It’s happened to us all. You switch on an appliance, and the next thing you know, the whole house loses power. This is your breaker panel in action, and its job is to trip to protect you and your house system from electric overcurrent. Don’t panic, though! Usually, this is easily fixed by finding the problem circuit switch and resetting it. Follow these simple steps below and you should get all the systems going again.
Breaker Panel Basic Instructions
- Start by finding your breaker panel. It should look like a rectangular grey or green box. It’s usually located in the garage, basement, utility room or near the HVAC.
- Listen to it carefully: can you hear a buzzing sound? If so, stop. This may indicate a problem that needs a qualified electrician to take a look at it.
- If there’s no sound, then look at the diagram on the panel door to locate the circuit to reset. It typically corresponds to your house electric layout and the switches may be numbered or labeled.
- The problem circuit that has tripped will have a switch that has moved to the middle. Now you’ve located it, move it to the down OFF position and wait three seconds. Then, switch back to the up ON position.
Hopefully, this has now reset the breaker and restarted the power. If not, then it’s time to troubleshoot the following:
- Have you recently added any new appliances?
- Is any of the equipment you use old or seen better days?
- Have you currently got lots of electrical equipment plugged in?
If you can identify which of these factors is likely the culprit, then unplug them carefully. Then try the steps above again. Things like old wiring and short circuits could all be causing the breaker to trip and not responding to the fixes above.
Call in the Experts
If you’re still in the dark, then it’s time to leave the breaker panel alone and call in certified professionals. Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling provides residential electrical service in Sykesville with upfront pricing and a satisfaction guarantee. We have decades of experience in remedying breaker panel issues, and will work to ensure breaker tripping don’t happen repeatedly.