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Circuit Breaker Services

Use the Calgary electricians you can trust to repair or upgrade your circuit breakers.

Our modern lives are dependent on electricity. And, like with most things, we don’t even think about it until there is a problem. That’s when we realise we are dependent on safe, reliable electricity.

Electrical Inspection, Electrical panel inspection, Electrician inspecting the electrical panel in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer

Did you know the circuit breakers in your electrical panel play an integral part in supplying your home with safe and reliable electricity? Your circuit breakers have two jobs:

  1. Distribution

Circuit breakers distribute electricity to the wires that carry it throughout your house. Electricity enters your house through the electric meter and into the electrical panel. From there the electricity is split between two bus bars. Circuit breakers attach to either one or two of the bars and channel the incoming electricity through the wires that service the branch circuits.

So even if the grid delivers you reliable power, all the areas of your house will not receive reliable electricity unless the circuit breakers do their job properly.  

  1. Safety

While the breakers distribute the electricity, they are also continually monitoring their branch circuit. When they detect a problem, they immediately shut off power to that circuit.

This is why your breaker trips, it has found a problem and has turned off the electricity before someone has gotten hurt or damage has occurred.

As annoying as a tripped breaker is, it means the breaker is doing its job by keeping you safe from electricity’s destructive side.

Our certified electricians know everything there is about circuit breakers and keeping your electricity safe and reliable. In addition to their formal apprenticeship training, all our electricians participate in continuing education to add new skills and keep on top of new developments in the industry.

If you have any concerns about your circuit breakers, let us know and we will help!

You can call us at (403) 879-1759, chat with us (click on the red Chat With Us icon at the bottom right corner of this page), or you can fill out our online form and we will quickly get back to you.



Circuit Breaker FAQs

What do circuit breakers do?

Circuit breakers have two main functions.

First, they feed electricity to the different branch circuits in your house.

Second, they continually monitor their branch circuit for an increase in amperage (electrical current). When the amperage exceeds the safe amount, the breaker stops the flow of electricity to that branch circuit.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) breakers also monitor for ground faults and arcing, respectively.

Where are circuit breakers located?

Your circuit breakers are in your electrical panel. Electrical panels are usually found in the basement, garage, utility, laundry room, and even hallways.

What does a tripped circuit breaker mean?

It means the circuit breaker found a problem on its circuit and has turned off power to the circuit it serves.

How do I know which breaker has tripped?

There are two ways. When you get to the electrical panel you can either:

  • Look for the breaker whose switch is in the off or middle position.
  • Look at the panel map and find out which breaker services the room where the power has been turned off.

How do I reset a tripped circuit breaker?

Once you find the tripped breaker in the panel, you will see its switch is either in the off position or in the middle. How you reset the breaker is dependent on the location of its on/off switch.

Off position

To rest the breaker you simply need to move the breaker’s switch back to its on position. 

Middle position

To reset this breaker, you need to do one more step. You will need to move the switch to the off position until the circuit breaker “grabs” the switch. You will usually feel a click at the same time. Once this happens, you can turn the switch to the on position.

Arc Breaker Repairs

A circuit breaker has tripped, but none of the switches are in an off or middle position. What do I do?

Sometimes a breaker will trip but its switch will not move. This is an indicator the breaker needs to be replaced. In the meantime, refer to your circuit breaker map (usually on the inside of the panel door) to find the breaker you need to reset.

If you don’t have a circuit breaker map, here are some easy instructions to create one.

How many circuit breakers should be in my electrical panel?

You should have one circuit breaker for every branch circuit in your house. So the number of circuit breakers will vary from house to house.

What do I do if a circuit breaker won’t trip when it should?

If a circuit breaker isn’t working how it should, you need to call an electrician. Circuit breakers are a safety device and if it isn’t working it puts your house and your family at risk.

Give us a call, we can help.

My circuit breaker or electrical panel is wet, warm, smells funny, or has scorch marks. What do I do?

These are all indicators that there are problems with your circuit breaker. You need to get an electrician in to look at it sooner rather than later. As mentioned earlier, faulty circuit breakers leave you at risk. 

 

We can help, give us a call.

Can I add more circuit breakers to my panel?

 

  1. Will adding more breakers exceed the number of breakers your panel is designed to handle? If yes, you can’t add any more. If no, move to the next question.
  2. Is there room in your electrical panel for more circuit breakers?  If no, you can’t add any more. If yes, you can add more breakers.

Please check with a licensed electrician before adding more breakers.

How do circuit breakers detect a problem?

We covered conventional circuit breaker designs on the Edmonton – Circuit Breaker Services page.

 

Here we will discuss more advanced circuit breaker designs.

 

Many advanced circuit breaker designs use electronic components called semiconductor devices to monitor the electrical current rather than the electrical devices used in conventional designs. 

 

These components are more exact when monitoring the current and respond more quickly when shutting off the power than conventionally designed breakers. However, they are considerably more expensive, so conventional breakers are more widely used in our homes.

 

GFCI circuit breakers and AFCI breakers both use electronics in their design. These types of breakers are discussed here if you are interested in more information on them.

 

This article further explores circuit breaker designs and how they work.

Do I have to use the same brand of circuit breaker as the panel?

You need to use circuit breakers that are compatible with the type or brand of your electrical panel. 

This does not mean they have to be the same brand. But you need to be careful, different brands of breakers look the same and some can be used interchangeably. But not all, so make sure you double-check that the brand of circuit breakers you are using is compatible with your electrical panel.

Just because a breaker fits in the slot in the panel does not mean it will work in that panel.

Using the wrong breaker in a panel could lead to damage, injury, or voided breaker or electrical panel warranties among other things.

If you are unsure about which circuit breaker to use, give us a call at (403) 879-1759.

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