Got Electricity? Check your Circuit Breaker!

how to check your circuit breaker
(Last Updated On: April 26, 2016)

Storm season is upon us. Notably as Hurricane Joaquin progresses over the weekend, stormy weather will certainly hit our homes. To keep your family and home safe, then preparation is critical. Often, as storms approach and hit our communities, then the power is the first signal of possible danger. However, with storms and inclement weather, comes indoor activities. These activities are great ways to keep the kids entertained, but generally involve some electronics. The more items in use, then it is possible to trip the circuit breaker.

In the event of a power outage, then it is important to know if you’ve lost power or just tripped the circuit breaker.

Especially in a storm, there are probably 15 things on your to-do list right now. Of course, whenever you get a free minute between updating the NetFlix queue and keeping the dog calm, then you try to knock a few of those pesky items off your list. So in the middle of prepping the next meal with the TV on in the background to catch the weather and the kids acting up…nothing! The appliances shut off and you are in a little huff trying to figure out the problem.

You need to know if it was the activities or the weather that caused the power outage. Do you have electricity?

Learn How to Troubleshoot the Circuit Breakers

Lack of power to outlets and lights could be the result of a tripped breaker!

If there is a short or an overload on an electrical circuit the breaker is designed to shut off (or trip) to avoid damaging the wiring in your home or appliances that may be plugged into the circuit.

If a circuit is overloaded the breaker will go into the trip setting. This leaves the handle in the middle position (as shown below) and prevents the flow of electricity on the circuit until the issue is resolved.

To fix, the breaker must be reset.

circuit_tripped_breaker

To reset the breaker you need to move the handle to the off position until you hear it “latch” and then turn back into the on position. Once reset, check to make sure all lights and outlets are working.

If any of the following items occur please contact us for further diagnostics as there could be potential safety issues that need to be addressed.

1. If the breaker automatically resets into the trip position you may have a dead short on the branch wiring or a defective appliance.

**DO NOT CONTINUE TO TRY AND RESET, THIS CAN CAUSE ADDITIONAL DAMAGE TO YOUR ELECTRICAL SYSTEM.

2. If the breaker resets and holds, but continues to randomly trip.

3. If there are still outlets and lights that are not working.

Hopefully, the food was cooked and it was just the microwave that caused the outage. It should just take a few minutes and back to the grind! If not, then break out the flashlights and blankets to keep the family safe during the storm.

What are your favorite preventative maintenance tips? Please share your favorites on Twitter and Facebook.

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