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Breaker! Breaker! I’m so Con...Fused!


If you have ever had a problem in your home with a tripped breaker or a blown fuse that just left you confused on what to do next, don’t fret. The answer may be as simple as an overloaded circuit or a bad cord. Although you may feel resetting a breaker or replacing a fuse is cumbersome work, the fact is these over-current devices are in place for your safety.

Protect The Wiring

Without over-current devices, your home’s electrical wiring could overload and heat up. At some point, this can actually cause a fire. If you have a tripped breaker or blown fuse, you can bet there is a problem in one of the electrical circuits. The following simple steps can help you find the problem and keep your family safe.

Lights Out

Oh no, the power went out, but why? The first step to finding that answer is to head to your electrical panel that will be equipped with either breakers or fuses. On the face of the box will be a door. You need to open the door and look at the position of the breakers. Are they all in the “on” position? That would be the switch part of the breaker that should be pushed towards the center of the box. If a breaker is not fully towards the center and has flipped back towards the outer side of the panel, you have likely found the culprit. Now if you have fuses and a fuse has blown, the clear hole in the middle will likely be a dark, burnt color. This fuse can be checked with an ohm meter or continuity light to see if it is good or not.

Identify The Circuit

Regardless of which type of panel you have, the next step is to look over the panel schedule on the inside of the door. Hopefully, the electrician that wired your home has placed the location or device (dishwasher, kitchen outlet, etc.) that each circuit feeds on the panel schedule for your convenience. The way the panels are set up, when counting down the left side the numbers are 1, 3, 5, etc. Likewise, the numbers on the right side are 2, 4, 6, etc. Now, count down to the breaker that has tripped. Using that number breaker on the panel schedule, look to see what the circuit is feeding. With fuses, they are generally listed 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. from left to right.

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