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How to Fix a Blown Fuse or Tripped Circuit Breaker

Blowing a fuse or tripping a circuit breaker is a common issue, especially if you’re a multitasker. If you overload a circuit, your system will cut off the electrical flow to prevent your wires from overheating and causing circuit damage or fire. Follow these steps to restore power and get all those appliances going again:

  1. Turn off all lights and unplug a few appliances in the room or rooms that have lost power. If you leave everything on and you’ve overloaded the circuit, it’s possible to blow your fuse or breaker all over again once you restore power!
  2. Locate and open your electrical panel. Always handle anything involving electricity with caution, especially circuit breakers. Electricity can be deadly, so make sure your hands are dry and you’re standing on a dry surface at all times when working on your electrical panel. If you’re not familiar with your electrical panel or don’t feel comfortable at any time, contact a professional to help you.
  3. Flip the switch.
    • For circuit breakers: Look for a breaker that has moved from the “on” position to the “off” position, or is halfway between the two. Move the breaker to the full “off” position, and then move it to the full “on” position. This will restore power to that circuit.
    • For a fuse box: If your electrical panel has fuses, check each fuse to see if the piece of metal inside has melted, or if the glass window at the top of the fuse has become discolored (usually purple or brown). That’s your broken fuse. Unscrew the broken fuse and replace it with a new fuse that is the exact same size, type, and amperage of the broken fuse. The best way to ensure a perfect match is to take your broken fuse with you to the hardware store and compare before you buy.

Plug in one or two electrical appliances and turn them on to test your new fuse or reset breaker. If the outlet loses power again, it’s possible that you’re using too many amps for the fuse or breaker. Simply move some of your electronics or appliances around. If this is not the case, it may be a sign of a more serious electrical problem. Contact an electrician immediately.

How Do I Fix a Breaker That Keeps Tripping?

Circuit breakers are designed to trip in order to prevent the circuit from causing lasting damage. The most common causes of constant breaker tripping include:

  • A recently added high-energy appliance
  • Running multiple appliances through the same outlet at the same time
  • Bad connection to the wall plug
  • Loose wires
  • Faulty appliance

It's simple enough to test a few of these issues on your own. If you started noticing the tripping after adding a new appliance to your home, try unplugging it and going about your day normally to see if that fixes the issue. Also check to make sure you aren't running multiple high-energy appliances like a microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, etc. through the same circuit. If neither of these changes helps your situation, it's time to call in a professional electrician. Working with live wires is risky, and you don't want to chance an accidental electrocution because you accidentally touched the wrong thing.

For more information about electrical service and repair or electrical home safety, give us a call at (713) 364-0226 or schedule your appointment online.