DIY: Checking and fixing your circuit breakers

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Fusebox_2After a power outage or any kind of damage to your fuse box, (especially if it’s outdoors), you’ll want to regain power. Here, we can teach you how to check the fuse box and potentially fix it yourself!

Located inside or outside of your home is a fuse box that contains a fuse for each of your home’s circuits. A fuse provides protection for each of your electrical circuits by stopping the flow of current if an overload or fault occurs. When an electrical short occurs or the load on your circuit becomes too great, the fuse on that circuit burns out and breaks the circuit; this is what is referred to as a “blown fuse.”

Before electricity can be restored, the fuse must be replaced with a new fuse. However, even before you replace the fuse, you must take steps to ensure that it is safe to do so. Turn off or unplug all of the devices that are plugged into the circuit. Make certain that no dangerous condition exists before restoring power.

Replace the fuse with a fuse that is of the proper rating for the circuit. For instance, if the circuit is rated for 15 amps, use a 15 amp fuse. Never use anything other than a fuse of proper rating.

When removing or inserting a new fuse, NEVER touch the metal parts of the fuse. If your fuse box is equipped with a master switch to cut power to the fuse box, cut the main power prior to replacing the fuse.

Electricity should now be restored to the circuit. If the fuse blows again before you have turned anything on or plugged anything in, a serious wiring fault may exist. Consult a qualified electrician immediately.

If the fuse blows after plugging in or turning on a device, that device may have a short or may be placing too much of a load on the circuit.

If no fuses were blown and you still do not have power at an outlet, the outlet may be on a GFCI branch circuit.

 

Electricity should now be restored to the circuit. If the fuse blows again before you have turned anything on or plugged anything in, a serious wiring fault may exist. Consult a qualified electrician immediately.

If the fuse blows after plugging in or turning on a device, that device may have a short or may be placing too much of a load on the circuit.

If no fuses were blown and you still do not have power at an outlet, the outlet may be on a GFCI branch circuit.

A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet is a device that adds a greater level of safety by reducing the risk of electric shock in locations such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and outdoors.

A GFCI outlet may be wired in a branch circuit, which means other outlets and electrical devices may share the same circuit and breaker (or fuse). When a properly wired GFCI trips, the other devices down the line from it will also lose power. Note that devices on the circuit that come before the GFCI are not protected and are not affected when the GFCI is tripped.

If you have an outlet that doesn’t work, and the breaker is not tripped, look for a GFCI outlet which may have tripped. The non-working outlet may be down line from a GFCI outlet. Note that the affected outlets may not be located near the GFCI outlet, they may be several rooms away or even on a different floor. Pressing the “Reset” will restore the circuit. If the outlet doesn’t reset, then whichever appliance that is causing it to trip, may still be plugged in. If after unplugging everything, checking the circuit breaker or fuse, and resetting the GFCI does not work, please submit a maintenance request to First Rate Property Management right away.