Changing Breaker Panel

People often rely on electricians to fix anything that concerns electricity. An expert should be called upon to do the job, rather than risking harm to yourself. But what if your breaker panel is acting weird, and there are no electricians available? What should you do?

Before tackling the job yourself, there are things that you should consider as a beginner. You do not want to end up waking up in  a hospital bed.

  1. Lighting

The lights in the panel have to be removed when fixing the breaker panel. Therefore, electricity must be turned off to avoid electrocution. A well-insulated light source is essential. Here’s a pro tip:  use a freestanding light that is battery operated. Most of these battery-operated light sources can be manipulated by a switch. This keeps your hand free from having to hold the light source itself.

  • Wiring Basics

It is imperative for a beginner to know the essentials and the basics of wiring. This is to avoid unnecessary accidents while attempting to fix the breaker panel. Here are a few basics to get familiar with:  

  • Black and white wires are hot wires. This means that they have  electricity flowing through them. They usually carry the current from the breaker to the appliance.
  • White wires are electrical return wires. The current that flows through this wire is from the appliance back to the breaker panel.

Take note that no current should flow through the ground wire, except for a short circuit. If this is the case, the breaker will act up and stop the current flow by flipping.

  • Breaker’s Safety

If the circuit breaker snaps or breaks, replacing it and assuming the issue is settled is not always accurate. There are other things to assess in the situation in order to address the root of the problem. Replace the breakers with those of the same size. Also, do not overload your breaker with high-amperage appliances. Constant overloading will cause the breaker to snap over and over again.

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Pro tip: Set a schedule when using high-amperage appliances, and make sure that other appliances are not plugged in while the high-amperage appliance is in use.

  • Tools

There are several tools that you need to be familiar with. These tools must be well insulated to avoid electrocution:

  • Safety goggles for eye protection
  • Insulated light source for additional lighting
  • Rubber mat to stand on while working
  • Cable connectors to connect the breakers to the panel
  • Voltage tester to indicate whether the breaker is working or not
  • Necessity in Replacing the Breaker

Breakers do not snap often. If there is  trouble in the breaker panel, testing is the best way to find out if it is defective. Assuming that the breaker is broken is not useful. Test the breaker with a multimeter tester.

  • When Should a Breaker Be Replaced?

Don’t wait until the breaker is worn out to replace it. If it begins to generate a burning stench, like a burning plastic, or a physical defect can be seen, you’ll know it is time for a replacement. If you are still not sure about replacing your breaker panel on your own, it is always best to contact a certified electrician. They can better assess the situation.



ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re looking to have a new HVAC system installed, we’re on-call and ready to assist you. So if you’re in need of an HVAC installation, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an inspection! Our HVAC installation experts will check your ductwork, measure, check wire sizes, and more before making recommendations to ensure maximum efficiency and comfort. Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC installation team online by clicking here.


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