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How to Reset Your Electrical System – No Tools Required

When an outlet or light stops working, customers often assume they need an electrician. While most electrical repairs and maintenance should be left to the professionals, there are a few things you can try first. No tools required!

Reset GFCI Outlet Near Source of Outage

First, check all of the GFCI’s in the home. These are the outlets with TEST/RESET buttons and are located near sources of water, outdoors, and in the garage. Simply resetting the outlet that is not working might resolve the issue. 

Reset Tripped Breakers in Panel 

If that doesn’t work, check if any breakers have tripped in the main panel. To reset a tripped breaker, simply flip it to the off position, then flip it back to the on position. All the breakers should line up evenly. 

Reset Entire Panel/Electrical System

Finally, if those two steps don’t work you can try resetting your entire electrical system.

This is the process that our electrician recommends for resetting your panel to see if you can restore power back to that circuit. The only sure-fire way to assure that you have reset everything in your home is to reset the entire panel. 

Follow these Steps

Warning: While at the breaker panel, locate the main breaker. These are often labeled “Main” or “Service Disconnect,” and are located at the top of the panel. It also will identify the amperage of the panel and will have the number identifying its capacity, such as 100, 150, or 200. Once you have located this breaker, DO NOT TOUCH IT for this process. This will do more harm than help.

  1. For the remainder of your breakers, go through and turn EACH ONE to the off position. Some may be easy to switch, while others require a bit more effort. 
  2. Once every breaker is off, turn each breaker back to the on position, one by one. In many cases, power is now restored. 
  3. The final step is to go throughout your property and reset your GFCI receptacles (these are the outlets with the TEST and RESET buttons in the middle). They are usually located on your outside outlets, in the garage, as well as in the kitchen, bath- rooms, and laundry room. Be sure to reset EACH ONE. We had a customer reset a GFCI outlet in his garage, and lights came back on in his upstairs bedroom. 

Following each of these steps should restore power back to your outlet. This works 95% of the time. If this does not restore power back to your outlets, please give us a call at (800) 947-1747 and we will be sure to send our electrician out to take care of this for you.