Panels & Circuit Breakers
Electrical Panel and Circuit Breaker Service
Expert Electrical Panel and Circuit Breaker Repair and Replacement
Some things, such as flipping a tripped breaker, are easy things that any homeowner can accomplish, but anything more complicated than replacing a fuse or flipping a breaker should be done by a qualified electrician.
What is a Breaker Panel?
A breaker panel (also known as a circuit breaker panel or distribution board) is a component of your home’s electrical supply system. It distributes your electrical power feed into accessible multiple circuits. It also provides a protective fuse (or circuit breaker) for each circuit in one convenient metal box enclosure. The circuit breakers are generally placed in two columns and numbered left-to-right along each row from top to bottom.
Why Do Breakers Trip?
A circuit breaker is designed to trip (shut off) and turn off power when any of the following situations occur:
- Overloaded Circuit
- Short Circuit
- Ground Fault
An overloaded circuit is the most common reason for a breaker to trip. When the amperage rating (the measure of the electrical current) exceeds the value labeled on the breaker, it will shut down the whole circuit. More serious reasons for a tripped breaker are a short circuit or a ground fault, both of which are difficult to diagnose. A short circuit occurs when a “hot” wire and a “neutral” wire touch each other.
This causes a large amount of current to flow – causing the fuse to blow. A ground fault occurs when the “hot” wire comes into contact with the ground wire or grounded part of an appliance or device. Similar to a short circuit, large amounts of current are forced to flow through the fuse/circuit breaker, causing it to shut off. Both causes are more difficult to diagnose and could signal a serious electrical problem.
How to Reset a Tripped Breaker
Circuit breakers are designed to be easily reset. If one trips because of a short circuit, just follow these simple steps:
- Locate the Breaker Box – This will most likely be located in your utility room near the furnace and water heater. Some boxes are located in the garage.
- Find the Flipped Circuit Breaker Switch – This will be the switch that has flipped “off” or is in between the “on” and “off” sides. Some designs have a red window that signals when the breaker has been tripped.
- Flip the Switch On – Push the switch to the full “off” position first and then push it back to “on.” You will hear a “click” when the switch is back on and the power in that tripped circuit should be returned.
- Restored Power – Once power has been restored to the circuit, all affected electrical devices should be operational.
For a recap, watch our instructional video:
When breakers continue to trip after they have been reset, it’s typically due to an overloading of the breaker. If your home needs a larger supply on a single circuit, you’ll need the services of a professional electrician to upgrade the electrical system. This process might entail installing a new breaker panel, new wiring and a new electrical meter. If you’ve been having recurring problems with your breaker panel, our professional electricians are ready to provide options for repair or replacement.
Schedule an appointment with Roman Electric today and we’ll set up a licensed expert to help!