Standard circuit breakers monitor the flow of electricity as it enters your home and makes its way through your electrical wiring system to outlets, light fixtures, appliances and electronics. As long as the electrical current operates within levels determined by the breaker’s ratings, the flow of electricity continues unhindered. However, in the event of an overload or short circuit; caused when a hot wire touches a neutral wire, ground wire or another hot wire; the breaker trips and breaks the current to prevent wires from overheating and diminish the potential for electrical fires. Circuit breakers can go bad due to age, illegal installations, and too many trips. Before replacing circuit breakers it is a good idea to consult with a licensed electrician. Installing the breaker incorrectly could cause harm or could result in additional repairs. It is also important to install the correct breaker for the application.
Load capacity — In order to add a new circuit and new circuit breaker you must determine the amp size of the circuit breaker you need to install based on the total circuit load. Most appliances have the amp rating listed on them. Permanently installed large appliances such as A/C units, washing machines and ovens, require their own dedicated circuit. Consult an electrician if you are unsure of your total circuit load.