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How do you change a breaker?

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May 14, 2009 9:58PM

This is best left to an electrician. You're dealing with hazardous voltage in a breaker panel, in a tight area. It's very easy to accidentally touch something "hot". I don't recommend you do this procedure. <><><> Shut the main breaker off and use a battery light source to see what you are doing. After removing the panel cover you will be able to see what type of breakers are in the panel. There are two types, push-in or bolt-in. Shut the breaker you want to change-out to the off position. Remove the load wire from it. If the breaker is a push-in type, pry with moderate pressure to the side of the panel while lifting up on the breaker. If it is a bolt-in type just unscrew it from the bus bars. Install your new breaker: with a push-in breaker seat it firmly onto the bus with a hard push. With a bolt-in beaker a bit of caution should be taken not to cross-thread the screw into the bus. If this connection is not tight, arcing could result. Over time this connection could fail and may cause the panel to be changed out due to bus failure. Don't over torque the screw. Replace the load wire and cover and you are done. SAFETY ADVICE

Before you do any work yourself,

on household electricity supplies, equipment or appliances,

always turn off the power

at the breaker box/fuse panel BEFORE you attempt to do any work AND

always use an electrician's test meter having metal-tipped probes

(not a simple proximity voltage indicator)

to ensure the circuit is, in fact, de-energized. IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY SURE YOU CAN DO THIS JOB