Instructions To Reset a Circuit Breaker
Before electricity can be restored, the circuit breaker must be reset. However, even before you do that, you must take steps to ensure that it is safe to do so. Turn off or unplug all of the devices that are plugged into the circuit in case there is an electrical item that has an issue with it. Make certain no dangerous condition exists before restoring power.
A circuit breaker which has been tripped will either be in the middle or “OFF” position. Sometimes the breaker may be so close to the “ON” position that it looks to be on. If you do not see a tripped breaker then you can press all of the breakers that appear to be on towards the ”ON” position, and if one is tripped it will move slightly. Once you have located the tripped circuit breaker, you will need to reset it by pushing it all the way to the “OFF” position first, and then back to the “ON” position. Often when you can’t cannot reset the circuit breaker, it is because it must be turned all the way to the “Off” position first.
Electricity should now be restored to the circuit. If the circuit breaker trips again before you have turned anything on or plugged anything in, the breaker itself may need to be replaced or a serious wiring fault may exist. If this is the case, please contact us immediately. If the circuit breaker trips after plugging in or turning on a device, that device may have a short or may be placing too much of a load on the circuit. If no circuit breakers were tripped and you still do not have power at an outlet, there may be a wiring fault, the outlet may be defective or it may be on a GFCI controlled branch circuit.
What is a GFCI Outlet – How does a GFCI Work?
A GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet is a device that adds a greater level of safety by reducing the risk of electric shock. The current electrical code now requires that a GFCI outlet be used in wet locations such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, unfinished basement, crawlspaces, and outdoors.
A GFCI outlet monitors for a current imbalance between the hot and neutral wires and breaks the circuit if that condition occurs. A circuit breaker usually won’t trip if you receive a shock, whereas a GFCI outlet is more sensitive and should trip within fractions of a second and is thus an important safety feature.
A GFCI outlet may be wired in a branch circuit, which means other outlets and electrical devices may share the same circuit and breaker (or fuse). When a properly wired GFCI trips, the other devices down the line from it will also lose power. If you have an outlet that doesn’t work, and the breaker is not tripped, look for a GFCI outlet which may have tripped. The non-working outlet may be down line from a GFCI outlet. Note that the affected outlets may not be located near the GFCI outlet, they may be several rooms away or even on a different floor. GFCI outlets should be tested periodically to confirm that they are working properly. A GFCI outlet has a “Test” and a “Reset” button. Pressing the “Test” button will trip the outlet and break the circuit. Pressing the “Reset” will restore the circuit. If pressing the test button does not shut off power to the outlet, then it is not working as a life safety device, and should be replaced immediately. Please contact us to have it replaced with a new GFCI.