How to reset a circuit breaker in an electrical panel
- Locate the electrical service panel or circuit breaker box. It can be located on or flush with a wall in the garage, basement, closet or even outside your home on an exterior wall. It is a metal box with a flat metal door.
- Open the panel door. You’ll see rows (two, most likely) of black switches with numbers on the switch (15, 20, 30, 50). If the circuits are marked for the area of the home they are wired to, look at the one for the area that no longer has power to it.
- If a circuit is tripped the switch will be in the middle off position, making it more apparent that it has been tripped.
- The fully on position is toward the center of the panel and fully off is toward the outside of the panel for each column. Said another way, for the left column, fully on is to the right and fully off is to the left. For the right column, fully on is to the left and fully off is to the right.
- To reset the switch, move the switch further into the off position – fully off (toward the outside of the panel), then move the switch in the opposite direction (toward the center of the panel), which is the fully on position.
- If you have too many devices plugged into a receptacle that tripped the circuit, you will need to distribute them to other receptacles or think about adding more receptacles and circuits.
- Close the panel. Your fixture or receptacle should be operational again. If it isn’t or if the circuit continues to trip, you may have damaged wiring or are overloading the circuit.
- Do not ignore a circuit that keeps tripping, it is telling you something is wrong and ignoring it could result in an electrical fire. Call SME Inc. if your circuit breakers keep tripping.