Circuit breakers are the most important defense against most electrical problems in your home. Should an overload or fault occur, the breaker will trip and cut all power going to the affected circuit. This prevents electrical fires and other dangers.
However, your breaker isn’t indestructible. If it’s too old or has repeatedly overloaded, then it likely isn’t working properly anymore. When a breaker is in poor condition, it might not trip when necessary. Conversely, the breaker might trip at completely unpredictable times, becoming a massive nuisance.
Of course, the breaker might not actually be the problem. If there are electrical issues causing it to trip often, then these need to be rectified. Make sure that you test adequately and rule out the alternatives. You may also want a circuit breaker tracer to see if the problem can be isolated.
Replacing an Old or Faulty Circuit Breaker
Once you’ve determined that it’s necessary to replace the circuit breaker box, you can proceed with the next step. Contact electricians in your area to get quotes. Upgrading can cost you anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the product they use.
The actual replacement process is quite simple. As a safety precaution, the home’s main power supply should be turned off beforehand. Once the electrician has double checked that there’s no power left, they simply have to disconnect the old breaker and carefully pry it off. They can then install the new one, put the panel cover back on, and test if everything is working.
Remember, a broken or outdated circuit breaker is a major safety hazard, TASCO, Inc.reminds. It can also affect your insurance rates and chances of selling your home in the future. If you suspect that your breaker is in need of replacement, don’t hesitate to consult an expert for advice.