When should I replace the circuit breakers in my home?
Circuit breaker replacement is actually not that common. Unlike fuses, circuit breakers are designed to reset, so you may find that all you need to do to fix your circuit breaker is just set it back in place! Of course, there are still situations you will find when you DO have to replace your circuit breakers. If your breaker is hot to the touch, if it smells like it’s burning or if you can see damage, such as black or burned material or frayed wires, you should have circuit breaker repair as soon as possible!
If you notice any of the aforementioned signs, it’s important to call Colonial Electric as soon as possible. Circuit breakers that are not properly maintained can develop a severe risk of arcing or faulting, caused when loose or corroded circuit breakers make intermittent contact with each other. This results in heat and sparks that can cause fatal electric shocks or electrical fires!
Note that a faulty circuit breaker may not trip – in fact, it may seem to be working fine except for a low buzzing, hissing or popping sound coming from it . If you notice any of these noises, call Colonial Electric as soon as possible! These are potential signs of an arc fault that could cause you to need circuit breaker replacement. If you’re concerned about arc faults, Colonial Electric can also install an arc fault circuit interrupter that will shut down the circuit if it detects an arc fault.
What should I do if a circuit breaker trips?
If one of your circuit breakers trips, you don’t necessarily need circuit breaker replacement – in fact, it should be fairly easy to put back. Basically what happens when a circuit breaker trips is the switch itself moves from the ON position to a point halfway between ON and OFF – aka tripped. Circuit breakers trip when excess electricity flowing through them causes the breaker to get too hot – tripping halts the flow of electricity. To reset a tripped breaker, find the switch and move it back to the ON position.
Once you figure out which circuit breaker tripped, figure out what outlets are controlled by that breaker and see if there is anything plugged in that could be overloading the circuits. Common appliances that overload circuits include microwaves, coffee makers, refrigerators, hair dryers and curlers and vacuum cleaners – basically anything that requires a lot of energy to run.
If you have a circuit breaker that is tripping constantly, or one that is clearly damaged and needs circuit breaker replacement, call Colonial Electric today!