Do you know how to safely reset a circuit breaker when the power goes off in your home? Each circuit is secured by a circuit breaker kept inside the home’s main service panel or a breaker box. The significance of a circuit breaker is to trip or turn itself off when it arrives at a predetermined amperage (amp) load. Once the amp limit is reached, the circuit breaker will trip, disclosing the circuit and turning off the power.
Determining if a Circuit Breaker has Tripped
To tell if a circuit has tripped, open the service panel’s door and look at the toggles – little black tabs or brown handles – on the breakers. Most of the toggles point to the center of the panel, meaning they are in the ON position. If a toggle is facing the opposite way, they are in the OFF position. If it’s in the middle, then the breaker has tripped.
Furthermore, some circuit breakers have a small indicator window that lets you know when the breaker has tripped. If the window displays a green or black color, the breaker is on. The breaker has turned off if the color shows red, or perhaps halfway between green/black and red.
Safely Resetting a Circuit Breaker
Most breakers have the same process in which you have to turn them off before turning them on again. To complete this, flip the tripped breaker’s toggle to the outside of the panel or the OFF position. Then, flip it back to the center of the panel, or the ON position. Do not try to reset the circuit again if the breaker trips again right away. Point the breaker to the OFF position and possibly contact an electrician to investigate the problem.
Reason for a Tripped Breaker
Sometimes the source of a tripped breaker is obvious. If you were operating a high-demand appliance – a vacuum cleaner, a space heater, or a power tool – simultaneously when the power went out, the device probably overloaded the circuit breaker. When this happens, try plugging into a different outlet like one on the kitchen counter or in the garage because these are 20-amp circuits rather than the 15-amp ones located in most areas’ interior of the house. Another explanation is a faulty device or cord. If an appliance tool was plugged in and the breaker tripped away, then it’s time to replace the tool or cord.
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