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Replacing a Circuit Breaker – What Size Should Be Used


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Replace a Circuit Breaker: Common Mistakes When Replacing Circuit Breakers and How to Avoid Them

Guide to Replacing a Circuit Breaker

Electrical Question: My house was built in 1977 and I have a 14 gauge wire to a bathroom with modern appliances such as hair dryers.

This electrical wiring question came from: Stephen, a Homeowner from Nantucket, MA.
Additional Comments: Excellent service for the homeowner with limited electrical knowledge.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Stephen.

Preparations for Replacing a Circuit Breaker

Common Mistakes When Replacing Circuit Breakers and How to Avoid Them

Selecting the Circuit Breaker Size

How to Replace a Circuit Breaker

  1. Schedule and prepare the occupants and the home to be without electrical power.
  2. If the project will not be done during daylight then make sure to provide battery powered light sources for home occupants and for yourself.
  3. When the home and occupants are ready, turn off the main breaker power source to the panel.
  4. Remove the panel covering from the circuit breakers.
  5. Turn off the circuit breaker that will be replaced.
  6. Test the terminal where the circuit wire is attached to the circuit breaker to make sure power the power is off.
  7. Unfasten and remove the wire that is attached to the circuit breaker wire terminal.
  8. Circuit breakers are removed by first releasing the opposite end of the wire terminal while hinging it out, and then releasing the wire terminal end and pulling the breaker outward.
  9. Install the new replacement circuit breaker using the reverse method used for removing the old circuit breaker.
  10. Make sure the circuit breaker is fully installed.
  11. Firmly attach the circuit wire to the circuit breaker terminal.
  12. Prepare to install the panel cover by making sure to clear any interior wiring that may interfere with the panel cover installation.
  13. Install the cover over the circuit breakers.
  14. Turn on the main breaker or power source.
  15. Turn on the new circuit breaker and test the circuit power.

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2 Responses to “Replacing a Circuit Breaker – What Size Should Be Used”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Your Right Jeff, the wire size and the circuit breaker size go hand in hand where they have the same amperage rating otherwise there will not be circuit integrity and electrical over current safety.
    Dave

  2. JEFF MYERS says:

    YOU NEED THE RIGHT GAUGE WIRE FOR THE RIGHT BREAKER