Mobile home caravan trailer doublewide electrical hookup (C) Daniel Friedman Steps to Turn Electricity Back On
After main or multiple breakers trip / fuses blow

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Turning the main breaker back on:

This article describes some careful steps to reduce the chance of fire or shock or injury if the main circuit breaker has tripped off and if perhaps additional circuit breakers have tripped off in your building as well.

Before restoring electrical power by flipping breakers back on, here are some things to do, starting with calling a licensed electrician.

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Steps to Turn Electricity Back On After Main Breaker Trips

Main electrical panel (C) DanieL Friedman This article is about how to turn power back on when one or more circuit breakers have tripped.

If your elecrical box uses fuses, see BLOWN FUSE REPLACEMENT.

On 2017-07-19 by Mike

Breakers popped loudly now no electricity in entire trailer house.

This question & answer about mobile home electrical systems was posted originally at MOBILE HOME ELECTRICAL WIRING FAQs

On 2017-07-19 by (mod) - how to turn power back on after the main breaker popped off


That sounds like a major short circuit and it sounds as if the main circuit breaker has tripped off.

I'm inclined to be very cautious because if there was a significant short circuit we don't want to turn on power and have a fire or injury.

Other safety experts will doubtless have additional advice and warnings about the safest way to restore power after the main breaker has tripped. The following is my OPINION.

Also see our advice at Step 5. RESTORE UTILITIES AFTER FLOODING .

Steps to turn electrical power back on after a main breaker trip

Step 1: I would leave power OFF and call for help from a licensed electrician.

That's because even if the original problem seemed small, like a bad toaster that should have tripped off the electrical circuit to which the toaster was plugged-in, if the main breaker has tripped off - killing all power in the home - then the individual circuit breaker probably didn't do its job and it too may be unsafe.

Step 2: Take a look around the home to see if there are signs of sparking, arcing, burns at electrical receptacles, lights, switches, appliances etc.

If you need power right away and the electrician won't be able to come promptly you could try this sequence.

Safety at an open electrical panel means don't touch (C) DanieL FriedmanWatch out: you could be shocked, killed, or could start a fire if the circuit breakers in your home do not trip off when they should.

And do NOT open the electrical panel to expose its interior wiring unless you're a trained electrician: there are live, fatal shock hazards inside.

Step 3: Un-plug absolutely everything you can - lights, appliances, etc.

Step 4: Switch off everything you can - heaters, pumps, water heater etc.

Step 5: in the main electrical panel look to see what breakers are tripped off:

From your note I guess that probably the main breaker is OFF

Step 6: looking at your electrical panel, write down

- which breakers are all the way to ON
- which are visibly at OFF
- which are in the middle between OFF and ON - these are breakers that have tripped

Step 6: provided you don't see evidence of black arcing or burn marks anywhere (including at or on the electrical panel)

You could try then switching the main breaker back, on provided you're not standing in water or are wet or are on wet ground, touching other metal pipes etc.

If the breaker pops off again leave it OFF until you've got onsite help.

If the main breaker stays ON and there is no smoke, spark, or other scary fire or shock event that you can see or hear or smell in or around the home

Watch out: if there are any signs of smoking or heating, if the fuse blows, or if a breaker goes off, leave all power off and call a licensed electrician.

Step 7: you can try to turn ON individual circuit breakers that were ON previously, one by one - those circuits may be OK

IF those breakers stay on without sign of trouble (as above) check those circuits for power: some lights and receptacles should be working.

Watch out: I am reluctant to tell you to turn back on other individual circuit breakers that tripped off, and also I emphasize that if the main trips off again you should leave everything off, because your description sounds as if there was a significant damage or failure that turned off your main breaker itself - that's the most critical, last line of defense against shock and power in the home.

That situation might mean that the electrical panel breakers are of a problem brand or are otherwise damaged and that a fault on an individual circuit that should have tripped off just that breaker failed to do so - resulting in blowing the main.

Step 8: gather more information

Look for and at least for now stop using any electrical appliance or device that caused the circuit breaker to trip.

If you know that the home has

An obsolete or poor-performing electrical panel An FPE Stab-Lok electrical panel, or a Zinsco or Bulldog Pushmatic panel those breakers (as well as a few others discussed at are known to have trouble and should be left off

Watch out: some breakers such as FPE breakers or Bulldog Pushmatics may be physically switched OFF but might remain ON internally - and jammed - that's very unsafe.

Aluminum electrical wiringOn its lighting or receptacle or other circuits, there are fire hazards present unless the aluminum wire has been properly repaired. See ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS

Use the page top or bottom CONTACT link to send me photos of your panel and its outside and door labels and of other signs of arcing or burning you find and I may be able to comment further.

Stay safe.


Continue reading at MAIN ELECTRICAL DISCONNECT or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below.



Or see ELECTRICAL INSPECTOR SAFETY PROCEDURES important basic safety procedures, clothing, and equipment for home inspectors and electrical inspectors.


Or see these

Obsolete or poor-performing electrical panel, breakers, disconnect, equipment or unsafe equipment - examples:

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