A new panel was installed but one of the rooms had no power even
though the circuit breaker switch was "on." I was advised that this
may be a "partially-tripped" breaker and told to flip the switch off
and then back to "on." It worked! Power restored.
If the breaker switch was pointed to "on," why was the power off. And
what is a "partially-tripped" breaker? TIA.
Circuit breakers can trip two ways. First a human can flip
it all the way off. Second, excessive current can flip the
breaker part way off (still fully disconnected) so that you
know this tripped due to a safety issue.
To reset a breaker that has tripped due to an electrical
problem (not due to a human), one must first flip breaker all
the way to off, and then flip it all the way back to on.
A partially flipped breaker is a warning to the human who
resets it - "Houston, we had a problem".
Yes, that's how you reset a tripped breaker: switch it off, then on.
There is no such thing as a "partially-tripped" breaker. When a breaker trips,
it trips. Period.
Breakers have *three* positions, not two: on, tripped, and off. The tripped
position is midway between on and off. Sometimes, when a breaker trips, the
handle doesn't move very far, and the handle is still near the on position,
making it appear at first glance that the breaker is still on. Sounds like
that's what happened to you.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt.
And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
And if the breaker was truly in the 'on' position, you have a very
faulty breaker. Replace it. You can tell a tripped breaker by
comparing its position against the ones above/below. It should be
distinctly out of position.
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