Troubleshooting Electrical Problems

If your power goes out, the first step of troubleshooting is to identify the problem. Is your neighbor’s power out as well, or is the problem isolated to your home or business?

If the problem is at your home or business, you should first check your circuit breakers before you call the cooperative to report an outage.

When a circuit breaker trips, it moves about midway between the full-on and full-off positions, and it will move back and forth a little when you wiggle it. To reset a tripped breaker, push it to the full-off position (opposite all the other breakers in its column), then to the full-on position, and then let go immediately. If it trips again or does not stay in the “ON” position, please contact a licensed electrician to repair the problem.

When you have partial power out in your home or business, you may also check all GFCI outlets to make sure they don’t need to also be tripped back on. They are commonly located in bathrooms or garages, and can feed power throughout the entire home or business.

If a breaker or GFCI outlet is tripped because of a tool or machinery overload, make sure you’ve switched off or unplugged that device before restoring power.

If you know of or suspect an unresolved problem that has caused the breaker to trip, do not attempt to reset it. Contact a licensed electrician to repair the problem.

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