Tags: ac

Circuit Breaker Detective

07/31/10 | by theprofessor [mail] | Categories: The Junk, Electrical

Link: http://HarborFreightReviews.com

Circuit Breaker Detective
Item: Circuit Breaker Detective
Item number: 96934
Retail price:$29.99
Regular sale price: $19.99
Best price: $17.99 (with coupon)
Target price: junk-is-junk (but try it if you like, it may work for you)
Item Link

We wouldn't be presenting fair and honest reviews if we didn't also publish our evaluations of some of the turkeys that can be found at Harbor Freight™. Although the list is relatively short, there are a number of items that we consider bad buys. This shouldn't be surprising considering the large inventory of products Harbor Freight™ carries. Collectively, we refer to this list of bad buys as "The Junk" -- items that in our opinion are better left in the store; items that you might pass on so that you have even more money to spend on the good stuff (including our "Hot Buys") found at Harbor Freight™.

We tried this device on three different electrical circuits on three different occasions separated by several months. Each time it had several false positives and never found the correct circuit. In other words, it buzzed on several incorrect circuits and failed to locate the correct one. We consider this test a dismal failure and was very disappointed by this product. Indeed, we had looked forward to finally being able to locate electric circuits quickly and easily without resorting to the old-fashioned flip the circuit breaker and test the lights trick. But atlas, it simply didn't work.

Perhaps we're evaluating this product too hastily. It may work well on most everyone's electrical system except ours. After all, we've only tested it several different times on one home and the wiring in that home was probably updated last in the 1970s. I'm not sure exactly how this should adversely affect the operation of this device, but that qualifier for our review seems appropriate.

To conduct a thorough scientific review, which our review does not purport to be (rather our review is our "opinion" of this product), one would have to purchase several of these units at different Harbor Freight™ outlets over the course of several months. Then test each unit on half-a-dozen or so different homes, each time trying to trace 3 or 4 separate circuits. We didn't do this!

Some products are easy to evaluate as junk -- you can pretty much look at the item's quality and test it a few times for its function. This electronic device is different and therefore we write our review somewhat with trepidation. Nonetheless, we feel obliged to warn our readers of the potential problem with this device.

Perhaps the best advice is for YOU to try it in YOUR home and see if it works for you. Remember, Harbor Freight™ has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee whereby they'll allow you to return any item. Our mistake (which is too common for us and for many others) is that we didn't try it until we needed it several months after purchase. And then it failed miserably! This would have been the first item we've ever returned to Harbor Freight™ for a refund.

We would really like to hear from others who have tried this product. Perhaps it just doesn't work on the single home-wiring that we've tried it on. Perhaps it really is junk.

Bottom line: Try it if you like, but be ready to take it back for a refund within 30-days of purchase. We are so disappointed with our initial tests of this product that it makes our list of "The Junk" not worth taking home at any price.

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This review and discussion forum was created for those of us who love Harbor Freight(tm). It's well known to those who frequent the store that the prices are always cycling up and down, and most of us usually accept it as a personal challenge to get the lowest price possible. It's also well appreciated that some products at Harbor Freight are good, even very good, but that many others are also substandard, yes, even junk. This review and discussion forum is dedicated to the savvy Harbor Freight shopper and is intended to provide some guidance to the best and the worse buys. Similar products from other retailers will also be reviewed from time-to-time. Please be advised that everyone's experience is unique, and what works well (or doesn't work at all) for the reviewers here may or may not suit your personal needs. With this caveat and with notification that Harbor Freight Reviews assumes no liability for the accuracy of information provided here for educational purposes, enjoy the forum and good 'sa(i)ling' at Harbor Freight!

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