How to check circuit breakers
Parts of your home – including outlets and entire walls – can lose power when circuits are overloaded.
If your power goes out unexpectedly, consider checking your home’s circuit breakers before calling to report an outage. Here’s how to do it:
Find your electrical panel or breaker box; you more than likely have two, one located in your house and one located on the meter pole or on the meter pedestal outside. You will need to check both. Inside, you’ll see black switches. These are the circuit breakers.
If a circuit breaker is tripped, it may appear to be in the same position as the others, but it won’t be pushed fully to the ON position.
Find the affected breaker and flip it to the OFF position. If you don’t think there is an electrical overload, try flipping the breaker back to the ON position. If you do suspect an electrical overload, unplug any appliances or other items in the area not receiving power, then flip the breaker back to the ON position.
Check to see if power is restored. Wait a few seconds, then slowly begin plugging in and turning on the electrical equipment to determine which item is causing the overload. If the circuit trips again when an item is plugged in, that item is causing the overload. Try moving it to a different outlet in your home.
If the circuit continues to trip, or if it won’t flip to the ON position, stop trying to reset the breaker. There may be a fault in the circuit, and you’ll need to contact a qualified electrician.
When power goes out to an area of your home, it’s often just a temporary power surge. You may be able to restore power on your own by simply resetting the breaker.
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