How to Safely Reset Your Home’s Electricity

Electrical panelboard
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Breaker resets are required in many home repairs in the event of a circuit overload. Here’s how to reset your home’s power:

Where Breakers Are Located

You will use circuit breakers to restore power to your home. Circuit breakers are wired in breaker boxes. Most breaker boxes are located in basements, utility closets, and laundry rooms.​

Identifying a Circuit Breaker

Once you’ve located your breaker box, look for plastic switches housed in banks.

If your breaker box doesn’t have switches, you could have a fuse box. Fuse boxes operate similarly to breakers but require additional work to replace. It’s best to call a pro to help you replace a fuse.

Room-to-Room Resets

Whole-home resets aren’t always necessary. Jobs like replacing a light fixture or outlet require a small electricity-free work area. You can disable the electricity in certain parts of your home by flipping the corresponding breaker or breakers. It’s a good idea to label your breakers according to their circuit.

Whole-Home Resets

Certain projects like large-scale wire replacement or structural updates can require an entirely power free home. You can cut the power to your entire home by flipping the power main on your breaker box. Power mains are usually larger toggles not in the main bank of breakers.

Resetting a Breaker After An Overload

Sometimes resets are necessary after overloads and electrical malfunctions.

Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Identify your tripped breaker. Open your breaker box door and look for the breaker in the off position. Most breakers come with an orange or red marker indicating an overload. If there is no indicator, look for the breaker with a switch pointing the direction opposite the others.
  • Step 2: Flip the switch. Push the switch into the on position to reconnect your circuit and restore power.

Resetting a Breaker for Repairs

Resetting your breakers is sometimes necessary during repairs. Here’s a quick how-to:

For whole-home jobs:

  • Step 1: Identify your power main. Power mains are large toggles above or below your breaker bank.
  • Step 2: Flip the switch. Push the switch into the on or off position.

For room-specific projects:

  • Step 1: Identify your room’s breaker: Individual breakers should be labeled. If not, flip each breaker until the power in your work area shuts off. If you’re unsure, throw the main breaker.
  • Step 2: Push your breaker into the on or off position.

Always turn off your power main if your work encompasses several rooms or you’re unsure which breaker controls your work area.