How to Troubleshoot a Circuit Breaker

Posted On: January 15, 2018

Circuit breakers are essential to managing and controlling the power flow of your home or business. Some issues can be resolved with a quick troubleshoot of your breaker but it is important to recognize when you should have a professional electrician evaluate the condition of your circuit breaker. Some common circuit breaker problems are:

  • It is constantly tripping
  • Your circuit breaker is hot to the touch
  • It smells like your breaker is burning
  • It is making a buzzing, hissing, or other unusual sounds
  • Your circuit breaker has visible damage like frayed wires or burned metal

These electrical issues are not to be ignored and could potentially cause harm or damage to your home or commercial building if left untouched.

Steps to Troubleshooting Your Circuit Breaker

Are your lights flickering on and off or is your power going off in all or part of your home? If your answer to either of these questions is yes, you may want to consider troubleshooting your circuit breaker. First thing to note before diving into the steps needed to troubleshoot your breaker, please remember that it is important to turn off your lights and appliances in order to prevent any power surges when you reset the breaker.

Step #1: Identify the tripped breaker. A tripped circuit breaker switch will be almost centered between the “on” and “off” position. Once you have identified which breaker lever is tripped you can move onto the next step.

Step #2: Test your circuit breaker. To test the looseness of the lever, toggle the lever to the “off” and “on” position. If the lever moves easily, the breaker is faulty and you should have it replaced. If your breaker resets, you will need to continue troubleshooting.

Step #3: Check your electrical panel. Next you should check your electrical panel to make sure the wiring that leads to the tripped circuit breaker is not corroded or loose. If this is the case, you should definitely contact a professional electrician and have your breaker repaired or replaced.

Quality Electricians for Circuit Breaker Repair in Maryland

Many times, you can troubleshoot a circuit breaker on your own but sometimes repairing the breaker by yourself can be a dangerous job. In those instances, rely on experienced electricians to make repairs or replacements to your circuit breaker.

If you have questions about your circuit breaker and think you need a professional electrician for electrical repairs or installations, call Jaffe Electric at 301.253.3778 or contact us online.  We will be happy to schedule an electrical service call for you in the Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia area.

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