How to Read Your Break Box & Replace a Circuit Breaker Skip to main content
Connect with Us Facebook Twitter
Home Fort Collins Articles How to Read Your Break Box & Replace a Circuit Breaker

How to Read Your Break Box & Replace a Circuit Breaker

Circuit Breaker Box installation Fort Collins

Circuit breakers are an essential part of any electrical system, as they protect your home or business from electrical overloads and short circuits. However, like any other component, electrical breaker box circuit breakers can wear out over time and need to be replaced. In this article, we will discuss how to read your breaker box and replace a circuit breaker, specifically the EQ-T circuit breaker and the Onan generator circuit breaker.

Understanding Your Breaker Box

Before we dive into the specifics of replacing a circuit breaker, it's important to understand the basics of your 200 amp circuit breaker box. Your inside breaker box or outdoor circuit breaker box, also known as the electrical panel, is the central hub for all the electrical circuits in your home or business. It contains a series of switches, called circuit breakers, that control the flow of electricity to different areas of your building.

Each circuit breaker is labeled with a number or letter that corresponds to a specific area or appliance in your building. For example, the circuit breaker labeled "kitchen" controls the electricity to all the outlets and appliances in your kitchen. It's important to know which circuit breaker controls which area or appliance in case you need to turn off the power to a specific area.

What Is A Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker is a switch that controls the flow of electricity in an electrical circuit. It is an important safety device that automatically shuts off the electrical power in the event of an overload or a short circuit. This helps to protect the electrical wiring and prevent electrical fires.

When a circuit breaker trips, it interrupts the flow of electricity, and you need to manually reset it to restore power. In the context of your article, understanding how a breaker box switch works is crucial before replacing a faulty one.

Identifying a Faulty Circuit Breaker

The first step in replacing a circuit breaker is identifying which one needs to be replaced. There are a few signs that can indicate a faulty circuit breaker before you open breaker box:

  • Tripping frequently: If a circuit breaker trips frequently, it could be a sign that it is worn out and needs to be replaced.
  • Burning smell: If you notice a burning smell coming from your breaker box, it could be a sign that a circuit breaker is overheating and needs to be replaced.
  • Visible damage: If you see any visible damage, such as cracks or discoloration, on a circuit breaker, it should be replaced immediately.

Replacing an EQ-T Circuit Breaker

The EQ-T circuit breaker is a type of circuit breaker commonly used in residential and commercial buildings. Here's how to replace an EQ-T circuit breaker:

  1. Turn off the power: Before you begin, make sure to turn off the power to your service panel breaker box. You can do this by flipping the main circuit breaker to the "off" position.
  2. Remove the cover: Use a screwdriver to remove the cover of your breaker box.
  3. Locate the faulty circuit breaker: Look for the circuit breaker that needs to be replaced. It should be labeled with a number or letter that corresponds to a specific area or appliance in your building.
  4. Remove the faulty circuit breaker: Use a screwdriver to remove the faulty circuit breaker from the panel. Make sure to hold onto the sides of the circuit breaker and not the terminals to avoid getting shocked.
  5. Install the new circuit breaker: Carefully insert the new circuit breaker into the panel and make sure to pay attention to the breaker box wiring hot wires and secure it with the screw.
  6. Turn the power back on: Once the new circuit breaker is installed, turn the power back on and test the area or appliance to make sure it is working properly.

Tips for Replacing Circuit Breakers

Always turn off the power: Before replacing a circuit breaker, make sure to turn off the power to your breaker box or generator. This will prevent you from getting shocked.

Use the correct replacement: Make sure to use the correct replacement circuit breaker for your specific breaker box or generator. Using the wrong type of circuit breaker can be dangerous and cause further damage.

Consult a professional: If you are unsure about how to replace a circuit breaker or do not feel comfortable doing it yourself, it's always best to consult a professional electrician.


Replacing a circuit breaker may seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and precautions, it can be done safely and effectively. By understanding how to read your breaker box and identifying a faulty circuit breaker, you can easily replace an EQ-T circuit breaker or a circuit breaker. Remember to always turn off the power and consult a professional licensed electrician if needed. With these tips, you can keep your electrical system running smoothly and safely.

Contact Titus Electrical Services

We specialize in electric breaker box panel upgrades. If you are looking for an "electrician near me", or "Electrician Fort Collins", Titus Electrical is here to help. Our expertise in residential home electrical repair service and rewiring is vast. Reach out to us at 303-915-5771.