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Tips on How to Troubleshoot Your Circuit Breaker

Do you ever wonder how a circuit breaker works? A circuit breaker is a switching device that interrupts the abnormal or faults current. It is a piece of mechanical equipment that disrupts the flow of high magnitude (fault) current and also performs the function of a switch. The circuit breaker is mainly designed for the closing or opening of an electrical circuit, thus protects the electrical system from damage.

Identify the Faulty Breaker

Your circuit breaker usually emits a soft crackling sound when it is overloaded but has not switched off yet. Inside your access panel, the tripped breaker lever can generally be found between the on and off position.

Test Your Circuit Breaker

Check the lever by switching it from on to off several times to check how loose it is. If your breaker can be moved easily, then it is faulty, and you need to replace it as soon as possible.

Turn Off All of Your Appliances

Turn off all your devices that are connected to your circuit breaker, but make sure to do it all at once to avoid a surge of electrical power when you reset it. If your circuit breaker keeps on tripping, hire a trained person to come and to have it checked.

Check Your Electrical Wiring

If your home has damaged wiring, then your circuit breaker will be tripping continuously, and you may find yourself experiencing electrical shocks when turning on certain appliances of yours. This might need a trained professional, so don’t try this on your own. Know the problem and let a professional take care of it.

Test Your Circuit Breaker for the Necessary Voltage

Touch one probe of the 120-140 volt tester to the tip of the “hot” wire, while touching the other tip to a bare copper grounding wire within the central electrical box. Use a neutral grounding terminal which is secured with ground wires and neutral wires for the probe. You will need to replace your circuit breaker if you find the right amount of voltage present.


To avoid faulty circuit breakers, make sure not to overload your circuit breaker. Pay extra attention to appliances that create heat such as iron, heater, toasters, hairdryers, etc., because these things tend to consume the most power. Also, check if there are short circuit problems because it is slightly a serious problem than having an overloaded circuit. The surest way to tell if you have a short circuit is first to check your power cables for damage or a melted covering and to check the plugs for burns.