You Are At: AllSands Home > Howto > How to correct circuit breaker overloads
Circuit breakers hold fuses that direct current all over your home. If a fuse is tripped it will cut power to that part of the home. The fuse is tripped for three reasons, an overload, a short circuit or a ground fault. All are potentially dangerous, because it means there is some type of problem. Because all overcurrents cause heat, you should attended to the problem immediately. You do not want a damaged circuit, a fire to start, or someone to be electrocuted.
To correct an overload, you need to find what fuse was tripped. Many people mark their fuse box with labels. If not, you will be able to tell which part of the house does not have power. Check that part of the house before you go to the fuse box. Look carefully. Likely there are multiple appliances in use, or something plugged in that isn't normally there. Anytime a circuit cannot handle the amount of power going through the fuse to the outlets, it will trip the fuse. Unplug any extra appliances or items that could be tripping the fuse.
If you cannot find any extra appliances, you should rule out a short circuit. To make sure you have a short circuit, and not a different type of overcurrent, go to the fuse box. If you have a short circuit, the fuse will have a blackened or discolored mica window. A fuse tripped by another overcurrent will be clear, but there will be a break in the metal strip. You can also tell it is a short circuit if the circuit fails repeatedly. If the circuit has an overload, and you put the fuse back in place, it will likely not trip again.
If you have continued problems, you might need to turn off the power to your home. Go to the fuse box and find the main breaker. Turn the main breaker off. If you have several fuses instead of one switch, turn the fuses into the off position.