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Answering Your Circuit Breaker Questions

When it comes to the electrical grid in a home, knowing the ends and outs of the circuit breaker is an important element. Proper maintenance and understanding of how it should function can not only keep your home running efficiently but also help maintain its safety.

What Is A Circuit Breaker and What Does it Do?

A circuit breaker is a hub of electrical switches that shutdown the electricity to individual rooms, plugs or appliances in your home. It is also a fail-safe that will turn off individual circuits in the event that there is an electrical surge or the demand from appliances is too great. Your Circuit Breaker box also typically houses a total grid shut down for the entire residence, which is an important safety feature to be familiar with. Normally this is a metal box in the basement or utility area of a home or commercial space.

Why Does Your Circuit Breaker “Trip” And How To Reset It

The circuit breaker in an electrical grid is designed as a safety feature for your home or property. It not only allows you to turn off the entire electrical circuit, or a portion of it, but it also acts as a fail-safe for your electrical grid by shutting off, or tripping, in the event of a system overload or electrical surge. This prevents electrical fires or damage to your home or property. Some reasons the circuit breakers in your home will trip include:

  • Overloads– electrical overloads occur when the energy demand is greater than what a circuit provides, for example, if you have too many electrical appliances plugged into one outlet.
  • Shorts circuits- this occurs when a charged or live wire comes into contact with a neutral wire; something that should not occur. This causes surges in an electrical system that can be very dangerous which is why the circuit breaker is designed to interrupt the circuit.
  • Ground fault surges- similar to a short circuit, this occurs when a live wire comes into contact with a ground wire, resulting in a surge and for a trip to occur.

When Should A Circuit Breaker Be Replaced?

Like with any other part of a home or property, a circuit breaker eventually needs to be replaced. There are several signs to keep an eye out for that can indicate when it’s time to replace the entire box and they are important to be timely dealt with. Here are some indications that it’s time to replace your circuit breaker:

  • If your circuit breaker doesn’t turn back on after you flip the breakers it’s a sure sign something is faulty and needs to be replaced.
  • If the main switch doesn’t turn off the electricity to the whole grid an electrician needs to be contacted.
  • If there are signs of damage, buzzing, vibrating or if the breaker box is warm to the touch, it needs to be seen by a licensed electrician immediately.

Are You Worried About Your Circuit Breaker? We can help.

When you consider how your circuit breaker is a fail-safe, it’s incredibly important that it functions efficiently and thoroughly. Our electricians can help troubleshoot any issues with your curitic breaker and answer any questions you might have. Contact us HERE for more information.

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