Resetting a Tripped Circuit Breaker: Tips from a Residential Electrician in Oakdale, CA

October 14, 2016 10:58 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If your electricity shuts off in your house, the first thing you should do is check your circuit breaker. As a residential electrician in Oakdale, CA, we regularly have customers call in saying, “I checked the panel and there aren’t any tripped circuit breakers,” or, “I reset all the circuit breakers, but the circuit still isn’t working.” The solutions to these problems are actually usually pretty simple.

In the first type of situation, it’s likely that the circuit actually did trip, but it still looks like it’s in the “on” position. Simply go through all of the circuit breakers and properly reset them in your electrical panel before you decide to call in a professional electrician to check the problem out. Chances are, this will resolve the issue, and you won’t have to spend the money on hiring the electrician.

In the second type of situation, the customer might believe they have reset all the breakers, but they haven’t actually done so—they’ve just flipped them off and on.

If you really do have a tripped circuit breaker, it takes more than just flipping it off and on to get it working again. You must push the breaker firmly to the off position, then turn the breaker back to the on position. You’ll know when you’ve got it reset, as it will snap back into place when put back to the on position.

If all of these tips don’t solve your problem, then there’s a chance you have a tripped GFCI receptacle instead.

Resetting a tripped GFCI outlet

GFCI outlets have been standard code for any outlets near water since the 1970s. These types of outlets are extremely sensitive to faults, and their circuits will break earlier than a standard circuit breaker to prevent a person from being electrocuted if water is present. Many people are not aware of how these outlets work, which means they call in to an electrician thinking the outlet is broken when, in fact, the breaker was just tripped.

The top button, labeled “reset,” should be pressed in. If the outlet is working properly, pushing the bottom button, labeled “test,” should cause the top button to pop out. You will feel a click while doing this. After you have pressed the reset button again, power should be restored to anything plugged into the outlet.

GFCI outlets are most likely to be located outside, in bathrooms and in kitchens. So if you are noticing that you’re having trouble getting power through outlets in any of these areas, your first step should be to see if the GFCI breaker was tripped before checking the circuit breaker panel or calling an electrician.

If you have made all of these checks and still are unable to restore power to your home, a professional electrician from Wilkinson Electric Inc. can diagnose the problem and quickly make the proper fix. Contact a residential electrician in Oakdale, CA today for more information about resetting circuit breakers. We look forward to assisting you!

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