how to remove a circuit breaker from the breaker box


Removing a Circuit Breaker from the Breaker Box

Are you experiencing electrical malfunctions in your home? Is a circuit breaker tripping frequently? It might be time to remove and replace the circuit breaker in your breaker box. In this article, we will guide you through the process of removing a circuit breaker safely, efficiently, and without causing any damage. Before we begin, it is important to note that working with electricity can be dangerous, and if you are uncomfortable or unsure about any step, it is highly recommended to consult a professional electrician for assistance.

The Importance of Removing a Faulty Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers are crucial components of our electrical systems as they protect our homes from electrical overloads. When a circuit becomes overloaded, the breaker trips, cutting off power to that circuit and preventing potential electrical fires or damages to our appliances and devices. However, circuit breakers themselves may also become faulty over time due to wear and tear or manufacturing defects. Removing a faulty circuit breaker is vital to ensure the safety and functionality of your electrical system.

Gathering the Necessary Tools

Before you embark on the journey of removing a circuit breaker, it is crucial to gather the necessary tools to ensure a smooth process. These tools may include:

1. Safety goggles and gloves: It is essential to prioritize your safety during any electrical work. Safety goggles protect your eyes from any potential debris, while gloves provide insulation and protect your hands from shocks.

2. Voltage tester: A voltage tester is crucial to confirm that the circuit breaker is not carrying any live current. It helps prevent accidental shocks when working with electrical components.

3. Screwdriver set: A set of screwdrivers, including both flathead and Phillips, will be required to remove the screws that are holding the circuit breaker in place within the breaker box.

4. Wire strippers: You might need wire strippers if you encounter any issues with the circuit breaker's wiring during the removal process.

5. Circuit breaker identification labels: It is always useful to have circuit breaker identification labels nearby. These labels help in correctly identifying the circuit breaker you are working on, ensuring you do not accidentally shut off power to the wrong circuit.

Ensuring Safety Before Commencing Work

Before removing a circuit breaker, it is crucial to take certain safety precautions to minimize any potential hazards. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Turn off the main power supply: Locate your electrical panel or breaker box and find the main power switch. Turn it off to cut off power to the entire house. This step is crucial to prevent accidental shocks during the removal process.

2. Identify the specific breaker to be removed: Identify the circuit breaker that needs to be removed by referring to the circuit breaker identification labels. Make sure to double-check and ensure you are working on the correct one.

3. Using a voltage tester, confirm that the circuit is not live: Even after turning off the main power supply, it is essential to double-check that the circuit you are working on is not carrying any live current. Use a voltage tester to confirm the absence of any electrical activity.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing a Circuit Breaker

Now that you have gathered the necessary tools and taken the required safety measures, let's dive into the step-by-step process of removing a circuit breaker from the breaker box.

1. Removing the Breaker Box Cover

To access the circuit breaker, you need to remove the cover of the breaker box. Follow these steps:

- Put on your safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself.

- Using a screwdriver, remove the screws that secure the breaker box cover in place.

- Carefully remove the cover and set it aside in a safe location.

Removing the cover provides you with clear visibility and access to the circuit breaker you need to remove.

2. Identifying and Loosening the Connections to the Circuit Breaker

Once the breaker box cover is removed, you can start identifying and loosening the connections to the circuit breaker. Follow these steps:

- Locate the circuit breaker that needs to be removed. Double-check the identification labels to ensure accuracy.

- Carefully observe the connections attached to the circuit breaker. There will typically be two connections: one connected to the load or wire coming into the breaker and another connected to the bus bar.

- Using a screwdriver, carefully loosen the screws holding the wires in place. Be cautious not to damage the wires or surrounding components while doing so.

Ensure you take note of the position and placement of the wires to facilitate the reinstallation of the new circuit breaker.

3. Removing the Circuit Breaker from the Bus Bar

After loosening the connections, you can proceed to remove the circuit breaker from the bus bar. Follow these steps:

- Locate the retaining clip that holds the circuit breaker in place on the bus bar. This clip is often visible near the connection points.

- Using your screwdriver, carefully unscrew or disengage the retaining clip. The exact method may vary depending on the breaker's design.

- Gently pull the circuit breaker toward you, sliding it off the bus bar. Be cautious not to force or damage the breaker while doing so.

4. Detaching the Load Wire from the Circuit Breaker

Next, you need to detach the load wire from the circuit breaker. Follow these steps:

- Locate the load wire that is connected to the circuit breaker. It is the wire coming into the breaker from the load or electrical circuit.

- Loosen the screw or clamp that holds the load wire in place.

- Once loosened, carefully detach the load wire from the circuit breaker. Take note of its position and ensure no other wires are mistakenly removed.

5. Removing the Circuit Breaker

Once the load wire is detached, you can completely remove the circuit breaker from the breaker box. Follow these steps:

- Hold the circuit breaker securely and gently slide it out of its slot in the breaker box.

- Keep the removed circuit breaker in a safe place, as you may need it for reference during the installation of the new circuit breaker.


Removing a faulty circuit breaker is a task that should be approached with caution and meticulousness. By following the step-by-step guide we have provided, you can safely remove the circuit breaker from your breaker box, ensuring the proper functioning and longevity of your electrical system. Remember to always prioritize your safety and consult a professional electrician if you have any doubts or concerns. With the necessary tools and knowledge, you can confidently tackle this electrical maintenance task.


Just tell us your requirements, we can do more than you can imagine.
Send your inquiry

Send your inquiry

Choose a different language
Current language:English