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A Bad Main Breaker Can Cause A Power Outage In Your Home

If the power suddenly goes out in your house, you might think the power company is at fault. When you lose power to your entire house, the utility service is often to blame due to a storm, accident, or work on the lines. It's also possible for a problem in your electrical panel to cause a blackout in your home.

When your power is out, call the power company first to see if they have a problem. If the electric company can't find an issue on their end, call an electrical contractor for help. Here are some electrical repairs the contractor might need to make.

Check For Shorts And Overloaded Circuits

The main circuit breaker is probably involved when the power to your whole house is out. The main breaker cuts off power to all the other breakers so you won't have power anywhere. The electrical contractor has to determine if the breaker itself is bad or if the problem is a short or overloaded panel. They may start by shutting off all the circuits and then flipping the main breaker back on to see what happens when a circuit at a time is flipped back on.

If a single circuit breaker is malfunctioning and not flipping off when it should, the main breaker acts as a backup and flips off. If this is the case, the electrician can replace the bad breaker and track down the short circuit or check for an overloaded circuit that caused the main breaker to trip.

Replace The Main Breaker

The contractor can test the main breaker as well as all the individual breakers with a multimeter to see if a breaker is bad or shorted out. If the problem is with the main breaker, the breaker will be replaced. Replacing a main breaker is a little different from replacing one of the other breakers in the panel. When one of the individual breakers is replaced, the electrician turns the power off at the main breaker to kill power to the panel.

When the electrician needs to change the main breaker, the power has to be turned off at the meter. This is done by pulling out the meter so no power flows to the electrical panel until the breaker has been replaced. Some utility companies don't allow anyone to remove their meters. Your electrician may need to call the utility company and have them disconnect the meter and then come back and connect it again once the breaker has been replaced. Replacing the main breaker involves pulling the old breaker out and putting in a new one of the exact size.

Before the new breaker is flipped on, the electrician turns all the other breakers off and then turns them back on one at a time after the main breaker is on so the breakers aren't all energized at once.

If you have an issue with your power, reach out to an electrical contractor like one at McDonald Electric