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Circuit Breakers

Signs of a Bad Circuit Breaker

Even though circuit breaker panels are designed to last many years, some breakers can go bad due to old age but also overheating. Intense summer heat can be the culprit in some cases, so keep an eye on your panel during the warmer months.

  • The breaker is hot when you touch it.
  • The electrical panel or breaker emits a burning smell. Shut off the main power to your house at once if you encounter this. Then call for a Spotlight Energy Electrician.
  • There’s visible wear or physical damage. This could look like melted or frayed wires or scorch marks around the breaker or an outlet. If you see these signs, unplug everything on that circuit right away.
  • The breaker continually trips

Ensuring that your circuit breaker panel is functioning properly will give you peace of mind. The panel provides your home with a vital piece of protection against smoke or fire damage caused by electrical overloads.

What Causes a Breaker to Trip?

Issue 1: The breaker will trip back to the “Off” position almost right away. This indicates that either the breaker needs to be replaced or that there’s a short circuit that will need to be fixed.

Issue 2: The breaker won’t trip immediately, but it will trip again once you’ve starting plugging in and running your appliances. This indicates that there is either a short circuit or that there’s an electrical overload occurring. An overload may be occurring if an appliance or combination of appliances are pulling more power than the circuit breaker can allow at any one time.

If you are experiencing an electrical overload, an electrician should be able to solve the problem by creating a dedicated circuit for the appliance that needs a lot of power. Water heaters, dishwashers, air conditioners, and refrigerators are just a few examples of appliances that will need a dedicated circuit.
 

Could I Do This Myself (DIY) Or With a Handyman?

We never recommend DIY or handymen for electrical work. There are major disadvantages when completing electrical projects through an amateur installer. We recommend consulting Spotlight's experienced and licensed electrician anytime electrical work is involved. When using an amateur:

  • You take on a higher risk for potential fire hazards that could harm your family and destroy your belongings. There's a reason why many states require that you earn your electrical license through an accredited schooling program - it's serious and skilled work.
  • You may not be covered by insurance for the install or replacement. Most handymen do not carry any insurance policies for the work they conduct leaving you high and dry with no coverage when an issue arises.
  • You run the risk of improper installation. More often than not, handymen incorrectly wire things and are not up-to-date with national electrical code. This leads to broken, inadequate, and unsafe outlets over time. Ultimately, leaving you paying double for future returns and repair work. Do it right the first time with Spotlight Energy.

Types of Breakers We Help With

  • Siemens - QP 
  • Siemens ITE 
  • General Electric (GE) 
  • Square D - Homeline Series 
  • Square D - QO Series
  •  Cutler Hammer - Tan Handle Series 
  • Cutler Hammer - Eaton BR Series 
  • Murray 
  • Federal Pacific 
  • Pushmatic 
  • Crouse-Hinds

Regardless of whether or not you need to replace your circuit breaker panel, to prevent danger to yourself and your home, calling an electrician like Spotlight Energy is the best option. They can fix any short circuits or install a new circuit breaker panel if needed.

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