What To Do When A Circuit Breaker Trips?

There is nothing worse than finally sitting down to watch some TV after a long, hard day, only to be 10 minutes in and the screen suddenly goes black. The most likely explanation: a circuit breaker in your switchboard has tripped. This can result in just on appliance turning off, or your entire home being left in the dark. Knowing how to reset the breaker can make all the difference when it comes to getting your evening back on track as quickly as possible. Thankfully, solving the issue is usually pretty simple. Here are four steps you need to follow next time your circuit breaker trips.

What Is The Circuit Breaker?

Firstly, let’s take a look at how it works. The circuit breaker is an electrical switch that controls the wiring circuits that feed outlets, fixtures and appliances. While they are simple on/off switches, if too much current is flowing through the wires, or a short circuit occurs, they automatically shut off. It’s an essential safety feature of your home wiring system that has many benefits.

4 Steps To Follow When Your Circuit Breaker Trips

Having your circuit breaker trip is an inconvenience to say the least. But it is always good to prepare for the worst (while expecting the best). Make sure you have a torch on hand, kept somewhere nice and easy to find. If your entire home is sent into darkness, you want to be able to access it quickly and easily without having to fumble around and find your way. With torch in hand, you can go about fixing the circuit breaker.

1. Turn off all lights and appliances that have been affected by the power outage. Before you head out to reset your circuit breaker, it is best to turn off everything that has been affected by it. If you have electronics that are still drawing electricity from the circuit breaker when you try to reset it, it could cause further damage. If there is no off button, simply unplug from the wall.

2. Identify the tripped breaker: go to you circuit box. If you aren’t sure where this is, you are generally looking for a grey metal box that could be outside, in the basement, laundry or garage. The tripped breaker will be the switch that is in the off position. It will stand out as it will be the only one pointing in the opposite direction to the other levers.

3. Flip the switch: push the switch back into the on position to restore the power. You will likely feel resistance in the lever as you are doing this. When you manage to get it into position, you will hear a clicking noise that comes with it.

4. Test: head back and turn the appliances and lights back on. Everything should now be working. If the circuit breaker trip again then it is likely you have a more serious problem. The first thing to consider is whether you have too much power running on the one circuit (think that gorgeous Christmas tree you just set up with lights). Try share the load across different circuits. If the problem still persists, you might need the help of an electrician.

Once sorted, you can settle back down on the couch and get back to relaxing after your long hard day. You deserve it!

Posted on

December 8, 2020