How Can I Tell My Circuit Breaker Is Bad?
Most of the time, losing power to a circuit means there is a short or overload. The first step should always be to find the right breaker and move the breaker switch from the middle position to the OFF position. Then move it all the way over to ON until it clicks.
The power should then come back. If the circuit breaker trips soon after, or doesn’t reset at all, there are things you can do, such as moving its wire and connecting it to another breaker. While this can tell you if there’s a bad circuit breaker or not, fumbling with your electrical wiring is generally not a good idea unless you’re trained, certified, and experienced like our electricians in Santa Ana, Riverside & Los Angeles.
In other words, it’s safe to assume your circuit breaker is still overloaded or you have faulty wiring somewhere. There’s also a chance of a mechanical problem within the switch itself. Your best bet, and safest option, is to call a electrician to inspect and test your circuits, professionally diagnose the problem, and provide circuit breaker repair when it is needed most. We can quickly install a new circuit breaker or a new breaker panel if necessary, replacing your system with something more robust and higher in capacity.
While it’s not a good idea to try to fix a circuit breaker yourself, you can try to determine what the problem is. Check the label next to the tripped breaker, or a label on the panel door. You can then isolate the overloaded circuit, unplug electronics, and reset the switch. Note what isn’t working and what you did to try to assess the problem, so you can provide our electrician with as much information as you can.
Or, you can simply unplug some devices, or remove an extension cord or surge strip, and see if the circuit works normally afterwards. Overloads do happen. Be alert for excess heat from any electrical component, as this is a sign of damage or a defect requiring replacement.