How to Reset a Tripped Breaker
Turning on an appliance should not cause a breaker to trip, but it can. When it does, the power shuts off to that circuit. However, if a breaker does trip, it can be fixed in just a few minutes, and resetting it is a simple process. As long as there are no issues with the electrical panel, this should solve the issue.
What Does it Mean to Trip a Breaker?
In modern homes, electrical panels provide electricity throughout the home. Also known as a breaker panel, this has a series of breakers in it, which provide power to the circuits throughout the home. When something happens to interrupt the circuit, the breaker in the breaker box will trip and shut off. This is a safety net designed to interrupt the flow of energy if there is excess going through the electrical wiring in the circuit. Doing this helps prevent overheating or power surges to anything plugged into the circuit.
How Breakers Trip
There are a few reasons why breakers might trip. Finding the problem and fixing it can help prevent the need for an electric panel service in some cases. Some of the reasons a breaker may trip include the following.
Circuit is Overloaded
If there are too many devices on one circuit, it can cause the circuit box breaker to trip. This does not generally require an electrical panel replacement, as it can be fixed simply by moving some devices to a different circuit for use. If there are high amp devices like heaters, AC units, or ones that use a short burst of energy, like blenders, too much use can cause the breaker to trip.
Circuit Shorts Out
If the hot wire in a circuit connects with a neutral wire, it can cause a short circuit. This might happen when something is screwed into the wiring in the wall, when water gets into the service panel, or when wires are loose. This may result in an electric panel replacement, depending on what caused the short circuit. It could also result in another type of electric replacement, like new wiring or new outlets within the home.
A ground fault is a specific type of short circuit where the hot wire touches anything that is grounded, like a metal electric panel, an outlet, or a ground wire. When this happens, electric repairs may be needed to prevent this from happening again. It is typically not necessary to upgrade or repair the electric box panel, depending on what has short-circuited.
Fixing a Tripped Breaker
If there is a directory or map for the circuit breaker panel, it is possible to easily locate the tripped breaker based on the number. This is usually located right inside the electric box panel door. If the directory is not accurate or there is not one, it is still possible to find the tripped breaker.
Go through each of the breakers and push to make sure they are firmly in place. If one feels loose, that should be the tripped breaker. Sometimes, it is easy to see which breaker is tripped, but not always. Even if it does not look like a breaker has tripped, one might be. Trying each one is the easiest way to find the one that is tripped.
In most cases, flipping the tripped breaker will reset it and allow for power to the affected area. However, if this does not work, it might be time for a breaker box replacement or an electrical panel upgrade. If you are worried about breakers that trip frequently or want to make sure you have plenty of power, Paul Macrina Electrical Contracting can help with a panel upgrade or other services. Call us at (508) 359-7954 or contact us online to get help.
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