Why Won’t My Circuit Breaker Reset?

shutterstock 1572577222

An informed homeowner is a conscientious and empowered homeowner. At Wes Carver Electric, we seek to encourage homeowners to take charge of their home’s electrical safety and maintenance. In a world where many people try to save money by doing the job themselves, we seek to be a reliable resource for information, repairs, and convenient electrical service. 

In the past year, everyone has spent more time at home than ever before, so it’s especially important to make sure your home is as safe as possible. Circuit breaker issues are common for homeowners. Of the common circuit breaker problems, reset issues are prevalent. If you ask yourself, “why won’t my circuit break reset?” it’s essential to consult a professional electrician to deal with any potential dangers. Still, there are a few steps you can take to determine the cause of the problem. 

Safety First

Electrical safety is one of the most important reasons to hire a professional electrician for even seemingly simple repairs. According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), the lion’s share of electrical issues can be prevented with a strong foundation of electrical safety principles, practices, and precautions. By hiring a professional electrician, you can remain confident that all safety precautions will be strictly adhered to and followed. 

Reasons Why Your Circuit Breaker Won’t Reset

Your circuit breaker is responsible for your home’s power supply. As such, a lot of power runs in and out of your circuit breaker, so it is vital to leave circuit breaker repairs to the professionals. With that said, if you have found that your circuit breaker is tripping more often and it won’t reset, your first instinct may be to open the box. 

One of the first things people do when they notice a tripped circuit breaker is trying to reset it, but if that doesn’t work, there may be a few reasons why it is not operating correctly: 

The Circuit Breaker Switch Isn’t Fully Off

If your tripped breaker isn’t fully switched into the off position, it may not fully reset. If you want to make sure that your tripped switch is fully off, push it toward the off position until you hear a click and then back toward the on position.

The Wrong Switch Was Reset

Sometimes if circuit breakers are incorrectly labeled or difficult to read, you may have tried to reset the wrong switch. To find out if you reset the wrong switch, use a flashlight to examine the switches. A tripped switch will look like it’s in between the on and off positions. If this is the case, you can reset the correct switch by pushing it toward the off position until you hear a click and then switch it back to on. 

Your Circuit Breaker Could Be Overloaded

If your circuit breaker is overloaded, it’ll be difficult to reset it because the system will likely continue to surge. If your circuit breaker is overloaded, it means that the electrical load is too much for your home’s electrical capacity. If your circuit breaker is overloaded, it will show the following symptoms:

  • Once the breaker trips, you might not be able to reset it. 
  • However, the breaker will reset after it’s given time to cool. 
  • After a successful reset, the breaker may trip again. 

If you notice any of these symptoms, you have likely overloaded your system by plugging in too many items or you have a faulty appliance. 

Short Circuit

Short circuits are the result of two wires coming into contact that otherwise wouldn’t or shouldn’t. Electricity flows between the two wires and surges, which trips the circuit breaker. Short circuits are common in outlets, switches, and appliances. In some cases, they’re the result of loose wires, but it’s also possible that pest or rodent damage is the source of your short circuit issue. 

If you suspect you are dealing with a short circuit, it’s important to call a professional to deal with live wires and loose connections. 

Faulty Circuit Breaker

If your circuit breaker is faulty or blown, the tripped switch will not stay in the on position. Faulty or blown circuit breakers do not offer your home the electrical protection they were designed for, so if you notice that a tripped switch will repeatedly spring back to the tripped position, it’s possible that your breaker needs to be replaced.

For more information about electrical safety, circuit breakers, and what the team at Wes Carver Electric can do to help, don’t hesitate to contact our team today! Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. We always recommend only licensed electricians work on electrical equipment.