In this modern world, circuit breakers are becoming more of a requirement than a nondescript accessory in a home. For all security and safety reasons, circuit breakers is a must-have mechanism to prevent hazards like fires and problems related to electrical current as they function to cut off power when the load surmount to higher than normal. In this article, we will discuss the steps on how to upgrade the circuit breaker.
Friendly Note: If you’re an inexperienced electrician, doing the steps yourself at home might pose some danger, so it would be better if you can call out a professional or ask somehow who has been trained and equipped with skills to accomplish the steps.
Here are the requirements to complete the action: upgraded circuit breaker, wire strippers and electric service panel.
Ways on How You Can Upgrade a Circuit Breaker
1. First is to inspect the service panel to check the connections of the outlets and switches to the circuits control. This is also to know if your home is wired with sufficient power for your appliances and electrical devices when they are plugged to one or multiple circuits. If the area is too dim, bring a flashlight and/or portable lighting equipment or turn on a light bulb for proper illumination.
2. Notice the peak loads on the circuit and take the measurement of everything that is connected to that circuit. If you see that the load is not enough, you may be required to have additional circuits. But note that adding such requires permission from the building or house and coordination with your electrician for closer inspection.
3. Know the full capacity of the circuit and compare the number with the one existing in your circuit’s load. Then determine the electric service that is needed to do the upgrade. Anything above 150 amperes to 400 amperes, for instance, may not be accepted – this is a case to case basis.
4. Once decided, carefully remove the main breaker and main service panel and disconnect existing circuits from the panel. The electric utility provider must be informed that they shut off the service in the meantime while the upgrade is ongoing.
5. Bring in the new circuit breakers and install them into the available slots on the service panel.
6. Connect the new circuit breaker to the circuits respectively through the wires.
7. When the wires of the circuit are connected successfully to the breaker with secured assembly, call the electric utility provider once again. This time, inform them that they can restore power in your home.
As noted above, you can follow these instructions by yourself only if you have some skills and experience to switch and upgrade into a new circuit breaker. If not, it’s best not to compromise on safety and let the electricians do the work for you as the task may be dangerous.