I'm in WA state. PoCo is Mason PUD #1. AHJ is WA L&I. I recently had my first inspection after replacing meter box, breaker panel, lots of house wiring. Only flunked for 7 things. One of them was "label panel circuits and mount cover with 2 screws for next inspection". I left the cover off so they could see inside. I didn't label the circuits in case they told me I needed to change any. Go figure.

I want the labels on the panel to be meaningful to me, to the inspector, and to the next poor person who has to figure out what they mean. I'm looking for any/all suggestions for what you all use. E.g., What abbreviations would be easily understood? What details are important to list? Most circuits are straightforward (e.g., just refrigerator, just microwave). A few are more complex (e.g., living room receptacles and lights, dining room ceiling fan). Once I get some suggestions, I'll use them to describe the complex ones - perhaps then I can get feedback on them (hopefully not feedback saying just don't do that, but if so, I'd rather know now than at the next inspection).

And to answer questions that may come up on the complex ones, this was a remodel. Some walls had drywall, some had T&G wood, some had tile. As much as possible, I didn't want to have to open walls. I straightened things out as much as I could without going to excessive lengths. So, somethings may be a bit strange, but if they are just plain wrong (i.e., not code compliant), I'd love to know.


Rooms without a clear, unlikely to change, definable purpose (i.e kitchen, bathrooms, etc) are better referred to by compass direction than current function (2nd Fl NW rather than christy's bedroom or guest room or office...) and likewise if there are multiple bathrooms per floor, say.

Or, go commercial, print out a floorplan, assign numbers to rooms, and use that. If doing that, convention is 3 digits and the first is the floor, even if there are not more than 9 rooms per floor.

(not that it helps with inspection, but it can help YOU or future owner if you also label each outlet/switch with a breaker number - under the faceplate if you don't want to see it normally.)

  • 1
    I like the breaker label idea. I can put it on the inside of the face plate. For GFCI/AFCI controlled receptacles (which are almost all these days), I can also list the location of the reset. I've wasted so much time trying to find those. The house is only 1026 ft^2, so I think I'll skip the floorplan :). Looks like I need to find my compass :) – Tom Getzinger Oct 9 '20 at 19:38

You don't need to name every single outlet. Just a descriptor that covers most of the outlets.

You also must use labels that make sense to people not your family: so "Angie's Room" is Right Out.

  • Unless there is a nameplate saying "Angie's Room" outside the area right? – DMoore Oct 9 '20 at 21:32
  • @Harper, I agree I wouldn't use people names. It's pretty obvious which is main vs. guest bedroom - baths are a little more vague, so I kinda like the compass direction idea above. As for covering most outlets... I have one circuit that covers all (2) receptacles in the dining room and all lights in both bedrooms. More lights that receptacles, so I could say "Bedroom lites", but then someone looking for which breaker covers the dining room receptacles would be at a loss. For this, I thinking "DR rec., Bdrm lites" (I'll be wordier if space allows, maybe "Din Rm rec., Bdrm lites" or more). – Tom Getzinger Oct 9 '20 at 23:50
  • Most complex case is living room lights and receptacles, dining room ceiling fan, deck (exterior) light. Shortest I'm thinking is "LR, DR Fan, Deck Lite", then getting more verbose on rooms, space permitting, in case LR and DR are not commonly understood. – Tom Getzinger Oct 9 '20 at 23:54
  • 1
    It doesn't have to be perfect @TomGetzinger, Code is just looking for more than nothing. If you want to deep-drill, feel free to expand into a second sheet. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 10 '20 at 0:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.