how to check if a breaker is badIf you don’t know how to check if a breaker is bad, never fear – you’re not alone. Arc Angel Electric is glad to educate people on how to perform this basic task. If we had a nickel for every time we got an emergency electric service call, only to find that a circuit breaker simply needed to be reset…we would have a whole lot of nickels.

Checking for a tripped circuit breaker takes moments. If you follow these four basic steps, you will probably be able to handle the majority of your own power loss issues and avoid expensive emergency electrician visits!

Here are the four steps for when you need to know how to check if a breaker is bad.

1. Find your electrical panel. 

It should look like a big metal box with a large wire casing or two running into it. The box may be installed on an exterior wall, or a basement wall, a garage wall…it depends on where you live and who built the house.

2. Take a close look at the outside and inside of the box. 


If you see several round objects, likely made of glass in the box, then you have an old fuse box. Call you electrician right now to schedule an upgrade to a breaker box – it will be far more safe and reliable.

3. If you see a bunch of switches, that’s good news!

You already have a breaker box. Check to see if all of the switches are aligned with each other, and look for a fault light; these are usually orange or red. If you see a switch that is lit up or slightly off-line with the rest of the switches in the row, turn that switch all the way off and then back on. This is how you reset a breaker, and chances are that you have just resolved your electrical issue.

4. If resetting the breaker does not fix the problem, or the breaker trips again right away, it’s time to get the breaker replaced.

The switch may be faulty, or it simply may not have enough capacity for all of the devices and outlets assigned to it. Always bring in a licensed and insured electrician when your electrical panel requires work.

The older your home is, the more likely it is that you will experience electrical problems like tripped circuit breakers. Old circuits were simply not designed to handle the electrical load of modern electronics and appliances. For homes that are more than a couple of decades old, upgrades to the electrical panel will be required sooner than later.

For your other questions about how to check if a breaker is bad, call our expert team at Arc Angel at 770.889.9243.