The blank electric panel – Panel electrico en blanco

Our backyard has one outdoor light with a mind of its own. Before I (finally) fixed it, it would turn on at the most ridiculous times and of course it refused to work when we needed it. We finally decided to suck it up and get a new light fixture and figure out how to install it. The biggest problem, though, is that there is no switch (that we’ve been able to find) for the light and our electric panel is not labeled so we didn’t know what breaker controls what areas of the house. Here’s how we went about solving our little (obnoxious) problem.

En nuestro patio trasero teniamos una luz con mente propia. Antes de (por fin) arreglarla, se prendia sola en lo momentos mas ridiculos y obviamente no funcionaba cuando la necesitabamos. Finalmente nos decidimos a comprar una lampara nueva y aprender como instalarla. El mayor problema es que la luz no tiene interruptor (a menos que este escondido en el lugar mas increible del universo) y nuestro panel electrico no tiene etiquetas asi que no sabiamos que switch controla que areas de la casa. Aqui les va como solucionamos este molestoso prolema.

Our tools for the day:

  • Pen and paper
  • A cell phone with the charger (to plug in and test the outlets)
  • Patience!

Herramientas del dia:

  • Papel y lapiz
  • Un celular con cargador (para enchufar y probar los enchufes)
  • Paciencia!


I. We turned everything on, every light, every switch, everything! (Basement lights, attic lights, outdoors, etc.)

II. I drew a sketch of the electric panel on a piece of paper

III. I turned off the first breaker and walked around checking what turned off and what plugs didn’t work using the cell phone.

IV. As I saw things off or plugs not working, I wrote down what was off, where in the house and which breaker I had turned off.


I. Prendimos todas las luces, todos los interruptores, todo! (Subterraneo, atico, afuera, etc.)

II. Dibuje un esquema de el panel electrico en un papel

III. Apague el primer switch y recorri la casa viendo que se apago y que enchufes no funcionaban usando el celular

IV. Cuando veia que algo no funcionaba, escribi que estaba apagado, donde en la casa, y a que switch correspondia.


V. I repeated step IV until everything was assigned to a breaker.

V. Repeti el paso IV haste que todo estaba asignado a un switch

VI. I gave each breaker a number and used stickers in the panel to number them.

VI. Le di un numero a cada switch y etiquete el panel

V. On a separate sheet of paper, I wrote the items that each number controls (this paper goes on the electric panel’s door)

V. En una pieza separa de papel, puse que cosas correspondian a cada numero (esta hoja va en la puerta del panel de control)

And voila! Leslie and I now have a labeled electric panel. This will be very useful if and when we lose power in part of the house or for when we do other electrical work (since my recent ice maker victory, Leslie has been bugging me to get to work on our nonexistent garbage disposal…). All in a day’s work!

Y hecho! Leslie y yo tenemos un panel electrico etiquetado. Esto sera muy util cuando perdamos electricidad en parte de la casa o necesitemos hacer algun trabajo con la instalacion electrica (desde mi victoria con la maquina para hacer hielo, Leslie me insiste en instalarle un procesador de basura en el lavaplatos…). Todo en un dia de trabajo!

3 responses to “The blank electric panel – Panel electrico en blanco”

  1. Haha. Thats awesome. Creative thinking. Good job, Javier. Glad to know that my sister married such a handy guy. She certainly never had a handy brother (sorry Andi). Love the new blog. See you guys soon!

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