Troubleshooting Tips for Electrical Circuit Breakers

When it comes to residential and commercial electrical services, companies and clients, there’s a careful balance to strike between professional service and DIY care. While home and business owners without professional training should never attempt many kinds of electrical repairs for safety and other reasons, there are certain very minor electrical areas such individuals should at least have some basic awareness of, and a good example here is the circuit breaker and its panel.

At My Buddy the Electrician, we’re proud to offer a variety of commercial and residential electrical services, including advising you on minor DIY circuit breaker panel concerns you may deal with every now and then – or informing you of situations where you should not attempt such fixes on your own, and should instead wait for our team. Here are some simple tips on troubleshooting your breaker panel, plus when this process becomes too risky and you should call the pros.

: troubleshooting electrical circuit breakers

Simple Triggers

Luckily, the most common issues with circuit breaker panels are easy for home or business owners to address simply and safely. These include standard trips, which can be triggered by a couple appliance-related areas:

  • New appliance: The single most common cause of a trip to a circuit breaker is a new appliance being plugged in, often one that draws a significant amount of current. Especially if the item being plugged in is something like a hair dryer, space heater, microwave or another that carries a high load, the circuit it’s plugged into might not be able to handle this load, and will trip the circuit instead. In this case, try plugging the appliance into a different circuit, or get a dedicated circuit installed.
  • Appliance failure: In other cases, a malfunctioning appliance may cause a jolt in electrical power, which the breaker will read as an overload causing it to trip.

Resetting a Circuit Breaker

In cases where a basic breaker trip takes place, home and business owners can generally solve this issue by resetting the breaker panel. The steps here are simple:

  • Open the breaker panel carefully to show your various breakers that match up with circuits in the building. If you hear any buzzing or other odd sounds, stop what you are doing and call our team right away.
  • Find the circuit that has tripped – your panel should have a simple diagram that lists the locations for each circuit.
  • If the breaker tripped the switch in question, it will be somewhere between the “on” and “off” setting, and should be slightly springy when touched.
  • Push the switch down fully into the “off” position, wait three seconds, then push it back up fully into the “on” position.

Calling Our Professionals

If you are having electrical issues beyond the scope of what we’ve outlined here, or if you attempt the above steps and they do not work, it’s time to take the safe route and call our professionals. Anyone who does not have specific electrical training should not be attempting more detailed fixes, which risk both their safety and the quality of the electrical system in question.

To learn more about any of our electrical services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Electrician today.