Replacing a Blown Circuit Breaker


October 25, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized


A circuit breaker is an electrical switch that automatically swings into operation to protect the electrical circuit from any kind of damage caused due to various factors such as a short circuit or an overload. The primary function of this switch is to constantly monitor the electrical circuit and to detect a faulty condition when it arises. As soon as a fault is detected, it discontinues the flow of electricity. The good part about circuit breakers is that they do not have to be replaced often. Unlike a fuse, circuit breakers can be reset automatically or manually and do not need to be replaced after every operation.

However, circuit breakers get worn out after some time and have to be replaced for the safety of the home or building. Replacing a blown circuit breaker is fairly simple provided the user knows what has to be changed and has a new circuit breaker on hand. Users do not need any complex tools for this purpose and all that they need is a good quality screwdriver. All tools and supplies needed for the job are available in electrical stores, the electrical department of retail stores, manufacturers’ websites, and at online marketplaces like eBay.

Replacing a Blown Circuit Breaker (Contact a Liceinced Electrical Contractor)

Replacing a blown circuit breaker is a simple do-it-yourself project provided users have a good knowledge of electrical circuits. Also, they need a new circuit breaker and a good quality screw driver to complete this task.

The step-by-step instructions are given below to help users replace a blown circuit breaker easily.

Step 1

The first step is to identify the blown circuit breaker. To do this, users should head to the circuit board and look for the circuit that is between the off and on positions.

Step 2

Once users identify the blown circuit breaker, they should turn off the main switch located on top of the circuit board. Users should never touch a circuit board without turning off the main switch, as this increases their chances an electrical shock.

Step 3

In the next step, users have to remove the panel cover of the circuit board by unscrewing the screw present on either side of the board. A good screwdriver makes this task easier for users.

Step 4

The next step is to remove the blown circuit breaker. Users should double-check the circuit board to ensure that the main switch is turned off. They should then remove the wires attached to the blown circuit breaker carefully. Sometimes, there may be more than one wire and in such a case, users should remember to leave the wire on the correct side of the board.

Step 5

Users should then remove the blown circuit breaker. They should do this prying up the bottom side of the circuit breaker that is placed opposite the wire.

Step 6

Now that the old circuit breaker is removed, it is time to insert a new one. Users should hook the new circuit breaker on one side, and then push it down on the other side. When the circuit breaker snaps with the terminals on the board, it is a sign that that the circuit breaker is affixed properly.

Step 7

The next step is to replace the wires by fixing them in the right position. To do this, users should remember the original position of the wires. It is a good idea to make a note of the positions on a piece of paper to make it easy for users to put them back again.

Step 8

Users should then put the panel back on the circuit board and tighten the screws.

Step 9

Lastly, users should turn on the main switch located at the top of the circuit board and the new circuit breaker. Their circuit breaker should start functioning normally again.

Tips and Tricks for Replacing a Blown Circuit Breaker

Replacing a blown circuit breaker is not a difficult task provided users have the right tools and a basic knowledge about electrical circuits. The tips mentioned below can help users to complete this task with minimal effort.

  •     Users should buy the right circuit breaker that work well for their circuit board.
  •     Users should turn off the main power when they are working with high voltage circuit breakers.
  •     It is a good idea to take professional help if users are unsure about working with electrical circuits.
  •     Users should label the circuit breakers as soon as they move into a house to make it easy for them to know which breaker services which part of the house.
  •     Many breakers show a red light if they have been tripped and black when they are working normally. So, if users see a red light, then its time to reset or replace them.

Choosing the Right Circuit Breaker

Users should choose the right circuit breaker that fits their electrical needs. There are many kinds of circuit breakers available on the market and users can choose a circuit breaker based on its size and type. Some of these attributes are explained in detail below to help users make the right choice.

Size

The circuit breaker’s size depends to a large extent on the expected amount of electricity that users are likely to use. Firstly, users should know which circuit breakers are connected to which rooms or areas in the house, and they should label them right away. Once this is done, users should calculate the load or amount of wattage serviced by the circuit breaker. They can calculate this by adding the voltage or amp value of each of the appliances used in that area of the house. When users have an accurate measure of the amps needed, they can buy a circuit breaker that can handle that amount of wattage.

There are three broad kinds of circuit breakers: low voltage, medium voltage, and high voltage circuit breakers. Low voltage circuit breakersare well-suited for most homes and small establishments. They are small and can withstand up to 1,000 amps. Medium voltage circuit breakers are ideal for large establishments and businesses and can typically handle anywhere between 1,000 and 72,000 amps, depending on the model. The high voltage circuit breakers can handle 72,500 amps or more and works well for large power lines.

Type

There are many kinds of circuit breakers available today, such as magnetic circuit breakers, thermal magnetic circuit breakers, trip circuit breakers, residual current circuit breakers,, earth leakage circuit breakers, disconnecting circuit breakers, and sulfur hexafluoride circuit breakers. Therefore, users should find out the type of circuit breaker installed in their home and buy the same type again.

 

Conclusion

Circuit breakers are an important safety device that identifies problems in electrical circuits and disconnects electricity as needed. A good part about these breakers is that they can be reused many times before failing. A faulty or blown circuit breaker must be replaced right away for the safety of everyone in the home. Replacing a blown circuit breaker is an easy project and all that is needed is some basic knowledge of electrical circuits and wiring, a new circuit breaker, and a screwdriver.

While choosing the new circuit breaker, users should know the size and type they want. One good way is to look at the previous circuit breaker and buy a similar one. Otherwise, users can calculate the amount of wattage used in the area that is serviced by the circuit breaker and buy one that can withstand that wattage level. Irrespective of their choice, users can find the circuit breaker they want on eBay.

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