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What Is A Circuit Breaker, And Where Do I Find It In My Home?

A circuit breaker is a central component of modern electrical systems. This important safety device puts a limit on the amount of power moving through your home’s circuits to prevent overloads that could cause damage to your electrical system or even start a fire. Knowing what your circuit breaker does and where to find it are two basic pieces of information every homeowner should have. If you have questions about your home’s electrical system, can’t find your circuit breaker, or need any type of electrical repair or upgrade in Fairfax or Montgomery County, contact your residential electrician for the help you need.

What Is a Circuit Breaker?


Your home’s circuit breaker is a box that contains several switches (often they are labeled by room). These switches are safety devices designed to trip when too much power tries to travel through the circuit, causing it to heat up. When too much electricity is present, the switch trips and breaks the circuit, preventing dangerous fire hazards. The switch can be manually reset at any time by flipping it back to its original position, restoring the circuit and allowing power to flow once more. However, if excess current occurs again, the switch will continue to trip, no matter how many times you reset it. A continually-tripping circuit breaker is a sign that there is an electrical problem in your home that is consistently causing too much power to flow through a circuit. Your trusted local electrician can help you identify the problem and solve it for improved electrical safety and increased convenience during daily electrical use. 

Where Is the Circuit Breaker?

While every home is different, circuit breakers are generally located in low-traffic areas of the home, such as a basement, garage, or utility closet. If you live in an apartment, your circuit breaker may be in a more central location, such as a hallway or laundry area. Most modern circuit breakers are located inside the home, but it’s important to note that your circuit breaker could be located on your home’s exterior as well. Your circuit breaker should appear as a metal box; you may only see the door if the box is recessed into your wall. The box and door may be a matte gray color, or they may be painted over to match the color of the surrounding area. If you can’t find your circuit breaker, call on your electrician for assistance!

If you have questions about the condition of your circuit breaker or any other part of your home’s electrical system in Fairfax County or Montgomery County, have F.H. Furr’s knowledgeable electricians perform an electrical safety inspection in your home! We also invite you to check out our blog for more information about your home’s electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems.

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