Circuit breakers that trip and don’t turn back on or reset is a common issue in households. The circuit breaker is created to measure amperage and limit the current when necessary. This means a breaker will suddenly trip when a high flow of current is present. This is also known as a short circuit.

Why won’t the circuit breaker reset?

The following information is reasons why circuit breakers won’t reset. • Wrong Reset Procedure – The proper procedure for resetting the breaker is to push it to the off position, then to the on position quickly. Some homeowners make the mistake of trying to push the breaker directly to the “on” position without turning it off first. • Overloaded Circuit Issues – It is easy to overload circuits. It is due to having too many devices plugged into electrical outlets. This is common when electric cords are being used. Another cause could be that the light bulbs you have installed in your lamps have a high wattage that is overwhelming the circuit. • Short Circuit Issues – Circuit breakers that trip continuously and won’t allow you to use any electrical devices such as a lamp or computer is a sign of a short circuit. • Faulty Breaker – A faulty breaker is a rare occurrence. However, it does happen from time to time. If you are not able to determine the cause of the circuit breaker trip, a faulty breaker is something that needs to be confirmed by a professional electrician.


A quick off and on flip of the breaker solves the issue most of the time. However, if the breaker continues to trip there is something more serious going on, such as a short circuit or overloaded circuit issues. To troubleshoot the cause, try the following: • Reset the Breaker – Turn the breaker to the off position and then to the on position quickly. This will reset the breaker. • Unplug Everything – Find the outlets that are controlled by the specific breaker and unplug everything. • Plug Electrical Devices In – One by one, plug the devices back into the outlets. As you plug in the devices, have someone watch the breaker to see if it trips. If it trips again while you are plugging in the devices the circuit is overloaded. You will need to use other outlets to control the situation. Keep in mind that circuits are designed to hold a specific amount of power, if it gets overloaded it will continue to trip. If you notice sparks, a burning smell or appliances, and devices that are hot to the touch, contact an electrician immediately.