Vertex Mechanical’s HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical Blog

How to Reset Tripped Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are there to keep us safe, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying when they trip offline at the most inconvenient times. Knowing how to reset tripped circuit breakers is essential homeowner knowledge — and Vertex Mechanical is here to teach you how it’s done.

Resetting or fixing a circuit breaker usually only takes a matter of seconds once you know where to look and what to do. We’re going to give you the step-by-step instructions you’ll need to follow. One important point to keep in mind: while resetting a properly functioning circuit breaker is easy and safe, if at any point you have a concern, feel free to contact us. Our electricians are always happy to examine your electrical system to be sure it’s safe!

Steps to Fix a Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers flip offline when your electronics draw too much power, exceeding a pre-determined limit. It most often happens when you are using multiple appliances at once that are all on the same circuit. Remember: just because the breaker tripped doesn’t mean you were doing anything dangerous.

These are the 5 steps to fix a circuit breaker when it trips offline:

  1. Step 1: Find the circuit breaker box — In the majority of homes you’ll find the breaker box in the basement or garage.
  2. Step 2: Open the box and locate the tripped breaker — When your circuit breaker goes offline, you’ll notice one or more switches in the box pointing in a different position from all of the rest. In most cases the tripped breaker will be in the middle position between the ON and OFF positions.
  3. Step 3: Flip it to OFF — First, you want to set the tripped breaker completely to the OFF position. This is a crucial step to fix a circuit breaker.
  4. Step 4: Flip it to ON — Next, you’ll want to set the breaker from OFF to ON. That should take care of the issue!
  5. Step 5: Conduct a test — Try to use an appliance connected to the tripped circuit. If it works, you’ve successfully reset the tripped circuit breaker.

Don’t make this mistake: the one common mistake we see is that homeowners don’t flip the breaker to the OFF position before setting it back to ON. This step is necessary to properly reset the circuit breaker!

However, if you’ve followed these steps and the breaker still won’t reset, you might have a bigger problem. Your next step is to contact Vertex Mechanical, your local electrical expert.

Learn more about fire hazard circuit breakers.

What Causes Breakers to Trip?

fix a circuit breaker

Circuit breakers trip when too much energy flows through them. The vast majority of the time, you were being completely safe when it tripped offline — the circuit breaker was simply being too careful and overprotective trying to prevent a fire from occurring.

However, if your breaker is consistently going offline, there may be an underlying cause. These are two of the most common reasons for frequent breaker trips:

  1. The breakers are WAY too sensitive — This is the most common reason that you frequently need to fix your circuit breaker. Too-sensitive breakers are always seeing danger where there isn’t any. You’ll likely need to upgrade your circuit panel.
  2. There is a constant risk going on — However, if the breakers are working properly, that means there is a small risk that there is a bigger problem going on with your circuits. Your electrician will need to diagnose and rectify this issue immediately.

Trust Vertex for All of Your Electrical, Plumbing, & HVAC Needs

While Vertex Mechanical is primarily known as the go-to HVAC company in Lancaster, Chester, & Berks counties, we are also expert electricians. Our team is always on hand to diagnose and fix any issue in your electrical system, keeping your home 100% safe.

We also include electrical maintenance and check-ups as part of our home protection plan, the Comfort Shield Club. Peace-of-Mind members receive a full electrical system inspection annually to ensure it’s in great shape. Learn more and sign up for the Comfort Shield Club!

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