How to Identify a Tripped Breaker, and What to Do Before Calling for Electrical Repair in Alexandria, VA

How to Identify a Tripped Breaker

If you suddenly have an appliance or fixture that’s not working, there’s a chance you have a tripped breaker that’s cut off the flow of power to the electrical circuit on which it’s running. Your circuit breakers are typically found in a gray metal circuit box in a utility area, such as a closet, laundry room, basement or garage. If in a finished room, the box could be inside a wall cabinet.

If you do not have a circuit breaker box in your home, you probably have an older home with an older electrical system that runs on fuses, which require different processes to restore if you lose power to an area.

When you open up your main circuit breaker box, take a look at all the switches, neatly arranged in rows. You might have multiple types of circuit breakers in the same box, but all of them can be reset in the same way. With this in mind, here’s what you should do before calling for electrical repair in Alexandria, VA if you have a tripped circuit breaker:

  • Pinpoint the tripped breaker: Look for the breaker in the box that has a switch lever that is pointing away from the ON position. This should be simple—it will probably be the only one that has a lever not pointing the same way as the other breakers. There may be an orange or red marker window that shows it’s been tripped; otherwise, simply finding the switch that’s moved to the OFF position will be sufficient.
  • Turn off power to any devices on the circuit: Most electrical experts recommend that you not have any power running to devices controlled by that circuit when you reset the breaker. While this is not mandatory, it’s definitely recommended for your safety. There may be some circumstances in which you do not know or remember if certain devices were powered on before the breaker tripped, which is okay.
  • Flip the switch: Push the switch back into its ON position, at which point the circuit will be reconnected and power should be restored. Depending on your circuit breaker, you might need to fully switch it off before you’re able to power it back on. There should be some resistance in the lever as you switch it, as well as a distinct clicking sound or feel when you push it on.
  • Test it out: Turn your lights and appliances back on. If the breaker immediately switches off again, this is the point at which you’ll need to seek out professional help.

There are some other circumstances in which you should avoid trying to flip your breakers back on, such as if the floor is wet, or if you’ve been having issues with breakers repeatedly flipping off. But otherwise, you can always try resetting your breakers first before you pay for a professional electrician to come out and perform electrical repair in Alexandria, VA. Contact Walsh Electric today for more information and tips about what to do if you’re having circuit breaker trouble.