As a homeowner, it's likely you'll find yourself with a tripped circuit breaker. If you've never had this happen, you may not know what to do when it finally occurs. In fact, your first thought may not even be to check the circuit breakers. However, if you suddenly lose power to a specific section of the house, or to one or two electrical components, that's typically the result of a tripped circuit breaker. If you find yourself in this situation, here's what your residential electrician wants you to know.
Start By Shutting Things Off
The first thing that you should do following a tripped circuit breaker is to shut off all of the affected appliances and electrical components. Otherwise, you risk a power surge burning out fuses within those appliances and components, which can be damaging and costly. If you can turn off a power switch, do so. If there's no power switch, unplug the appliance or component so that you're eliminating any risk of a surge causing damage.
Check The Breaker Panel
Once you've turned off or unplugged everything in the affected area, check the circuit breaker panel to isolate the source of the problem. Depending on the structure of your circuit breaker panel, you may see a breaker that's showing a red or yellow stripe instead of green, or you may see one with a lever that's offset compared to all of the rest of them. Turn that breaker all the way off, then turn it back on.
Restore Your Devices
Once you've reset the circuit breaker, you can plug your devices back in or turn them on, but do so one at a time. That way, you don't risk a surge happening on that particular breaker from many things trying to draw power all at once. In most cases, the tripped breaker is going to be an anomaly and things will restore fine.
If, however, you find that the breaker trips repeatedly, you'll need to reach out to a residential electrician for help. They can test the circuit to see if there's a short or other problem causing the breaker to trip. Sometimes, the demand on the circuit is too great and you'll need to run an additional one to help distribute the electrical demand. Fortunately, a professional can help with this. Contact a residential electrical contractor. They can provide more information if this problem starts to occur in your home.
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