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How to Reset a Circuit Breaker

An electrical circuit breaker panel is the main distribution point for electrical circuits in your home and is an absolutely essential device in the modern world. Not to mention one of the most important safety mechanisms in your home. Whenever electrical wiring has too much current flowing through it, these simple machines cut the power to protect the circuit from damage until somebody can fix the problem.

Occasionally, during a time when there is an increase in power usage, one of the breakers can trip (cut the power) causing you to lose power to that portion of your home. Eric, our Service Manager, explains what a circuit breaker is, how to locate a tripped breaker, and finally how to reset the breaker to restore power.

Transcript 

Hey guys! We’re just standing out here at the electrical panel. So every home as an electrical panel and this is what we consider the heart of your electrical system and today we’re just gonna go over the basic function of a circuit breaker. Mainly, how to reset a circuit breaker, once you’ve noticed you’ve had a loss of power in the house.

So we’re coming up on the holidays and a lot of us like to decorate our house with Christmas lights, and we start getting these common calls into the office that I’ve lost power in part of my house. So today we just want to teach you how to identify a tripped circuit breaker and the way that you should go about resetting that circuit breaker correctly. So on all standard conventional circuit breakers there’s three functions to this device. There’s an on position, an off position, and if the circuit is overloaded or is tripped this handle is going to be in the middle of that breaker. So you would want to come out to your electrical panel, in case you’ve lost power in the house, identify which circuit breaker has tripped and make sure that you switch that circuit breaker all the way to the off position from the tripped position. A lot of people don’t do that they try and push it from the trip position into the on position and then they’ll call us out and say I’ve tried to reset the circuit breaker and we get out and we switch it to the off position and then the on position. We get to shake their hands and hand them a business card but they wasted part of their day and we’ve wasted part of our day.

So all the way to the off position, all the way back on should get you to see those Christmas lights at the end of that. For the sake of this video we’ve got a couple circuit breakers in the off position they’re actually feeding air-conditioning units and we switch these off just so you can see these are our standard circuit breakers that are going to feed general purpose outlets in your house and lights. And you notice that some of these breakers are bigger and there are two of them that are tied together. It’s a two pole circuit breaker and when you go to reset these you want to make sure that both handles go to the on position at the same time, and click on. So I just click that on and maybe in the background you can hear the AC unit kick back on and that’s kind of how you want to reset a two pole circuit breaker. 

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