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Resetting and replacing breakers

January 16, 2013

The fuses or circuit breakers in the service panel form the first line of defense for your home, protecting you and your family from fire and shock. If you find a circuit breaker trips often, even though you don’t seem to be running too many appliances or lights, the problem may be the wiring or the circuit breaker.

Before you begin: If your breaker is tripping for no apparent reason, touch the prongs of a voltage tester to the breaker's terminal screw and a ground. If there’s no power, the breaker is faulty and it needs to be replaced.

Tools and Materials

Screwdriver Voltage tester Breaker

Step 1. Shut off the main breaker. Then loosen the setscrews on the suspected breaker and a nearby breaker of the same amperage.

Step 2. Pull out the breaker by hand, making sure that you only touch plastic and never anything made of metal.

Step 3. Buy a new breaker of the same amperage and size, made by the same manufacturer. Slip the wire into the new breaker and tighten the setscrew. Push the breaker in until it snaps into place like the ones around it. Restore power.

Need expert assistance? Visit your local Home Depot store to ask their associates about products or how-to instructions. The Home Depot expert associates are also available to answer your questions online. Visit them here.