Circuit Boxes: The Little Rascals Can be a Bother

Hello everyone:

Have you ever flipped a switch or plugged something in, switched it on, and had nothing happen? That’s what happened to me at my new home on Friday. I plugged in a lamp in my master bedroom, turned it on, and the lamp did not light up. I moved the lamp and plugged it in elsewhere in the room. Still nothing. Moving the lamp into the bathroom (and who has a lamp in there?) revealed a perfectly-functioning lamp. Drat! What in the world???

A trip downstairs quickly revealed the problem: For some reason, three of the circuit breakers in the master bedroom were in the “off” position. That isn’t the kind of thing that happens as a rule, so I had to assume that someone, at some point in time, had turned them off. The mystery, which still remains, is why? Fortunately, the circuit box was labeled, so I was able to determine the problem pretty fast.

Learn where your circuit breaker is as quickly as you can. It is usually hidden behind a little door, so look for a door on the wall of your room (it will frequently be in the basement).

Clearly label your circuit breaker box, so that you know what turns off the electricity in a specific part of your house. You will need this information if something “trips your circuit breaker.” This means that you need to open the breaker box and flip the switch back into the “on” position, if you turned something on and the power went out in one area of your house.

Please note that bathroom switches sometimes overload and they immediately trip and turn themselves off. If this happens, the little “test” button on the switch pops out. Simply hit the “reset” button and things should be fine. If the lights are off all over your house, call the power company. You may have a power outage and it won’t go back on unless the power company knows you are having a problem.

I hope you find this helpful!

Best,

Dr. Sheri

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