Are you figuring out how to replace a breaker box? Perhaps it’s already damaged, or you want to prevent them from happening.

When a circuit breaker fails, it doesn’t always guarantee you can repair it. The solutions go from quick resets to component replacements.

So, how can you do so? Here’s a quick guide on replacing a breaker box without electrical service.

Identify the Brand

Before you replace a circuit breaker, you must determine the brand. Knowing the manufacturer is essential with circuit breakers since they usually only accept breakers made for its panels.

Using a breaker that doesn’t match the manufacturer or brand can result in electrical malfunctions.

In some cases, you might have to replace the whole thing. You might even have to contact a professional electrician for assistance.

Turn Off the Power

When you’re ready to start, turn the main power off. If you’re new to electrical work, most recommend shutting down your entire power supply for safety.

Locate the switch on your main circuit breaker that says OFF. You might lose light, so be sure to have a flashlight.

Stand on the side or turn your eyes away from the breaker. This way, you can protect yourself if something occurs during the transition.

Uncover the Breaker Panel

Use a screwdriver to remove the panel. Hold onto the cover and begin with the corner screws. Unscrew the middle ones last.

Be careful not to let the cover tip into the panel when you remove it. It could cause complications, so be sure you have a good hold on it.

Remove the Circuit Breaker

Place the lever on the circuit breaker to OFF once the cover is off. Carefully extend the circuit wire connected to the breaker.

Grab the edge and pivot it out towards the panel’s outer side. After, the breaker should snap free.

Disconnect the Wiring

Unscrew the black circuit wire attached to the breaker. It might also have a neutral circuit wire if you are replacing an AFCI or GFCI breaker. You should also disconnect these by loosening the screws.

Attach Wires to the New Breaker

Attach the black circuit wire to the new circuit breaker by placing the bare end of the wire under the screw terminal and tightening it. You can identify it by locating the LOAD label.

For AFCI and GFCI breakers, you should connect a white neutral circuit wire to its corresponding screw or the terminal marked NEUTRAL. You can also check electrical services in this area if you need guidance.

Insert the New Breaker

Carefully insert the new breaker by hooking it into the back holder clip into the panel and pushing it forward until it secures. Be sure the breaker lines up with bus bar while you place it. 

Cover the Panel and Turn the Power On

Replace the panel cover and screw it back in place. When everything is back in place, ensure all the levers are OFF before turning the power back on.

Once you open the power, you can flip back each lever in the breaker to the ON position. Be sure to do this one at a time.

Learn to Replace a Breaker Box by Yourself 

Replacing a breaker box is a great DIY project. It can refresh outdated electrical systems and improve overall safety. Get the right supplies, follow the steps outlined in this article, and stay safe.

Now, you’re ready to take the next step! Get started on replacing your breaker box and upgrade your electricity today!

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