How to reset circuit breakers

A sudden loss of electrical power — it’s one of those experiences that every homeowner is either familiar with or soon will be.

Located inside or outside of your home is a circuit breaker panel (sometimes called a fuse box) that contains circuit breakers for each of the circuits in your home. Some homes have more than one circuit breaker panel, there may be a main panel plus one or more sub panels in other locations.

A circuit breaker provides protection for each of your electrical circuits by stopping the flow of current if an overload or fault occurs. When an electrical fault occurs or the load on your circuit becomes too great, the breaker on that circuit trips and interrupts the flow of current to that circuit. A tripped circuit breaker is still sometimes referred to as a “blown fuse” in reference to the older technology that circuit breakers replaced.

Instructions To Reset a Circuit Breaker

Before electricity can be restored, the circuit breaker must be reset. However, even before you do that, you must take steps to ensure that it is safe to do so. Turn off or unplug all of the devices that are plugged into the circuit. Make certain no dangerous condition exists before restoring power.

A circuit breaker which has been tripped will usually be in the middle or “OFF” position. However, sometimes the switch will not look like it has tripped and may appear as though it is in the “ON” position. If none of the breakers appear to be tripped, gently wiggle each one, the tripped breaker will usually feel looser than the other switches. Locate the tripped circuit breaker and reset it by pushing it all the way to the “OFF” position and then back to the “ON” position. Often when you cannot reset the circuit breaker, it is because it must be turned all the way to the “OFF” position first.

Electricity should now be restored to the circuit. If the circuit breaker trips again before you have turned anything on or plugged anything in, the breaker itself may need to be replaced or a serious wiring fault may exist. Immediately consult a qualified electrician.

If the circuit breaker trips after plugging in or turning on a device, that device may have a short or may be placing too much of a load on the circuit.

If no circuit breakers were tripped and you still do not have power at an outlet, there may be a wiring fault, the outlet may be defective. In this instance you are best calling us – Electric Guys Auckland Electricians

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