How Often Should You Change Your Circuit Breakers?

February 26, 2021 5:37 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A home’s electrical system is complex, and keeping it well maintained is crucial for keeping you and your family safe. The circuit breaker is a crucial part of this system.

If properly installed and loaded, circuit breakers should last a lifetime. Sometimes, though, circuit breakers get overloaded and fail. How do you know when a circuit breaker needs to be replaced? It can be a tricky task that usually requires the professional help of a residential electrician in Oakdale, CA. Read on to discover how circuit breaker issues arise and what you can do should one occur.

What does a circuit breaker do?

You’ll likely find your home’s circuit breaker panel, or “breaker box,” in your utility closet or basement. It’s helpful to think of your panel as a big switch that safely provides the power supply to all areas of your house. There are several small switches inside, called breakers, that deliver power to specific areas of your residence.

Electricity passes from your utility lines, through the meter and into your home’s breaker box. The box is designed to protect your home and its occupants by protecting the wiring and preventing electrical shocks and fire if a power overload or heat buildup occurs. In other words, a fully functional circuit breaker panel is essential for safely powering your home.

What happens when an overload occurs?

If you’re at home when the power goes out, you’ll likely notice it right away. You’ll hear a brief click, and your lights and appliances will shut off in a specific area of the house. If your circuit breaker is working correctly, you’ll be able to open the box and check the switches to determine which circuit has caused the overload—just look at the switches and find the one that’s moved to the “off” position. Simply go to that area of the house, turn all lights and appliances to their “off” positions, then go back to the box and flip the switch. Sometimes, though, fixes aren’t that easy, and the help of a residential electrician in Oakdale, CA is required.

How can you tell if your circuit breaker needs repairs?

One way to tell whether your circuit breaker needs some professional attention is by the behavior of certain appliances in your home. If they continually get interrupted by the breaker, or if the breaker switch won’t stay in the “on” position, there’s a bigger problem that needs to be addressed by an expert technician. Also check for a burning smell coming from the breaker box. Breakers that are hot to the touch need to be replaced, or you could have a dangerous situation on your hands. Have your circuit breaker tested every three to five years to avoid these issues.

If your breaker box is in need of some attention, it’s best to rely on an expert residential electrician in Oakdale, CA for a safe and fast repair job. No matter how handy you are around the house, you shouldn’t try to fix an electrical problem like this on your own. Contact Wilkinson Electric Inc. to get the job done right and ensure the safety of you and your family.

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