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This work proposes a method based on both pre processing and data mining with the objective of identify harmonic current sources in residential consumers. In addition, this methodology can also be applied to identify linear and non linear loads. It should be emphasized that the entire database was obtained through laboratory essays, i.e., real data were acquired from residential loads. Thus, the residential system created in laboratory was fed by a configurable power source and in its output were placed the loads and the power quality analyzers (all measurements were stored in a microcomputer). So, the data were submitted to pre-processing, which was based on attribute selection techniques in order to minimize the complexity in identifying the loads. A newer database was generated maintaining only the attributes selected, thus, Artificial Neural Networks were trained to realized the identification of loads. In order to validate the methodology proposed, the loads were fed both under ideal conditions (without harmonics), but also by harmonic voltages within limits pre-established. These limits are in accordance with IEEE Std. 519-1992 and PRODIST (procedures to delivery energy employed by Brazilian's utilities). The results obtained seek to validate the methodology proposed and furnish a method that can serve as alternative to conventional methods.