How to Reset Your Home’s Circuit Breakers
We’ve all been there: you plug in your hairdryer or some other electrical device, and you’re suddenly plunged into darkness because the lights in the room just went out. Now it’s time to go to the circuit box and check to see if a tripped breaker is the culprit. If so, you’ll need to reset it and then plug your appliance into an outlet that’s not so overloaded. You probably know how to do this already, but it pays to review these instructions with your children in case they ever have this problem when you’re not around.
Why Circuit Breakers Trip
Tripped circuit breakers are a slight inconvenience, but they prevent serious problems from occurring. A breaker trips when too much current is flowing through an outlet. This could happen due to an overloaded circuit or a short circuit. Instead of letting the current flow and potentially start a fire or fry your electronics, the breaker interrupts the circuit until you reset it. This cuts the electricity to the overpowered circuit instead of to the whole house.
How to Reset Tripped Circuit Breakers
Step 1: Unload the Circuit
Turn off every light and unplug every device in the affected room.
Step 2: Locate your Circuit Panel
It is a metal box that could be located in your garage, in a closet, or some other discreet location inside your home.
Step 3: Open the Box
Take some precautions; you’re about to be dealing with electrical circuits. Make sure your hands are dry and you’re standing on dry ground. You might need a flashlight to be able to read the labels on the circuits, but don’t put any tools into the circuit box.
Step 4: Identify the Tripped Circuit Breaker
All of the circuit breakers will either be turned on or off, which means they will be switched to the left or right. The tripped circuit breaker will be positioned in the middle rather than to one side.
Step 5. Reset the Tripped Breaker
Switch the breaker to the off position, then immediately to the on position. The breaker should stay in the on position. This will restore power to the circuit. If it trips back into the center position, you could be dealing with a serious problem that requires an electrician’s help.
How to Identify the Problem
Assuming the breaker stays in the on position, return to the affected room and turn on each light one by one. Then plug each device back in, one at a time. If something trips the circuit breaker again, you will have identified the troublesome device. This is a sign of a short circuit. Unplug the device and reset the breaker once more.
You can check for an overloaded circuit the same way. Turn on all the lights, then plug in your devices and turn them on. If one trips the circuit again, that’s because the outlet is receiving more power than it can handle. Try switching off other devices before using the one you need.
If you’re not sure if your lights are out due to a tripped circuit breaker or a power outage, look outside to see if your neighbors’ lights are on.
Call 1st Choice Inspection Services for Electrical System Inspections
Are your circuit breakers tripping more than usual? Do you notice a charred or burned smell coming from one or more outlets? Short circuits can be a dangerous problem to overlook, so call our experienced team today! 1st Choice in Haslet will inspect your home’s electrical system to make sure you and your family are safe from fire hazards, wherever you are in the DFW Metroplex.