If you are planning to work on the electrical system in your home, you need to turn off the circuit breaker. Whether you are switching out an outlet for a new one or you are repairing your water heater, you never want to have your power running when accessing your home's electrical wiring. Here are some tips for turning off the circuit breaker safely and effectively.
While shutting off a circuit breaker is a simple task that rarely has issues, it is always a good idea to be safe while you do it. If your home recently experienced a flood or roof leak, check the area around the electrical panel first. If there is any water seen on the ground or in this area, do not touch the panel. Instead, call an electrician about the issue. It is also recommended that you wear protective clothing, at least with boots and gloves, just in case there is an electrical issue while you are shutting it off.
Find the Electrical Panel
If this is your first time turning off a circuit breaker, you first need to locate the electrical panel. There are a few different places you might find your electrical panel. It may be on the exterior of your home, but this is rarely done anymore because it puts you at risk of others shutting off your power. If it is not on the exterior wall of your home, check inside your garage or basement. In smaller homes, such as manufactured homes, it might be right in the kitchen or dining room area.
Find the Right Circuit
Once you have located the electrical panel, open up the panel door. If your panel is outside, it may be locked to keep intruders from accessing it. If you don't have the key, you will need to first call a locksmith to get it sorted out. Once you can get the panel door open, look at the inside of the door. Here is a piece of paper with what is called a panel schedule. It lists the different electrical circuits in your home and where the breaker goes.
For example, if you need to turn off power while working on your furnace, look to see what circuit the furnace's power is connected to. In some rare cases, the electrician that set it up did not label the circuits. In this case, you will need to turn off each circuit breaker individually until you have found the one to turn off the right appliance.
Turn Off the Circuit Breaker
When you have found the right circuit breaker, flip the switch to the off position. Before you go start to work on that electrical system, test the circuit to make sure it is definitely off. You can do this with a circuit tester. Contact a company like Advanced Appliance Service Inc for more information.