The next step in troubleshooting would be to isolate the breaker form
the circuit. If you can, turn off the power to the breaker at a main
line disconnect or panel breaker. With no power in the panel, try to
close the breaker. If it will not close, the breaker is bad, go ahead
and replace it.
If you can't easily power down the entire panel, the following can be
done with the box live, but you must used extreme caution. Do not do
this without someone else right there and a rescue plan. You need to
remove the cover from the panel and disconnect the circuit from the
breaker by removing the wire that connects the circuit to the breaker.
With this wire removed try to close the breaker. If it will not
close, the breaker is bad, go ahead and replace it.
If the breaker stays closed with no power on or with the circuit
disconnected, you have some other fault in the house wiring or one of
the light fixtures.
On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 11:41 AM, Scott Hall
> So we had some impressive storms here a few night ago and the power went
> out. That's normal, it does that every time there's a storm. Also, each
> time this happens, there's a power surge right before the power goes out
> (the issue seems to be a transformer (?) at the end of the street--the gray
> cylinders on the poles). Usually this fries a VCR, etc.
> This time a breaker int the main box has flipped and won't stay
> Now...before I just Google "how to replace a breaker" and do that, I
> prudence dictated I ask someone smarter than me (that's you guys :-) ).
> This is a 15-amp breaker, I think (it's the smallest kind in the box), and
> the only thing it's powering are three overhead light fixtures and a
> wall-socket. There's nothing plugged into the socket, and all the fixtures
> are off. One of the fixtures is a remote-controlled fan/light combo, but
> I've got the wall switch that controls that fixture in the off position.
> So...my (completely uninformed and only one 'Theory of Electrical
> Engineering' class, many years ago) deduction is that the breaker itself
> must be bad, since there's nothing on the other side of it drawing current
> that could have shorted and now be open, which will cause a fire when I
> the breaker...unless maybe a wire in the wall broke, or something.
> So...do you guys have any thoughts before I have at this? Am I missing
> things here? I'm about to kill myself and burn down my house? I should be
> testing with a multimeter or something?
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