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Learning About the Circuit Breakers and Fuses in Your Home

By Edited Oct 27, 2013 0 0

Every home has a breaker box of some sort. The breaker box holds the circuit breakers and fuses that bring electricity into the home. It is usually in the basement or in a utility closet/room.

It is very important that you learn about these circuit breakers to keep you from getting injured or worse.

The first thing you will want to do is see if each breaker is labeled. There should be a sticker or a label sheet that states which breaker goes with which room of your house. Example: Breaker 1 might have kitchen written out beside the number 1...so breaker #1 should cut the power off in your kitchen when it is flipped to the off position.

To test this, you will need a friend's help. Cut on a light in each room of the house. Have your friend stay upstairs and you go to the breaker box. Flip the first breaker to the off position...have your friend walk around from room to room to see which light is off. Once they find the room where the light is off, they will need to tell you which room this is, so you can check to see if that matches what is written on the label. Or if there is no label, this will give you a chance to create a chart so you will have it for future use.

If you test a breaker and no lights go off, you might want to check the HVAC unit (heating and air conditioner), the refrigerator or stove. These items are usually on a breaker to themselves.

You will also want to make sure you all of the breakers are facing the same direction. If they are and you have electricity to your home, then your breakers are in the on position. If one of them is in the middle, then you will have to reset this breaker. You will need to push it all the way to the opposite direction of the other breakers and then push it back to the "on" position (facing the same direction as the others)...if you have one breaker that is facing in the opposite direction as the others, you only have to push it to the same side as the others and that will turn that power back on to that breaker.

Your fuses can be either cartridge or screw-in fuses. Fuses can be tested using a multimeter. Follow the directions on your multimeter to test the fuses.

I can't talk about circuit breakers and fuses without talking about the GFCI breaker (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)...These are outlets that you will usually find in your kitchen or in the bathroom. Sometimes you will find a GFCI in the main breaker box. It will have a red, yellow or white reset button. The GFCI will flip off if it detects moisture. This is to prevent electric shock to you or your family.

You should be very careful around electricity, breaker boxes, etc. Make sure all power is turned off before trying to repair or replace any outlets, etc.



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