A while ago the light in the short hallway between my room and the rest of the house blew out. When I went to change it, the bulb came out, but not the metal portion that actually screws into the receptacle—it was stuck. And not knowing which circuit breaker went to which circuit, we left it until we could determine what went where (not that we trusted the labeling on the circuit breaker box, but as any programmer will tell you, comments can be misleading).
Then last week a couple of the ceiling lights in my room blew out and when replacing one of them, the bulb came out, but not the metal portion. And again, not knowing which circuit breaker to switch, I put off changing the light bulb until I got a few hours of daylight to work with.
You see, in order to get the metal bases out of the sockets, it required the use of a potato—you jam the potato into the socket and use that to unscew the light bulb base. But before you resort to such tactics, it would be wise to shut off power to the lights—I'm not sure about you, but I'd rather not hold a frying potato in my hand.
So wlofie and I spent over an hour mapping out the circuits in Casa New Jersey. Results were quite amusing—one circuit has branches to my room, the living room and the kitchen; another circuit has another branch to my room and the living room; yet a third services the hall bathroom, the other bedroom and a living room light (now you begin to see why it took so long to map this out). There were four circuit breakers that didn't seem to be used, so I left them off and as we find stuff that doesn't work, we can turn them back on (in fact, later on, we found that one of the turned off circuit breakers serviced an outlet in the kitchen).
Once we had things mapped out, it was then time to change the light bulbs.
The potato thing didn't quite work out.
So I tried carrots.
The carrots worked much better.