Expert Electrical

What to Do if a Circuit Breaker will not Reset

Nov 14, 2019 | Licensed Electrician Tips, Residential Electricity

You are not alone if you have ever been the victim of a circuit breaker that will not stay set in the “on” position. Many people experience this problem, and there are various reasons why this can occur. To know what to do if a circuit breaker will not reset, it is essential first to understand why the problem occurs. If you are unsure about any electrical issue, such as a malfunctioning or overactive electrical breaker, you should always call a licensed residential electrician like the ones at Expert Electric.

More on Circuit Breakers and Fuses

Why Won’t My Circuit Breaker Reset?

Understanding the reasons behind circuit breaker trips is crucial for troubleshooting and resolving issues effectively. One common cause of a tripped circuit breaker is an overloaded circuit, which occurs when too much power is drawn, potentially leading to overheating and electrical fires. To address this, unplug or turn off devices consuming excessive power and reset the breaker.

Another frequent cause is a short circuit, where a hot wire contacts a neutral wire, generating excessive heat and posing fire hazards. Identifying and rectifying the short circuit is essential to prevent further damage.

Additionally, ground fault surges occur when wires unintentionally connect, causing excessive power flow and posing electrical fires and electrocution risks. Proper investigation and correction by a licensed electrician are necessary in such cases.

What to Do if a Circuit Breaker will not Reset

While these are the primary causes, other issues, such as faulty breakers or human error, can also lead to breaker tripping. Consulting a professional electrician is advisable for accurate diagnosis and safe resolution.

Understanding the root cause of breaker trips empowers homeowners to take appropriate actions, ensuring electrical safety and preventing potential hazards. If you encounter persistent breaker tripping issues, seeking assistance from qualified electricians like Expert Electric is recommended for comprehensive assessment and resolution.

Some of the reasons that a circuit breaker might trip and the methods to deal with the issue include:

Circuit Overloads

The most common cause of a tripped breaker is a circuit overload. Circuit overloads are one of the most straightforward problems to fix because they typically occur due to external issues, such as having too many appliances on the same circuit. To fix an overloaded circuit, allow the circuit to cool down, unplug or turn off some items that might be drawing too much power, and flip the breaker. Once the breaker is back on, only use one of the appliances plugged into that circuit at a time.

Short Circuits

If a breaker is repeatedly tripping or will not reset and no high-voltage equipment is currently drawing electricity, the problem could be due to a short circuit. Short circuits occur when the hot wire that carries the electricity comes into contact with a neutral wire, which can cause a fire if left unaddressed. The circuit breaker is designed to trip to protect your home. If you believe this could be the issue, leave the breaker in the “off” position and call an electrician immediately.

What to Do if a Circuit Breaker will not Reset

Other Common Issues

Although overloads and short circuits are the most common reasons that a breaker might not reset, there are other reasons that somebody might experience trouble. Although a faulty breaker is uncommon, this issue can occur, and it is essential to have it addressed by a licensed electrician. Human error can also play a role in a breaker that seemingly will not reset. Some breaker switches can be extremely stiff and require a decent amount of pressure to flip, while, in other cases, a person might be trying to switch the wrong breaker.

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