How to Replace a Circuit Breaker

How to Replace a Circuit Breaker

Typically circuit breakers will not need to be replaced. Unlike a fuse, a circuit breaker is designed to reset. On occasion a circuit breaker may break or malfunction resulting in the need replace it with a new breaker. Most residential homes have a main circuit breaker and separate branch circuit breakers that connect to different area in the home. If your circuit breaker requires replacement you will need to follow the steps below on how to replace a circuit breaker.
In order to replace a common household circuit breaker that is housed in a regular 2-pole main breaker with branch circuit compartments, you would first turn off all of the branch circuit breakers and then the main circuit breaker. Never assume the breakers are off; you need to check for voltage on adjacent breakers to make sure the breaker panel is dead.
Next, take off the panel cover. This will give you access to branch circuit breakers but not the main breaker compartment. Do not attempt to remove the cover to the main breaker; this should only be accessed by a certified electrician. You can replace the circuit breaker by just removing the panel cover.
Once you have removed the cover then you can disconnect the wire from the faulty breaker and pull it out of the way. Now, carefully pry the defective circuit breaker out of its position. Take note of how the breaker fits in the panel and locks into position so that you can put the new circuit breaker in correctly. Upside down and sideways positions typically do not work. Next, insert the new circuit breaker.
While you have the circuit panel open, check the other branch circuits to make sure they are properly in place and tighten any loose parts. Put the panel cover back on and make sure all the branch circuit switches are in the “off” position. Proceed to turn on the main circuit breaker and then flip on each individual branch breaker separately. Test the circuits to make sure they are working properly and stay set.
If the replacement circuit is working right then you are finished. If you still have a circuit problem then you may want to check the electrical devices associated with the circuit or consult a professional for further assistance.
Replacement new and obsolete breakers can be purchased online at http://www.relectric.com.

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