Can a Circuit Breaker go bad or get weak?

Owning your own home is a great feeling. Your property and the land round it is yours; you’re relatively free to make changes and create a small piece of paradise for yourself.

However, once you have your own home you also need to be prepared to complete some basic property maintenance. Whether you need wiring done, a fuse replaced, a leak stopped or a room redecorated; you need to know how to deal with it or who to call.

Even if you’re going to call help it is useful to understand the principles surrounding a particular issue; it will help to ensure you are not being quoted an unfair price.

The circuit breaker is an excellent example of something you should understand although you may not want to play with. You also need to be aware of the regulations surrounding electrical work at home.

What Is A Circuit Breaker

You should know where your main fuse box is. If you open the cover you’ll see lots of switches. Each one of these is a circuit breaker.

In fact each circuit breaker represents a circuit in your home; there will be at least one for lighting, one for the sockets in each room and a variety of others. Ideally your fuse box should be labeled to ensure you know which is which.

The circuit breaker is effectively a switch to activate the circuit and allow the electricity to flow through. However it is also a safety device. If the circuit is exposed to too much current or a short circuit the circuit breaker will ‘trip’. This means it shuts of the supply of electricity to prevent you from getting harmed.

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The breaker should trip in a fraction of a second. It can then be reset to allow the power through. Of course if you haven’t dealt with the issue it will trip again.

Circuit Breakers Go Bad

The circuit breaker is just a switch; although it can be reset any times it is possible for the connections inside to open up and effectively make the breaker bad. Once the connections are opened up the electricity will not flow through and you’ll have no power on that circuit; regardless of whether the switch is on or off.

Replacing The Breaker

It’s a good idea to verify the breaker is bad before you purchase a new one. You can do this by checking the power into the breaker and the power out. If there is power in but none coming out when the switch is on then the circuit breaker has gone bad. If you prefer or wish to be sure you can always remove a breaker that you know is working and swap it with the bad one.

Once you have the new breaker you’ll need to shut all the power off to your fuse box; this will ensure you don’t get an electric shock.

Then you can remove the bad breaker and replace it with one of the exact same amperage. The connections screw into place and will be either wires or a metallic strip; make sure they are properly secured before you turn the power back on.

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