how to reset tripped circuit breaker



Have you ever experienced a sudden loss of power in your home, only to discover that a circuit breaker has tripped? Tripped circuit breakers are a common occurrence, and while they can be frustrating, they serve an important function of protecting your electrical system from potential hazards. Resetting a tripped circuit breaker is a simple task that can be done by anyone, without the need for a professional electrician. In this article, we will guide you through the process of resetting a tripped circuit breaker, providing you with the knowledge and confidence to handle this situation effectively.

Identifying a Tripped Circuit Breaker

The first step in resetting a tripped circuit breaker is to identify which circuit has been affected. Circuit breakers are located in the electrical panel of your home, also known as a breaker box. This panel contains multiple circuit breakers, each designated for a specific area or device in your house. When a circuit is overloaded or a short circuit occurs, the breaker trips, interrupting the electrical flow to that particular circuit.

To identify the tripped circuit, visually inspect the breakers in the panel. Look for breakers that are in the "off" position, usually indicated by the switch being slightly or completely in the opposite direction from the others. Alternatively, some breakers may have a visible red or orange indicator showing that it has tripped. Once you have located the tripped circuit breaker, you are ready to proceed with the reset process.

Resetting a Tripped Circuit Breaker

Resetting a tripped circuit breaker is a fairly straightforward procedure. However, it is important to follow the correct steps to ensure your safety and prevent any further damage to your electrical system. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to reset a tripped circuit breaker:

1. Switch Off the Appliances

Before you proceed with resetting the tripped circuit breaker, it is crucial to switch off all appliances and devices that were connected to the affected circuit. This will prevent any potential power surges or damages when the circuit is restored. Unplugging the devices or turning off the switches on the appliances themselves is the ideal way to ensure they are completely disconnected.

2. Locate the Tripped Circuit Breaker

Refer back to the visual inspection you performed earlier to identify the tripped circuit breaker. It should be in the "off" position or have a visible indicator showing the tripped status. Look for the breaker handle that is not aligned with the others or is pointing in the opposite direction.

3. Switch the Tripped Breaker to the Off Position

To reset the tripped circuit breaker, you need to switch it to the off position first. This step is essential as it allows the breaker to reset properly. Gently push the handle of the tripped breaker to the opposite side from its current position. You should feel some resistance, but do not apply excessive force as it may cause damage. The breaker handle should now be in the off position.

4. Resetting the Tripped Breaker

To fully reset the tripped breaker, you need to switch it back to the on position. Push the handle firmly towards the on position until you hear or feel a click. This click indicates that the breaker has engaged and reconnected the electrical flow for the circuit. Visually inspect the breaker to ensure it is in the correct position, aligned with the other breakers.

5. Test the Circuit

After resetting the tripped circuit breaker, it is crucial to test the circuit to ensure it is functioning correctly. Begin by switching on the appliances or devices that were previously connected to the circuit. Observe if the power is restored and the devices are functioning as intended. Also, check for any strange smells, smoke, or unusual sounds, which may indicate an underlying issue that requires professional attention. If everything appears to be working correctly, your circuit has been successfully reset.

Preventing Circuit Breaker Trips

While resetting a tripped circuit breaker is a relatively simple task, it is always beneficial to prevent them from tripping in the first place. Here are some useful tips to minimize the occurrence of circuit breaker trips:

- Distribute Power Load: Avoid connecting too many high-wattage appliances or devices to a single circuit. Distribute the load evenly across multiple circuits to prevent overloading.

- Extension Cords: Use extension cords sparingly and avoid running them under carpets or rugs. They can become a fire hazard if overloaded or damaged.

- Identify Faulty Appliances: Keep an eye out for any appliances that repeatedly trip the circuit breaker. This may indicate a fault within the appliance that requires repair or replacement.

- Regular Maintenance: Periodically inspect your electrical system and ensure all connections are secure and in good condition. Loose or damaged wiring can lead to short circuits, resulting in circuit breaker trips.

- Consider Upgrades: If you frequently experience circuit breaker trips, consider upgrading your electrical system to accommodate a higher power load. Consulting with a professional electrician can help you determine the most suitable upgrade for your needs.


Resetting a tripped circuit breaker is a simple task that can be accomplished by following a few easy steps. By familiarizing yourself with your breaker panel, identifying the tripped circuit, and carefully resetting the breaker, you can restore power to the affected area of your home. Remember to switch off all appliances, reset the breaker to the off position, and then firmly switch it back to the on position. Regularly inspecting your electrical system and distributing the power load can help minimize the occurrence of tripped circuit breakers. With this knowledge, you can confidently handle circuit breaker trips and ensure the safety and functionality of your electrical system.


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