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  How to work your circuit breaker panel

Breakers are electrical switches located in your home's main electrical panel. A breaker switch can protect your home's electrical system from damage and hazards. If there is more electrical load on a circuit than it can handle, it will cause a tripped breaker to reduce potential damage to your electrical system.

Where can I find a tripped breaker?

Your main breaker panel will be grey or black. You can usually find it in a utility room in the basement or on an exterior wall near the power meter. It might have a door to cover it. Inside the electrical panel, you'll find the breakers. They'll look like thick black light switches. Often, the breaker switches will have a label next to them that tell you the area of the home they're connected to. .    

  • When a breaker switch is in the ON position, it means electricity is flowing to that section of your home.
  • When a breaker switch is in the OFF position, it means that no electricity is flowing to that section of your home.

  How to reset a breaker

If you've lost power in your home, the first place you should check is your breaker panel. Look for any breaker switch not in the ON position. Turn the breaker all the way to the OFF position and then back to ON again. Sometimes a tripped breaker switch will be halfway between ON and OFF. If so, it will still need to be turned OFF and then ON in order to restore power.

If you've reset your breaker and you still don't have power, follow these steps:

  1. Switch every breaker to the OFF position, including the main breaker. The main breaker will look like a double switch and is usually near the top of the electrical panel.
  2. Wait 10 seconds. Turn the main breaker to the ON position. You should hear a click when it goes into place.
  3. Switch each of the individual breaker switchers to the ON positions, one at a time. The breakers can be a little stiff, so make sure you can hear a click for each one. The click means the breaker is ON and the electrical circuit is closed.
  4. If your power still doesn't come back on, call our Power Emergency Line at (780) 412-4500.

  How to work your circuit breaker panel

Breakers are electrical switches located in your home's main electrical panel. A breaker switch can protect your home's electrical system from damage and hazards. If there is more electrical load on a circuit than it can handle, it will cause a tripped breaker to reduce potential damage to your electrical system.

Where can I find a tripped breaker?

Your main breaker panel will be grey or black. You can usually find it in a utility room in the basement or on an exterior wall near the power meter. It might have a door to cover it. Inside the electrical panel, you'll find the breakers. They'll look like thick black light switches. Often, the breaker switches will have a label next to them that tell you the area of the home they're connected to. .    

  • When a breaker switch is in the ON position, it means electricity is flowing to that section of your home.
  • When a breaker switch is in the OFF position, it means that no electricity is flowing to that section of your home.

  How to reset a breaker

If you've lost power in your home, the first place you should check is your breaker panel. Look for any breaker switch not in the ON position. Turn the breaker all the way to the OFF position and then back to ON again. Sometimes a tripped breaker switch will be halfway between ON and OFF. If so, it will still need to be turned OFF and then ON in order to restore power.

If you've reset your breaker and you still don't have power, follow these steps:

  1. Switch every breaker to the OFF position, including the main breaker. The main breaker will look like a double switch and is usually near the top of the electrical panel.
  2. Wait 10 seconds. Turn the main breaker to the ON position. You should hear a click when it goes into place.
  3. Switch each of the individual breaker switchers to the ON positions, one at a time. The breakers can be a little stiff, so make sure you can hear a click for each one. The click means the breaker is ON and the electrical circuit is closed.
  4. If your power still doesn't come back on, call our Power Emergency Line at (780) 445-1800.

Important safety tip

When resetting a breaker, use only one hand and stand to the side of the electrical panel. If the breaker malfunctions, this will help to avoid electrical arcing. If the breaker continues to trip after being reset, call an electrician.

  Who to call if you have trouble with your breakers and
electrical panel?

Remember, electrical systems can be dangerous. If you think there is an issue with your electrical panel, contact an electrician. If you've read how to reset a breaker and are unsure of your abilities, call an electrician to help. If you've reset the breaker and still don't have power, and your electrical panel is in working order, call our 24-hour Power Emergency Line at (780) 412-4500.

What causes a tripped breaker?

Circuit overload or short circuit

A breaker will trip when it detects a problem. For example, having too many appliances plugged into an outlet will cause the breaker to switch into the breaker OFF position to stop the flow of power to that circuit. A dangerous short circuit can also trip a breaker. Stopping power from entering that  circuit is a safety feature and can prevent fire hazards and even injury.

Power outage

Sometimes the main breaker will trip when there is a power outage. If this happens, it could be that there was an electrical overload. If the power to your area is back on after an outage, but your home still doesn't have electricity, check the electrical panel. You might have to reset it to restore power. We've provided instructions on how to reset a breaker below. 

Before you reset a breaker

When the breaker flips into the off position, you will need to reset it. Before you do that, turn off all light switches and appliances, and unplug all electronics in the rooms that have lost power. Disconnecting switches and devices will help protect them from power surges when you reset the breaker.  

Note: Some older homes may have fuses instead of breakers in the electrical panel. An overloaded fuse will have to be replaced.  

  Who to call if you have trouble with your breakers and
electrical panel?

Remember, electrical systems can be dangerous. If you think there is an issue with your electrical panel, contact an electrician. If you've read how to reset a breaker and are unsure of your abilities, call an electrician to help. If you've reset the breaker and still don't have power, and your electrical panel is in working order, call our 24-hour Power Emergency Line at (705) 445-1800.

What causes a tripped breaker?

Circuit overload or short circuit

A breaker will trip when it detects a problem. For example, having too many appliances plugged into an outlet will cause the breaker to switch into the breaker OFF position to stop the flow of power to that circuit. A dangerous short circuit can also trip a breaker. Stopping power from entering that  circuit is a safety feature and can prevent fire hazards and even injury.

Power outage

Sometimes the main breaker will trip when there is a power outage. If this happens, it could be that there was an electrical overload. If the power to your area is back on after an outage, but your home still doesn't have electricity, check the electrical panel. You might have to reset it to restore power. We've provided instructions on how to reset a breaker below. 

Before you reset a breaker

When the breaker flips into the off position, you will need to reset it. Before you do that, turn off all light switches and appliances, and unplug all electronics in the rooms that have lost power. Disconnecting switches and devices will help protect them from power surges when you reset the breaker.  

Note: Some older homes may have fuses instead of breakers in the electrical panel. An overloaded fuse will have to be replaced.  

Call our 24/7 Power Emergencies line

(780) 412-4500

Call our 24/7 Power Emergencies line

(705) 445-1800