Residential Electrician Potomac

How to Know if Your Circuit Breaker is Bad

Sometimes circuit breakers fail. The most common reason they do is because of an overloaded circuit. Other times it’s due to a bad circuit breaker which means you’ll need circuit breaker maintenance. If you think your circuit breaker has a problem, you’ll most likely want to contact an electrician. Before making a call to NJ Electric, the residential electrician Potomac, there are a few things you can do to identify a problem.

Is Your Circuit Breaker Bad?

The first step in identifying if your circuit breaker is bad is to determine the circuit that the breaker is protecting. To do this, go to your electrical panel and look for a diagram on the circuit panel’s door or a label next to the breaker that’s tripping. Either the label or diagram should list which circuit the breaker is protecting. Once you’ve figured out which circuit is controlled by the tripped circuit breaker, ensure that it’s turned off and unplug all of the devices in the circuit. This will eliminate the chances of an electrical surge while you complete the next step. Lastly, reset the circuit breaker by turning it on. If it doesn’t make a clicking sound, it’s likely the circuit has a fault. Transfer some plugs to a different circuit and reset it again. If it immediately trips, you have a bad circuit breaker on your hands. This means it’s time to contact a residential electrician Potomac such as NJ Electric for circuit breaker maintenance.

How to Test A Circuit Breaker With A Multimeter

First, an electrician will ensure the electrical panel is dry. Then they’ll determine which breaker will be tested. Next, they’ll turn off all appliances and lights the breaker is powering. They’ll put one prong of the multimeter to the breaker’s terminal screw and put the other prong to a screw in the metal bar on the right side of the electrical panel. If the multimeter reads zero, the breaker needs to be replaced.


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NJ Electric Service has been serving clients in Washington D.C, Northern Virginia, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County for over 10 years. Our services include remodeling, lighting systems, power distribution systems, and more. Click here for a free estimate!

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