how to reset generator circuit breaker


How to Reset Generator Circuit Breaker


Generators are indispensable equipment in times of power outages or when you need to run appliances and tools in remote locations. However, like any other electrical device, generators are not immune to issues that may arise during their operation. One common challenge that generator owners face is a tripped circuit breaker. When this happens, it's essential to know how to reset the generator circuit breaker to restore power and get things up and running smoothly again. In this article, we will guide you through the process of resetting the generator circuit breaker, step by step, ensuring your generator remains in optimal working condition.

Circuit Breaker Basics

Circuit breakers play a crucial role in protecting the electrical circuits of your generator from overload or short circuits. They act as automatic switches that detect any abnormal flow of electricity and prevent damage to the generator's electrical system. When a circuit draws more current than the breaker's rated limit, it automatically trips, cutting off the power supply to that particular circuit. This protective feature prevents overheating and potential fires that may result from excessive electrical current.

Identifying a Tripped Circuit Breaker

Before you can proceed with resetting the generator circuit breaker, you first need to identify whether the issue is indeed a tripped breaker. Here's how to do it:

1. Inspect the Circuit Breaker Panel: Locate the circuit breaker panel on your generator. Depending on the generator's make and model, this panel may be located on the generator itself or in a separate control box. Open the panel door and visually inspect the circuit breakers.

2. Look for the Tripped Position: Each circuit breaker has an "ON" and "OFF" position. A tripped breaker will be somewhere in between, neither fully "ON" nor "OFF." Examine each breaker to identify any that are in this in-between position.

3. Check for Visual Indicators: Some generators have visual indicators to help identify tripped breakers. These indicators may include colored flags, LEDs, or physical indicators that pop up when a breaker has tripped.

4. Test the Power Output: If you're unsure whether a circuit breaker has tripped, you can test the power output. Connect a device or tool to a power outlet that is connected to the circuit in question. If the device doesn't receive any power, it could be an indication of a tripped circuit breaker.

Resetting the Generator Circuit Breaker

Once you have confirmed that a circuit breaker has indeed tripped, follow these steps to reset it:

1. Turn Off Connected Devices: Before you proceed with resetting the circuit breaker, switch off or unplug any devices or appliances connected to the circuit. This precautionary step ensures the circuit isn't overloaded when the breaker is reset.

2. Locate the Tripped Breaker: After turning off the connected devices, locate the specific breaker that has tripped. It will be in the "ON" and "OFF" position, but not in a fully "ON" or "OFF" state.

3. Reset the Breaker: To reset the breaker, push it firmly from the tripped position to the "OFF" position, and then back to the "ON" position. You should feel some resistance as you push it from "OFF" to "ON." This resistance indicates that you are successfully resetting the breaker.

4. Confirm Power Restoration: Once the breaker is reset, check if power has been restored to the circuit by using a device or tool that requires electrical power.

5. Gradually Reconnect Devices: If the circuit breaker holds and the power is restored, you can gradually reconnect your devices and appliances one at a time. This step allows you to monitor the load and avoid tripping the breaker again due to excessive electrical current.

Intermittent Tripping: Troubleshooting

If your generator's circuit breaker keeps tripping even after reset, it could be an indication of an underlying issue. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you identify and resolve the problem:

1. Reduce the Load: Overloading the circuit can cause the breaker to trip. Assess the devices and appliances connected to the circuit, and ensure they are within the generator's capacity. If necessary, disconnect some devices to reduce the load and avoid tripping the breaker.

2. Check for Short Circuits: A short circuit occurs when the hot and neutral wires come into contact, causing a surge in current flow. Inspect all power cords and junction boxes for any signs of frayed or exposed wires. Repair or replace any damaged cables or boxes to eliminate the risk of a short circuit.

3. Inspect the Breaker: The circuit breaker itself may be faulty, causing frequent tripping. Look for any signs of physical damage or loose connections within the breaker. If you spot any issues, consult a professional electrician or the generator manufacturer for assistance with repairs or replacements.

4. Seek Professional Assistance: In some cases, troubleshooting and resolving the issue may require professional expertise. If you've followed the steps above and the circuit breaker continues to trip intermittently, it's advisable to consult a licensed electrician or contact the generator manufacturer's support team for guidance.


Being able to reset the generator circuit breaker is an essential skill for any generator owner. By understanding the basics of circuit breakers, identifying tripped breakers, and following the correct steps for resetting them, you can ensure the continued operation and safety of your generator. Remember to always prioritize safety by turning off connected devices before resetting the breaker and seeking professional assistance if the problem persists. With these guidelines in mind, you can confidently tackle circuit breaker issues and enjoy uninterrupted power supply from your generator.


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