Everybody needs to know how to reset a tripped circuit breaker, especially a seasoned electrician. Unfortunately, a simple flipping of the switches between on and off is not always enough.
Read on to learn how to reset a circuit breaker that has tripped safely and correctly.
Easy Way To Reset a Tripped Circuit Breaker Without a Manual
To reset a tripped circuit breaker, the technician should perform the following steps:
Step 1: Switch off all electrical appliances and equipment
Check for damaged cords or overheating as you do so and replace these appliances.
Step 2: Find the electric service panel
It’s commonly located in laundry rooms, basements, utility closets, or garages.
Step 3: Locate the tripped breaker
Step 4: Examine the breaker circuit
Identify if the breaker handle is in the on, off, or tripped position. Tripped is when the handle is in the middle with no power passing through it.
Step 5: Reset the tripped breaker
Push the handle until firmly switched to the on, then off position. You should hear a click.
Step 6: Troubleshooting the circuit
It is time to call a technician if the tripped circuit breaker doesn’t reset.
What Are Tripped Circuit Breakers?
Tripped circuit breakers offer a positive indication that your electrical system operates well. A circuit breaker reacting to excess energy flow protects an electrical system. The circuit breaker senses an issue (electrical damage or overload) and responds by “tripping” to stop the problem.
The circuit breaker shutoff ensures that no overheating or increase in power will occur. It is sometimes simple to reset a circuit breaker, but it depends on the reason for tripping.
Reasons Why Circuit Breakers Trip
Common factors for tripping circuit breakers can help you better understand how to reset a tripped circuit breaker.
Overloads occur when more power than a circuit breaker can handle is trying to operate. Circuit breakers have a max capacity, and a trip occurs when exceeded. High-energy devices include microwaves, air conditioning units, and dryers.
2. Short circuits
These occur when a neutral wire connects with a hot or powered wire. The circuit does not follow its intended path.
3. Ground fault surges
A grounded object contacting hot wire results in a ground fault surge. Grounded objects can include appliances, bare ground wires, metal electric boxes, or outlets, just to name a few.
Points To Remember To Avoid Tripping Circuit Breakers
You can take precautions to avoid needing to reset a circuit breaker.
- Don’t run too many devices at the same time.
- Any old light fixtures, outlets, or switches require replacing when needed.
- GCFI outlets protect against ground faults, not circuit overloads.
- Replace your circuit breaker when operating for too long.
- Separate high-power devices into multiple circuits instead of one.
- Use cooking appliances and tools one after the other, not at once.
Now that you’ve learned how to properly reset a tripped circuit breaker, you may feel confident to do the job yourself. However, a professional is best when a tripped circuit breaker won’t reset.