How to reset a tripped circuit breaker

How to reset a tripped circuit breaker

Have you ever plugged in an appliance like a space heater and it made the lights go out in your Chicago home? It’s because a circuit in your home’s circuit breaker has been overloaded with a power causing it to automatically shut off as a safety measure. It doesn’t mean that there is necessarily a problem with your home; it just means that the circuit breaker needs to be reset.

All homes should have a circuit breaker box with switches or circuits that correspond to different areas or appliances in the home. Larger appliances like the furnace and air conditioner will be on their own circuits while lighting for an entire room or floor might be grouped together on a single circuit.

Ed Sindelar, owner of highly rated Red Electric in Chicago says large, power-hungry appliances like window A/C units are often responsible for tripping circuit breakers. “In Chicago, we have so much old construction and a lot of places just don’t have enough circuits. A lot of the properties were never designed for the appliances that are being used.”

Fortunately, it’s easy to reset a tripped circuit breaker. First, the responsible appliance should be unplugged from the electrical outlet. Next, locate the tripped circuit by inspecting the fuse box. The tripped circuit’s switch will be in the “off” position and can easily be identified as all the additional switches will be in the "on" position. The circuit can be reset by flipping the switch back to “on.”

A tripped circuit is usually nothing more than a minor inconvenience. However, if it occurs frequently, it might be the result of a larger electrical problem. If this is the case, hiring a licensed electrician is recommended. Visit Angie’s List for consumer reviews on highly rated electricians in the Chicago area.

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