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How to replace a circuit breaker video

4.3/5 - (6 votes)

Replace A Circuit Breaker Video

Circuit Breaker Pin
Circuit Breaker

OK, one big thing I left out of the video, on the breaker you’re replacing there will a number on it. In most cases, it will be right on the handle (switch) stating 15 or 20 amp or really whatever it may be. This is the amperage, this means if the circuit is drawing more than the stated amperage that the breaker will trip, now once a breaker trips you should wait at least 10 minutes before attempting to reset it. The reason is that the whole circuit has been overloaded and you should let it cool down first.

Never ever keep trying to reset a breaker that has failed. Doing so will provide the circuit with electricity and this is bad. Say the breaker tripped because a rat chewed the insulation on the wires and now they’re touching. The breaker did its job once for you. Don’t think it will keep doing so.

This I have seen before, a 15 amp breaker keeps failing, it trips ever so often and now the homeowner changes it does a 20 amp thinking that it should work now. You know what, he was right. It did work, meaning that the breaker doesn’t trip for a whole two weeks. Instead, the 14/2 15 amp wire in that circuit melted and made a fire. A very bad choice for him. 

For a 15 amp circuit uses a 14 gauge wire with a 15 amp breaker

For a 20 amp circuit uses a 12 gauge wire with a 20 amp breaker

As you can see from the picture below that the bus bars are staggered so the breaker that would be on top of the other one right on top of it will not take power from the same busbar (phase)

So in other words, if you were to install a two-pole breaker (220 volts) it will take power from both bus bars (both phases) creating 220 volts

How to change a circuit breaker
Watch this video on YouTube.
Doing my best to bring you the best videos I know how.

Comments ( 8 )

  1. Dominic,
    Thanks for taking the mystery out of this! I have a very healthy respect for electricity and so, if I don't know what I'm doing 110%, I don't touch it! Therefore, what you showed here with the breaker replacement is awesome. I completely got it!

    Having said that, you made a comment about "tracing a circuit to find a short" if the breaker trips continuously. I don't have that problem, but I'd like to know your thoughts about how a person would go about doing that.

    Thanks again!


  2. Thank you so much. Well not something can get done real fast. First you would find the beginning of that circuit and remove all the wires from the outlet or switch. And then on to the next one testing the breaker out each time. Now there can be a lot to it, but this should give you some kind of idea.

  3. Hello Dominick, I was wondering if you know how to change a 20 amp outlet to a 15 amp outlet. So heres the story, we had a very old A/C that needed 20 amps and 220 volts. It had a special three hole outlet. Old A/C stoped working a long time ago, we put in a new a/c, and pluged into an outlet in the room other than the unique outlet for the old a/c, because it wouldnt fit. But every time I turn on the a/c plus the a/c in my sisters room, the circuit breaker downstairs clicks off. So I figured theres this 20 amp outlet in the wall thats good for nothing. So I decided to change the old outlet for old a/c and put in a new reg 20 amp 3 hole outlet. Now I can plug in the new a/c into the new outlet. Now the fan sounds very powerful, and stays on, but the compressor turns on for 5 sec then turns off, and repeats every 2 minutes. I am guessing there is too much power in the outlet, and compressor keeps turning off so that the ac doesn't burn out. And it does say the new a/c uses 15 amp, And I dont want to change the ac. Please let me know if you know.

    Thank You

  4. What it seems to be is that you have a 220 line and you're trying to use a 120 outlet and A/C. Tell me if I'm right first before we go on, OK.

  5. Dominick,

    Excellent videos on changing a breaker. I am wondering about a breaker in my panel that I cannot turn off. Obviously, It has not tripped to the off position in the past. I am wondering if this breaker is faulty and needs to be replaced.

    • You being able to turn off the breaker and the breaker tripping are two different things. If your breaker doesn’t have a lock on it. Maybe a little metal tab with a screw in it than your breaker might be bad. You can send me a picture of it if you like. A the bottom of this page you’ll see “contact Dominick” use that.

  6. Hello Dominic,

    I have an issue at home. I have 2 rooms connected to a 10 Amp breaker there was not issues at all until I decide to add a motion sensor light to my back yard and what I did was use one of the rooms outlets to connect the light to it as follow. I drilled the wall and Add an extra wet outlet to the outside of my house and wired the new light and outlet to the outlet inside the room. As soon as I turn the breaker on it trip and I check all connections looking for a short but everything was connected right so I try again with the breaker and tripped again, I went and change the new motion light and the outlet to make sure there were not issues with them and reconnect everything and guess what… trip again.

    My house was build in 2003 and I want to change the 10 Amp breaker for a 15 Amp breaker… what are your suggestions on this case..

    Thanks in advance,


    • Ok first off I doubt you have a 10amp. Has to be at least a 15amp. In your case you’ll to trace every part of it and make sure it’s all ok. I would use a voltage test but the one for polarity checker. Watch my video on the home page of this site “Checking Voltage”

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