I'm going through and re-labeling our electrical panel. Currently it has the numbering: 1a & 1b, 2a & 2b, etc.

Quite a few of the breakers are linked together (for things such as the stove, or the air conditioner). The air conditioner, for example, has two 30 amp breakers covering 31a, 31b, 29a, and 29b.

This naming scheme doesn't seem super efficient to me. Number 1 is on the bottom right of the panel, and the highest number is on the top left of the panel. I want to re-label everything with new numbers 1-28, going from top to bottom on the left side, and then top to bottom on the right side. All the breakers that are joined together would simply have a single number to reference them by. In my mock up, all of the air conditioner breakers would just be labeled "15".

Are there any problems removing the old numbering system? I wouldn't think there would be, but if there is some type of standard I don't know about, I would be worried about making things more complex for any future electrician visits.

Might be a dumb question, but I want to be sure before I pull/cover up the old labels.


The accepted practice in most of the USA is to number the breaker slots. We number them odd on the left and even on the right from top to bottom. A two-pole breaker takes up two slots and therefore two numbers.

Some newer panel numbers are imprinted in the metal with this numbering scheme. Most construction blueprints also use this numbering scheme.

You can use whatever scheme you want this is just the common practice. The National Electrical Code requires that you complete a panel registry with descriptions of the circuits. As long as it is legible and logical, any subsequent homeowner or electrician should be able to follow it.

Happy Day!

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  • Legible and logical are the whole purpose of this endeavor. So sounds like I'm good to go. – user1159415 Dec 6 '15 at 18:36

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