You are just settling down in the evening after work with a good movie. The lights are dimmed and your portable space heater is resting near your feet. Things are feeling pretty comfortable and cozy when everything shuts down with no apparent reason. You hear a loud click, and then it’s lights out for you and your movie time.
This is caused by an overloaded circuit – which doesn’t have to be scary; understanding how your circuit breaker box works is relatively simple. Here are all the facts you should know to feel more comfortable about how electricity works in your home:
What is a Circuit Breaker Box?
The electricity that enters your home first flows through the circuit breaker box. Inside of that box are several different fuses, each one a different size. Smaller rooms tend to have a smaller circuit while larger rooms have more appropriately-sized circuits. These are typically referred to as breakers.
Builders estimate which rooms require larger breakers based on the number of appliances that room will typically hold. For example, kitchens and laundry rooms tend to have bigger circuits to accommodate the influx of electricity required to run all of the appliances. Bedrooms that only require small lamps or overhead fans typically have smaller breakers.
What is a Circuit Overload?
The circuit breaker, the wire, and the wire insulation work together to let electricity flow to your home. Each breaker is designed to accommodate a certain amount of electricity and no more. If you try to funnel too much electricity through a breaker that cannot handle it, the wire will heat up and that could cause disastrous consequences.
Fortunately, the circuit breaker can tell when you are using too much electricity for the wires to handle. This is when the breaker flips or “trips” as most people refer to it. The breaker flips from the on position and turns off all of the electricity flowing to that particular area of the home. If this does not occur, then the wire will heat up, damage the wire insulation, and eventually spark a fire.
How to Fix the Tripped Breaker
Begin by turning off all the lights and appliances in the room where the breaker has tripped. This is necessary so that you do not automatically overwhelm the breaker when resetting it. Unplug the extra appliances or turn them off.
Inside your circuit breaker box, you will find the tripped breaker. Move it from the “off” position back to the “on” position. This should reset the flow of your electricity. You can return to the room and slowly begin turning on some of the lights and appliances again. Remember not to turn everything back on. You will have to spread out some of your appliance usage to other rooms that still have space on their breakers.
Understanding the Ins and Outs
Understanding the ins and outs of your circuit breaker box is important for any homeowner. Knowing what happened and how to fix it can help to save you hundreds of dollars in service repair costs. If you are still struggling with your circuit repair box, then be sure to call Powertec Electric, the leading electrical contractors in Winnipeg!