How to Fix a Circuit Breaker

Electrical problems are some of the most vexing problems faced by most homeowners. The problem could stem from the outlet, the wiring, or several other areas.

What if you grew up in and rented apartments up until you bought your home? You might only possess a vague knowledge of circuit breaker panels. Even if you are familiar with circuit breaker panels and fuse boxes, it doesn’t mean you’re up on fusebox repair or how to fix a circuit breaker on the fritz.

If you’re dealing with a misbehaving circuit breaker, keep reading for a quick guide on circuit breaker repair.

Reset the Circuit Breaker

Most of the time, a power outage affects the entire home because it’s a problem with the local grid. If the power only goes out in part of your home, it means there’s a problem with a circuit breaker. As an electrical repair goes, resetting the circuit breaker is one of the simplest.

You open the circuit breaker panel and check the switches on all the breakers. In all likelihood, one of the switches will sit in a slightly different position. That means it tripped.

You can reset the breaker by flipping it all the way over to off and then back on again. More often than not, a stray power surge tripped the breaker and this resolves the problem.

Check the Appliances

If the breaker keeps resetting, it often means that there is a problem with something plugged in on that circuit. Go through the room where the power is off and unplug everything.

Check all the plugs for telltale signs of scorching. Feel for hot power strips or connectors. Then, turn off the lights.

Flip the breaker back to on. If it goes on and stays on, the problem is with an appliance or fixture in the room.

Head back to the room and turn on the lights and/or ceiling fan. Slowly plug things back in. Make sure you plug things back into any power strips one at a time.

When the breaker trips again, you’ve found the culprit. You’ll likely need a replacement for the offending appliance.

Replace the Breaker

If the breaker trips again with nothing on in the room, it usually means a faulty breaker. You can theoretically replace a breaker yourself. It’s almost always better if an electrical pro like RH Electrical and Maintenance, Inc. does it for you.

They can work around circuit breaker panels safely and diagnose the issue if the new breaker doesn’t solve the problem.

How to Fix a Circuit Breaker? Process of Elimination

If you’re wondering how to fix a circuit breaker, a process of elimination usually works best. Simply resetting the breaker often solves the problem completely.

If that fails, you turn everything off and unplug everything. Then, you find the offending appliance by turning everything back on or plugging it in one at a time.

If the breaker refuses to stay on, it’s likely a bad breaker. Get a pro to put the new one in.

Looking for more home and family tips? Check out our Family section for more posts.