What To Do When Your Circuit Breaker Trips

Your home’s circuit breakers moderate the flow of electricity and keep your circuits from overheating. If an electrical surge hits, the main breaker can shut off power to your home to protect your household and the appliances that keep it running. 

That’s all well and good, but when your breaker trips and you’re suddenly left without power, what are you supposed to do? Where can you turn when you need a Littleton, CO, electrician that can care for your home when it needs it most?

What Causes a Circuit Breaker to Trip?

Circuit Breakers are made to turn themselves off when faced with an excess of power draw that can come from a surge or faulty component. The two most common sources of a circuit breaker trip tend to be overloading and short circuits. 

If you have too many fixtures going on the same circuit, you run the risk of an overload that will cause your circuit breaker to trip. 

The other common cause is a short circuit, which happens when a fault in your outlet causes a live wire to contact a neutral one. This contact creates a surge in your system that will cause it to shut down. If you smell burning around your breaker when you inspect it, that usually indicates a short circuit.

A tripped breaker isn’t unusual for homes around Littleton, CO. So when one happens, it helps to know the little tricks you can use to fix it.

What You Can Do

Electrical work can be dangerous, and in many cases, it’s best to leave the job to a qualified Denver electrician. But a circuit breaker is relatively safe to inspect on your own. 

You probably know already that you shouldn’t touch any exposed wires or try to take your electrical panel apart. If the area around your electrical panel is somehow damp with any kind of moisture, you should wait to work with it until it’s completely dry. Other than that, the process of resetting a circuit breaker is simple in theory.

Getting Started

If you’re handling a tripped circuit breaker, you don’t want to cause any more trouble than has already occurred. So before you inspect your circuit breaker, it’s important to make sure that all of the major appliances and fixtures that use power from that circuit are shut off. 

When it’s time to find your breaker box, you’ll see it’s a service box usually located in a basement, laundry room, or utility closet. When you find it, you can open the lid and see a series of switches lined in rows inside. From that point on, the real work begins. 

Making the Switch

After an overload or a short circuit, you may find that the unit displays a red or orange color when you open it. This color code shows that it’s been turned off. At the same time, the event may have flipped some of the switches on individual breakers in opposite positions. 

A good rule of thumb is that if the lever on any breaker is pointed toward the outside of the panel, it’s likely turned off.

So if a switch is turned off, flip it back into the on position. You’ll feel a slight push of resistance and then hear a clicking sound that indicates it’s been turned back on. By doing this for every flipped breaker, you should be able to restore power to your home. 

Checking Your Work

The initial fix for a tripped circuit breaker could very well be this easy. With all of your switches turned in the on position, power should be flowing to your appliances. You can check before closing the panel back up again to make sure. 

If you still don’t have electricity, you can try resetting the breakers a second time by switching them off and then on again. If you still are left in the dark, a Denver electrician can give you the insight you may be missing. 

MZ Electric for a Denver “Electrician Near Me”

When your circuit breaker continues to trip, it usually means that there’s a more complex problem occurring. If you’ve tried resetting it yourself, and that doesn’t seem to work, the time has come to contact a professional.  

MZ Electric has been the best name in Littleton electricians ever since our founding in 2009. That’s many years and countless homes that have been able to keep the lights on and the appliances running under our care. 

We’re your number one problem-solvers for electrical panel issues, and we can also provide electrical installation and repair, along with aesthetic services like indoor and outdoor lighting. 

We don’t approach projects in terms of numbers and commission checks; we work in terms of what we believe our community deserves. When you can’t rely on the power from your own home, it can be incredibly frustrating. So do yourself a favor and rely on MZ Electric for work done with integrity, creativity, and experience.