How to Replace a Circuit Breaker

How to Replace a Circuit Breaker

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Do you want to know how to replace a circuit breaker? Are you looking for some easy steps for circuit breaker replacement? If yes, you are in the right place. Changing a circuit breaker will require a few safe and easy steps. Also, you will have to use some tools.

The function of a circuit breaker is to disrupt the power supply to the circuit when the flow exceeds the safety limits. When a breaker does not work, it prevents the power supply to switches and other reaching outlets. In that condition, you can consider circuit breaker repair. You can also replace circuit breaker when the damage is irreparable.

In the following, we will cover the causes of circuit breaker trips. Also, we will know how to replace a circuit breaker. Additionally, you will be aware of the tools that you can use during circuit breaker replacement.

Circuit Breaker Trip Causes

The circuit breaker in the breaker box monitors the current level of the circuit. If the breaker senses that the current flow is short or more, it will be automatically switched off to prevent the power supply. The objective is to protect the circuit from overloading. When it comes to circuit breaker trips, it can happen due to many factors.

The breaker might trip when you operate many electrical appliances at a time. However, you can reset the breaker if it trips. If the breaker is damaged, you will have no other choice except replacement.

Also, if the circuit breaker continues to trip after resetting, you might need to replace it. You can check with an electrician to know the exact cause. The professional can consider replacement or repair based on the condition.

Circuit Breaker Trip Causes

Tools Needed to Replace Circuit Breakers

If you want to replace the circuit breaker on your own, you will have to get some tools. The process will be risky without safety tools. Therefore, make sure that you have all the safety tools before considering a replacement. You will have to go with insulated tools since you will be working with electricity. Here are a few tools that you can have while repairing or replacing a circuit breaker.

  • You will need a rubber or plywood mat to stand on it while changing the circuit breaker.
  • Get an insulated flashlight to have the required illumination during the procedure.
  • Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes in unfavorable conditions.
  • Have some other insulated tools that include wire strippers, a hammer, and a screwdriver.
  • Make sure that you have a voltage tester to test that the new circuit breaker is functioning or not. Also, you will have to ensure that there is no live wire while working with electricity. Any mistake can be fatal.
  • You will have to get cable connectors to connect the breaker to the panel.

In addition to all these, you will need a new circuit breaker. While buying a circuit breaker, you will have to check the size and brand to ensure a proper fitting. If you want to purchase your electric devices from a reputed name, you can consider CHINT. You will get a wide range of products.

Once you have all the tools, you can plan to replace the circuit breaker. Here are step-by-step instructions.

How to Replace a Circuit Breaker

Step 1

If you want to replace a circuit breaker in your 2-pole breaker, first, you will have to turn off all the branch circuit breakers, and then you can turn off the main circuit breaker. You will have to double-check, and then you can plan the next step. You will have to check the adjacent breakers to ensure that the power supply is stopped. Any mistake can cause irreparable emotional damages.

Step 2

Once you are sure that the panel is dead, you can remove its cover. After removing the panel cover, you can access the branch breakers. You do not need to remove the cover of the main circuit breaker. It is risky and can be handled by professionals only. However, you can replace the circuit breaker by removing the panel cover.

Step 3

Now you will have to detach the wire from the damaged breaker. After this, you can pull the breaker out. You will have to do it carefully. While removing the old circuit breaker, you will have to observe the position and fitting. Check the mechanism and fitting so that you can smoothly install the new circuit breaker in the place of the damaged one. After removing the defective breaker, you can install the new circuit breaker.

Step 4

Check the fitting and position of the new installation. Also, observe other circuits and tighten any loose connections. Place the panel cover, and then you can turn on the main circuit breaker and other breakers. Use the voltage checker to ensure that all of them are functioning.

Safety Requirements During Replacement

Safety should be the first concern while dealing with electricity. It is worth mentioning that circuit breaker boxes house some electrics. Therefore, you will have to take the required safety measures and use the right tools while working in and around those boxes. First, get the safety tools, and then you can start working.

Also, you will need adequate lighting while replacing the circuit breaker. You can use an insulated flashlight. But you will have to hold it in one hand while installing the circuit breaker. Therefore, you will have to find a better solution. You can consider having freestanding lighting. Apart from that, you will have to ensure that all the circuit breakers are turned off.


You can replace your circuit breaker safely by following adequate safety measures. Also, you will have to choose the right size for the new circuit breaker to ensure proper fit. While replacing it, make sure that you are protected with safety gear. Most importantly, turn off all the circuit breakers that include the main circuit breaker. If you are not confident, reach out to electricians.

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