Circuit breaker, DIY, Electrical, Home safety, Wirings

Locate and Understand How to Reset Your Circuit Breakers

Reset Circuit Breakers Safely and Quickly


Understand what and where your circuit breakers are and how to reset them. Feel confident and safe in your own home to address this key electrical home repair.

As a homeowner and as a renter for years it became necessary to buck up and learn some of the basics on electrical issues, self reliance is a great motivator and teacher. The best place to start is the beginning, and in most homes this would be the circuit breaker box. The circuit breakers inside this box divide the supply of power to different major appliances or areas in the home and provide a protective fuse for each breaker. When the lights or power goes out the simple home repair to check your circuit breakers and reset them if necessary is a first line, simple and safe home repair.

  1. If you do not know where your circuit breaker box is you should locate it. Locate it prior to needing to find it. Since in many instances if there is a problem you could literally be searching for it in the dark. Most circuit breaker boxes are located in a basement, garage, hallway or storage room behind a small metal door.
  2. Behind the door there should be a panel of switches. The switches have a corresponding number and either next to them or on the door of the box there is writing that tells you what appliance or area each circuit goes to. Check to see if there is one of these circuit breakers that has flipped from the on position to the off position. Before you do anything else,  go to the appliance or area where the circuit breaker has flipped off and make sure everything is unplugged or turned off. This is an important safety precaution.
  3. Circuit breakers stay in the on position unless they have been tripped for some reason, such as a power surge or overload. The circuit breaker automatically turns the circuit off to avoid dangerous overheating of the circuit.
  4. To reset the circuit breaker gently and firmly switch it all the way to the off position and then to the on position. The lights or appliance corresponding to that circuit breaker should come back on.

The below video can give you basic steps to reset your circuit breaker, the  number to call at the end may not be the one for your particular power company but the steps are the same.

Things To Know

  • If your circuit breakers continue to trip there might be a fault in the wiring of a particular appliance or a problem elsewhere. My recommendation would be to contact a professional at this point.
  • Again, it is important to know where your circuit breaker box is before things become a problem. Locate it and make sure that it remains accessible and safe to get to.