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?
Doug Miller wrote:
email@example.com (Marie) wrote:
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.
replying to Harry K, Corey William Burke-Smith wrote:
Well I agree with you about the part about faulty breakers, but if a breaker
partially trips, only part of the circuit that breaker manages is receiving
power, the rest of the circuit isn't receiving enough electricity to respond
correctly, thus seeming to not have any power at all, let's say for instance the
breaker for the kitchen partially trips, and none of the appliances have any
power, but the lights have power. Odds are the breaker is faulty and needs to be
replaced, otherwise you'll be stuck turning it off and back on once every day.
On 11/3/2018 11:14 AM, Corey William Burke-Smith wrote:
If the appliances have no power but the light does, that means it was
wired properly. It is for safety that lights and receptacles are on
different circuits. Large rooms will be split side by side.
As for partial trips, you have no clue. Stop spreading misinformation.
There is no such thing.
On Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 11:14:07 AM UTC-4, Corey William Burke-Smith wrote:
That's all incorrect. What they are talking about with a "partially tripped
breaker", is a breaker that is tripped, but the handle only moves partially
toward the off position. It's actually fully tripped, the circuit is
de-energized, but the handle isn't all the way over to the off position
where it would be if you turned it off manually. With a single pole
breaker, it's impossible for part of the circuit to be energized and part
not. With a double pole breaker, it might be theoretically possible for
one half to be energized, but the only way would be some bizarre, probably
impossible failure inside the breaker where one half could make contact
while the other half could not. In a practical sense, if the breaker
trips to that intermediate position and any lights, receptacles, etc
are without power, all the ones on that circuit are also without power.
What you have is a breaker that tripped, the question is why.
replying to Doug Miller, Corey William Burke-Smith wrote:
Well, that's not the case with me. I was playing my Xbox one when all of a
sudden it shut down and would not turn back on. However, my ceiling light was
still on. So I went around checking my outlets. My outlets had no power to them.
I went and checked the breaker box. All the breaker switches were on. So I got
my bud who knew how to fix it. All he did was flip the breaker that powers my
room, his room, and my brother's room off and back on again and the outlets
starting working again. So yes, there is a such thing as a 'partially tripped
breaker'. It's a breaker that trips to the point that only part of a circuit is
On Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 11:14:06 AM UTC-4, Corey William Burke-Smith wrote:
What makes you think the receptacles and lights are even on the same breaker?
They aren't. That's why the circuit with the lights had power and the
circuit with the receptacles did not. Go check and you'll see.
I went and checked the breaker box. All the breaker switches were on. So
replying to Marie, Corey William Burke-Smith wrote:
A partially tripped breaker is a breaker that was partially overloaded and
started sending most of the excess electricity to the ground wire, and had
started restricting power to the circuit it manages, so sometimes the lights
will work but the outlets won't have power. Or vice versa. To remedy this, just
flip the corresponding breaker switch off and back on and it should reset it.
Then the next day, check the room, if it's the same as before you reset the
breaker, then that means that the breaker is faulty and needs to be replaced as
soon as you can, otherwise you'll be stuck resetting it once every day.
On Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 11:14:08 AM UTC-4, Corey William Burke-Smith wrote:
Just stop already. Breakers don't send any electricity to ground. They
simply OPEN to disconnect the circuit, when the current limit is exceeded.
And once they open, the whole circuit does not have power.
Or vice versa. To remedy this,
Yes, if the breaker is sending anything to ground, the breaker is bad
and needs to be replaced before something very bad hapens.
Sounds like someone that doesn't know what they are talking about is
shooting a line of bull.
In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 03 Nov 2018 15:14:04 GMT, Corey William
You've said the same thing 3 times and you've been wrong every time.
In case two people telling you that is not enough to convince you. I'll
be the third.
The lights and the outlets are on different circuits with different
breakers. So you can have light in the room even if one circuit is
If part of a circuit has power the whole one does. What would keep the
power from one part of the circuit out of the other part? It's not
partially tripped. It's fully tripped, but the handle didn't move as
far as it could.
Possible. Many breakers are barely visible as tripped and as you point
out, the lever is only partially to the "off" position. The comments
about flow to ground and just enough for lights is nonsense though.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.