Replacing A Couple Of Circuit Breakers
August 13, 2006
Q: I need to replace a couple of breaker switches. If I turn the main breaker off will I get shock if I try to remove the switches?
A: No, you shouldn’t get shocked unless your main breaker is bad or you have a back up power source; such as a generator. One of the best tools to have when working with electricity is a multimeter. Always verify the power is off before beginning any work with electricity. Set your multimeter to the AC voltage setting and be sure it reads 0 volts.
If the main breaker is in your panel, the wires coming into the breaker are still going to be live. Use caution and be sure not to touch these wires. If the main breaker is outside, turning this off will kill all of the power coming into your electrical panel.
When you turn off the main breaker this kills the power to the bussing that the breakers attach to. You should also turn off the breaker before removing it from the panel. Be sure to replace the breaker with one of the same amperage. Replacing a breaker with a higher amperage could start a fire and is a NEC violation.
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