How to Tell if a Circuit Breaker is Bad

As an electrician, you understand how important circuit breakers are to buildings. Since circuit breakers interrupt electrical flow in a circuit in case of an overload or short, they provide protection for overheating wires, overloads, and short circuits in residential and commercial applications. However, certain circuit breakers could fail to trip in response to an overcurrent or short circuit and lead to a hazardous situation, including a potential fire. Here’s a breakdown of the main signs of a bad breaker and where you can find newly manufactured replacement breakers.

What are the Main Signs of a Bad Breaker?

The main signs of a bad circuit breaker are burning smells, flickering of lights, buzzing noises coming from the panel, or melting or burning on the breaker. To test if the breakers are faulty, turn them off and on again to see if they trip. A trained electrician should perform the main diagnosis so they can look for arcing or melting where the breaker and busbars connect.

If the breakers are faulty, it’s time to replace them. When an older electrical panel is deemed by a qualified electrician to still be in effective and safe condition, newly manufactured replacement breakers make it possible for outdated breakers to be replaced for often under $200 instead of requiring the panel to be replaced for thousands of dollars.

Used breakers from defunct manufacturers are several decades old, carry no manufacturer’s warranty, and are unpredictable due to their age. Circuit breakers should only be replaced with new tested and safety agency listed circuit breakers. Used or refurbished circuit breakers should never be used.

Where Can I Find New Replacement Breakers?

There are several kinds of new replacement breakers or replacement parts. At Big Electric Supply, we offer a variety of replacement breakers and parts that are ETL listed to the UL standard, so you can have peace of mind when working on your next job site. We carry replacement breakers for the following brands:

Need Replacement Breakers? Thing Big Electric Supply

With decades of experience working with electricians, we understand how important you are to the homes and businesses of our great country. Based right here in the USA, we pride ourselves on shipping on time and providing professional electricians with affordable, high-quality electrical products. Our products are also new, safe, and certified as reliable. We offer new products built exactly to old dimensions but in concert with new regulations. Our products are ETL-listed and tested to UL standards. As a trustworthy business partner, we have the vendor scorecards to prove it. Our helpful customer service team is here to address any unexpected circumstances and always make things right to ensure our customers continuously have a positive experience.