What to Do if Circuit Breaker Won’t Reset

What to Do if Circuit Breaker Won’t Reset

A circuit breaker is a crucial safety device that protects your home’s electrical system from overloading and potential fire hazards. It is designed to automatically trip and interrupt the flow of electricity when it detects an excessive amount of current passing through the circuit. However, there are times when the circuit breaker won’t reset, leaving you without power in that specific area. In such cases, it is essential to know how to troubleshoot the issue and safely restore power. Here are some steps you can take if your circuit breaker won’t reset.

1. Identify the Problem:
The first step is to identify the problem that caused the circuit breaker to trip in the first place. Common causes include overloaded circuits, short circuits, or ground faults. Look for any appliances or devices that may have caused the overload or malfunction. Unplug or disconnect them from the circuit and try resetting the breaker again.

2. Disconnect All Devices:
If the circuit breaker still won’t reset, disconnect all devices and appliances connected to that specific circuit. This includes unplugging all electronics, turning off lights, and shutting down any equipment in the area. Once everything is disconnected, try resetting the breaker again.

3. Inspect for Damage:
Check the circuit breaker panel for any signs of damage, such as burnt or discolored wires, a burnt smell, or loose connections. If you notice any visible damage, it is crucial to call a licensed electrician to inspect and repair the issue.

4. Test Other Circuits:
To determine if the problem is isolated to a specific circuit or if it is a larger issue with the electrical system, test other circuits in your home. If all other circuits are working fine, the problem is likely limited to that particular circuit.

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5. Call a Professional:
If none of the above steps work, it is best to call a professional electrician. Attempting to fix the problem on your own without proper knowledge and expertise can be dangerous and may cause further damage. A licensed electrician will have the necessary tools and experience to diagnose and repair the issue safely.


1. Why won’t my circuit breaker reset?
There could be several reasons why your circuit breaker won’t reset. It could be due to an overloaded circuit, a short circuit, a ground fault, or a faulty breaker. Identifying the cause is essential in troubleshooting the issue.

2. Can I reset the breaker multiple times?
It is generally safe to reset the breaker once or twice to see if the problem resolves itself. However, if the breaker keeps tripping, it indicates an underlying issue that needs to be addressed by a professional electrician.

3. Can I replace a circuit breaker on my own?
While it is possible to replace a circuit breaker on your own, it is not recommended unless you have the necessary knowledge and experience. It involves working with live electrical components, which can be dangerous. It is always best to call a licensed electrician for such tasks.

4. What should I do if the circuit breaker gets hot?
If the circuit breaker feels hot to the touch, it may indicate an overloaded circuit or a faulty breaker. In such cases, it is crucial to call a professional electrician to inspect and resolve the issue promptly.

5. How often do circuit breakers need to be replaced?
Circuit breakers typically last for many years. However, if you notice any signs of damage, such as burning smell, discoloration, or frequent tripping, it may be time to replace the breaker. Consult with a licensed electrician for a proper assessment.

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In conclusion, a circuit breaker that won’t reset can be a frustrating issue to deal with. By following the steps outlined above and seeking professional help when necessary, you can ensure a safe and efficient resolution to the problem, restoring power and maintaining the electrical safety of your home.