How Do I Reset My Breaker?

A hand adjusting the switch on a circuit breaker board.

Have you ever been in the middle of blow-drying your hair or playing Xbox and then suddenly everything shuts off? Bummer! Now what? Chances are you tripped a breaker and will need to reset it, but why did that happen and how can you avoid it? We are so glad you asked.

What is a Circuit Board

Think of the circuit board (usually located in the garage or on the side of the house) as a home base for all the electricity running throughout your home. Each breaker is connected to a specific area in your home’s circuit board.

If the circuit board serves as a map, although each road may travel to a different area and part of your house, each road will eventually lead back to the circuit board.

Why Did the Breaker Trip?

The purpose of a circuit board is to protect your home. The circuit board will ensure that there is not too much power being used in one area of the home at one time. The circuit board will cut power to that area (trip a breaker) to give the circuit time to reset and to give a homeowner a hint that too much power is being used.

Were you blow-drying your hair while heating up a curling iron and with a towel warmer working in the background? Was the Xbox on while you were also charging your computer and playing music off a speaker? Although homes are more advanced than ever before and can handle a large amount of electricity running through them, it is still important to be mindful of all that you are using and the stress that can put on your home.

How Do I Fix a Tripped Breaker?

A tripped breaker is usually a very simple fix that does not require professional help. When the power goes out, but only in one specific area of the home, this is often a sign of a tripped breaker. Power going off in the entire home is a sign of something bigger going on.

First, take a moment to unplug anything you are using in the area of your home that lost power. Locate your breaker box and open it. Inside of the box should be multiple rows of switches all generally switched in the same direction.

Your electrician will have likely labeled each switch. Did you lose power in the kitchen? Check for the switch labeled kitchen. If your box is not labeled, an easy way to determine which switch tripped is to find which switch is facing a different direction than the rest.

Once you have located the switch, flip it back to the opposite position. You should hear a click and then the switch should remain in the “on” setting.

Monitoring Electrical Usage

Now that you have power back, you can resume your activities, but be mindful that if you try to run everything in the same positions and with the same amount of power that you had before, you may experience an additional trip.

One way to help avoid this is by trying to use outlets in different areas of a room. This will allow the power to run through your circuits with less congestion.

Contact Frye Electric, Inc.

Should you experience multiple circuit trips of the same breaker or of breakers throughout your home without any obvious reasons why there is a good chance something is happening internally within your home’s electrical system.

Do not hesitate to give our professional team at Frye Electric, Inc. a call and we can take a deeper look into why your circuits are not performing how they should.