fault. Just clip on your transmitter at the breaker; according to the instructions in the manual. Then walk the raceway down with the detector until the signal disappears and the faulty location will be detected.
Locating Dead Circuits.
Using an Ideal circuit tracer, it’s easy to mark up the drawings to show the actual wiring. While such a documentation upgrade will help in your job, it could also be valuable to the customer, so you could offer it as an upsell. Tracing the wire. Try to count the number of times you have tried to trace up the wire with your eyes. It’s not easy. Using an ideal circuit tracer, one can save the time and reduce the risk.
Wire trace is more useful and you can do tracing in walls, ceilings, raceways, cable trays, even underground. Easy to locate insulation leakage. It’s much faster to use an ideal circuit tracer to find the exact position where the cable has a leakage. For this, you just need a power source other than the transmitter that comes with the unit. The manual should tell you how to do what and how. You could use half a dozen 9V batteries to get 54V for this purpose. However, for power cables, a 54V insulation test is insufficient so try using an instrument suitable to the task.
Part of a Circuit Tracer
A circuit tracer mainly has two segments. One is the receiver, and the other is the transmitter. In a tracer, the transmitter is positioned on electric circuit’s one end of an appliance receptacle. The main job of this transmitter is to send a signal that trails the path of wire. The subsequent part of a circuit tracer is called the receiver. One has to hold this part in hand, and it is utilized at the breaker box. As soon as the receiver goes near to the circuit, which is being tested, the light or the buzzer indicates it to the user.
Often the circuit breakers are labeled incorrectly that make it harder to locate the source of the faulty circuit. Therefore, if the electrician uses a circuit traces in place of testing every breaker separately, then this will save a lot of effort and time. When electrical safety is the issue, then using a circuit tracer can be an excellent idea. This is because a circuit tracer helps in reducing any sort of physical contact, as the receiver will not need to connect directly to a circuit breaker. This makes sure that a shield of safety is kept intact for limiting shock hazard.
Using Circuit Breaker
When you use a circuit tracer, make sure that you go through the user manual. This will provide you an overview of the components of a circuit tracer. A circuit tracer can be utilized for locating electrical shorts. All you need to do is to clip the sending unit or the transmitter to a circuit breaker and then walk all around your home.
Wherever, the signal on the detector fades away; it is most likely the place where the electric shortage can be found. For using a circuit tracer to locate dead circuits, you will have to affix the transmitter with the hot wire. A detector generally goes off in the case; there is some power in breakers.