What To Do When Your Breaker Goes Out
Shoddy outlets and sporadic power outages are signs of a breaker box in disrepair. It is important to inspect your breaker as well as prepare for blackouts.
A power outage can be a disruptive and dangerous situation if you are underprepared. Before the lights go out again, formulate a blackout plan and take preemptive steps to ensure your circuit breaker is in working order. While only a certified electrician can tell you for certain if there is a problem with your breaker, there are signs you can check yourself that you may need a breaker repair or replacement.
Spotty Power Outlets
Do you ever notice some outlets fail to give you power? This is a sign that you may have circuit problem. It may be as simple as bad wiring, or it may be the result of a breaker failure. If you notice a number of lights and outlets that have stopped working, check your circuit box to see if any circuits have blown. If any of the switches are in the off position, toggle them back on, but not before you have unplugged everything connected to the circuit. If the same circuit has a habit of shorting, it may be overloaded or there is a defect in the wiring. Consult an electrician if the problem persists.
Frequent Black Outs
If your house seems to go dark even when there is no neighborhood outage, then you likely have a circuit breaker problem. You may need to install a larger breaker capable of withstanding larger power loads. Have a professional electrician evaluate your power needs and install an appropriate breaker to suit them. Ignoring a broken or underperforming breaker will ultimately cost you more in energy costs than the cost of a replacement will.
What to Do in a Blackout
Preparation is the key to getting through a power outage. Place flashlights throughout your house, especially in the bedrooms, kitchen, and basement. If resetting the breaker fails to bring the lights back on, you will want to be prepared for a longer outage. Keep bottled water available at all times and avoid opening the refrigerator to keep your perishable goods cold. Do not use candles unless absolutely necessary, as they can be a fire hazard. If the blackout occurs during extremely hot or cold weather, consider relocating family members who require constant climate control for their health. Unless it is a system-wide black out, contact your electrician immediately for emergency service.
Don’t get caught stranded in the dark any longer. If you are in need of breaker box repair in Los Gatos, follow this link to get in touch with trusted local electricians.
Bruce writes about electrical fixtures and methods. You can find his thoughts at electrical buzz blog.
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