AW Sperry CS550A Circuit Breaker Finder Manual:
The circuit breaker is a device which protects your home or business from fire, electric shock, water damage, explosion and other hazards. You need to know how to open the circuit breakers safely in case of emergency. If you have not opened the circuit breaker before then it might cause some problems if you do not know how to do so.
There are two types of circuit breakers; automatic and manual. Automatic circuit breakers will automatically turn off when they detect an overload condition. Manual circuit breakers require the user to press a button or switch to shut them down.
Both types of circuits have different features and functions.
Automatic Circuit Breakers:
Automated circuit breakers are devices which automatically turn off when they detect an overload condition. They usually come with a warning light which indicates whether the breaker is operational or not.
Manual Circuit Breakers:
Manual circuit breakers are devices which must be operated manually. They may be located near electrical outlets, switches, fuses and similar items. A manual breaker’s function is to protect your home or business from fire, electric shock, water damage, explosion and other hazards.
Some manual circuit breakers have a timer which turns them on after a set period of time (usually 15 minutes). Others may only operate at certain times of day or night.
How To Open the Circuit Breaker Safely:
If you believe that an electrical device such as an oven, toaster, iron or curling iron is malfunctioning then you should immediately turn off the circuit breaker. If the device was not turned off your home or business could experience fires, water damage and other safety hazards. There are two ways in which you can turn off the breaker.
You can either switch off the main fuse or pull out the main breaker. If one of the devices you are using has its own fuse then you should remove it from the device and throw it away.
There are two types of breakers: main and panel. The main breaker is a large switch which can be turned off with your hand. The panel breaker is located inside the breaker box and must be turned off using a key.
To turn off the main breaker, follow these steps:
Find the main breaker in your home or business. It will probably be located near your electrical meter. It might also be located in your breaker box.
If it is a main breaker, it should say MAIN on the switch. If it is a breaker box, then it may have some writing on it indicating what it controls (for example: kitchen, bathroom, living room). Turn the main breaker off by flipping it down. It should click when you turn it off. If you have a panel breaker, follow these steps: Find the breaker box. It may be near your electrical meter or in another area of your home or business. You should see a key hanging from a nail near the breaker box or on the side of it. Use the key to open the breaker box. If you do not have a key then look for another way (such as a latch, screw, etc) to open it. Inside you should see a number of fuses and breaker switches. Pull out the appropriate one (such as the kitchen breaker if you are in the kitchen) by pulling it out of the panel. It should click when you pull it out.
Once you have turned off the breaker, proceed to turn off any devices which are plugged into the outlet that you turned off. If you are not sure what device the outlet belongs to then unplug everything. After you have turned off the breaker, follow these steps to turn it back on:
Find the main breaker. Flip it up by lifting it with your hands. It should click when you turn it on.
If you have a panel breaker, follow these steps: Open the breaker box using the key you found earlier. Find the correct switch (kitchen, bathroom, living room, etc). Replace it into the panel. You should hear a click when it is in place.
Be sure to turn off the breaker before you leave your home or business.
Steps to Take if Your Device Gets Wet:
Inspect the area around the device to see if there is water or moisture anywhere else. If you find any, there may be a water leak which could cause other serious problems. Report this issue to your property manager, landlord or maintenance worker immediately.
After you have inspected the area, unplug the device and remove it from the wall if it got wet. If water came into contact with any part of the device then you will need to replace it. If only a small part of the device got wet, such as the cord, then you may be able to dry it completely and continue to use it. If you are not sure, you can always replace the device just to be safe.
Steps to Take if You Smell Gas:
Shut off the heater or furnace immediately. Do not turn on any lights, appliances or anything else that could potentially cause a spark. If you smell natural gas (which has a distinct smell similar to fertilizer) then leave your home or business quickly and contact your local gas provider.
Do not use your phone since it could cause a spark. Go outside and move away from the building.
Steps to Take if You Notice Cracks or Damage:
Inspect your electrical devices (or those of your neighbors) for any cracks or other damage. If you notice any, shut off the device and unplug it from the wall. Do not attempt to turn it on or attempt to repair it yourself.
These could be signs of a bigger issue such as a short-circuit which could lead to an electrical fire. Report the issue to your property manager, landlord or maintenance worker immediately.
Inspecting Your Clothes Dryer Vents:
Clothes dryers can be a big source of home fires. One of the most common causes for these fires is lint build up in the dryer vent. Lint can catch fire while drying clothes which can spread throughout the entire house.
It is important to clean your dryer vents on a regular basis.
Sources & references used in this article: