Circuit Breaker Safety Tips

When working with electricity, you need to take some security measures. This includes working with circuit breakers, which are a safety measure themselves.. Circuit breakers switch off to keep a power surge from occurring and potentially causing appliance damage or even a fire. However, not taking safety steps while working with circuit breakers can result in bigger problems than the ones the breakers are designed to prevent. So we’ve included some safety tips below to help keep you and anyone else within your building or home safe as well.

Before you do anything with the circuit breaker panel (even if it’s just an inspection of a worn-out breaker), you must shut off the main breaker and be certain that the panel is isolated.

Also, be sure that you and anyone else working on or inspecting the circuit breaker are wearing some form of protective equipment. You should especially do this if there is potential for an arc flash hazard, which is an electric charge that can not only ruin equipment but can also cause serious injury. To determine the risk of an arc flash hazard happening, find out of if there are any exposed circuit parts and review the equipment’s design as a whole. Also, research when the installation of the equipment happened and whether or not it was installed correctly.

Be certain that the breaker you select is designed to work with the existing panel. You can do this by checking to see that the breaker has the right amperage rating along with matching wiring.

If you or someone else is switching out or adding a new circuit breaker, check to see that there is no damage done to any of the equipment, wires, and new pieces. A quick review will determine whether connections will work as they’re supposed to. If not, the parts can be fixed or replaced beforehand, which saves you the time and effort of replacing or fixing things later.

Keep in mind that the main bus bar and the conductors leading into the panel can be electrified (also called “hot” or “live”) even if the main breaker is shut off. So be careful and ensure that you’re using the right equipment and procedures to complete the job.

A detailed inspection of every new part and connection needs to be carried out by a technician after the replacement or installation of the circuit breaker. Not completing an inspection means that an issue could be overlooked, and that could result in the destruction of the whole panel along with all of your building’s or home’s electrical workings. Simply flipping the breaker on isn’t the right way to see if everything was connected properly. Complete the inspection first to prevent unnecessary and severe damage.

An additionally important preventative measure you should take to ensure the safety of your building or home’s circuit breaker panel is completing inspections and maintenance work consistently. This helps guarantee that all the breakers are in working condition. Breakers age and wear out, so they should be switched out when necessary. Most problems can be found during inspections and fixed before any more damage can occur.

If you have questions concerning fixing or replacing your circuit breaker, or you aren’t sure what kind of circuit breaker you need (especially if you’re looking for Siemens Allis or General Electric circuit breakers), contact Electric Control. You can call us at 1-800-521-0197, or email us at

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