How to Replace a Circuit Breaker

By: Talon Homer

Circuit breakers protect the electrical circuits in your home by stopping the flow of electricity if there’s an overload or other electrical fault.

Circuit breakers last a long so you should check your other options before deciding that the issue is a faulty breaker. The breaker may need to be replaced if it trips very easily, doesn’t trip when it should, can’t be reset, is hot to the touch, or looks or smells burnt [sources: Acme How To, Relectric]. Wet or damp areas around the breaker box can present an immediate hazard, so make sure the housing and floor underneath are dry before interacting with it.


If you can’t figure out the underlying issue or don’t feel knowledgeable or experienced enough to do the repair yourself, call a professional electrician. Working with electricity is dangerous, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

When replacing a circuit breaker, you will need:

Here’s how to replace your circuit breaker:

If you still have a problem after replacing the circuit, test all the electrical appliances in your home to see if one of them is causing the issue. If all else fails, call a professional electrician.

Circuit breakers are made to operate at 80 percent of their capacity. Your electrician will use the formula watts divided by volts = amps to calculate the size of a breaker box with enough amps and circuit breakers to handle your home’s electrical needs.


Originally Published: Jul 12, 2011

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How to Replace a Circuit Breaker

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