How to Reset a Circuit Breaker Box?

up close visual of a few breakers within a breaker box

Someone plugged in the hair dryer when the curling iron and seven kitchen appliances were all running. Now all of the lights in the kitchen and bathroom are off because both rooms are on the same breaker switch. What do you do? You need to flip the breaker switch back on, and it’s actually easier than what you might think if you’ve never done it before. If you need to know how to reset circuit breaker, read on.

Step 1: Locate the Circuit Breaker Box

The first thing that you need to do is find the circuit breaker box, which will usually be in the basement or garage. It might be in a utility closet or a bonus room if you have a house that has a basement that came pre-finished.

Step 2: Find the Tripped Circuit Breaker

If it’s dark, you can use a flashlight. You can even have one available near your breaker box at all times in case of situations like these. Find the switch that’s almost off or completely off. All of the switches should also be clearly labeled.

Step 3: Turn the Breaker Completely Off

You need to turn the circuit breaker to the fully off position. Go ahead and wait a few seconds before you do anything else.

Step 4: Turn the Breaker Switch Completely to the On Position

The final step is to turn the breaker completely to the on position. The lights and appliances that are turned off should turn back on at this point. If they don’t, you likely have a short that needs to be fixed.

Learning how to reset the circuit breaker that’s been flipped off because too much amperage was going through at the same time is a vital skill of living in a house. If you’ve just moved into your home, take the time to learn where the breaker box is located so that the next time the switch gets flipped, you know exactly where to go.

Also, take the time to clearly label all of the breaker switches in ink or a permanent marker that’s a dark color so that it’s easy to see which switches are for which rooms. Pencil marks can fade, so it’s not the best utensil to write with. Also, if the breaker switches are flipping off frequently, you might need to upgrade your electrical panel so that it can handle the amount of amperage that you and your family need.

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