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How to Reset Circuit Breaker With Test Button? Start to Finish!

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

how to reset circuit breaker with test button

Do you experience sudden circuit breaker trips? Did you know that you can reset your circuit breakers? How about everyone else in your house? Do they know how to reset circuit breakers?

In this article, I will teach you how to reset circuit breaker with test button. It will be helpful if you experience a sudden circuit breaker trip, especially if no one else in your house knows how to reset a circuit breaker.

3 Steps to Reset Circuit Breaker With Test Button


Tools You Need

In this procedure, you will only need:

  • A circuit breaker with a test button
  • A non-contact voltage meter for testing your circuit breaker if it continues to trip

But to give you more information, there are two types of circuit breakers with a test button. These are:

  • The Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) or the Arc-Fault Detection Device (AFDD): It is a breaker that detects and trips when there are loose connections or hot wire due to overvoltage. It can also catch and stop dangerous arcs.
  • The Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is a breaker type that protects the entire circuit, including all the devices and appliances. It cuts off power to avoid electrical shorts and accidental shocks when a piece of electronic equipment gets wet.

Primarily, the AFCI is designed to protect the house against fire caused by arc faults. In comparison, GFCI is made to protect people from severe or fatal electric shocks. Both are vital equipment and essential to an electrical system to add safety to your property.


Both AFCI and GFCI types of circuit breaker have the same reset procedures. However, they have different features or signals to show you that the device needs to be reset. I recommend you check the manual that comes with your circuit breaker, so you’re sure what you should see when it trips.

Step 1: Locate the Circuit Breaker


Go to your breaker box, open it and locate the circuit breaker that you need to reset. To find that circuit breaker, look for the tripped one or the one which is turned off. Ensure that all appliances, devices, and lights in the circuit are turned off or unplugged; it may trip again if your device has too much load on your outlet.

Step 2: Reset Your Circuit Breaker


After locating which circuit breaker is tripped, you can now reset it. To reset your circuit breaker, turn it off, then turn it on again. This way, the indicator lights will turn on, which means it is resetting. When the light is gone, then the reset process is already done.

You can also consider testing your circuit breaker by pressing the test button. This will cause the circuit breaker to turn off. If the breaker doesn’t trip, it isn’t working correctly, so you need to replace it. Otherwise, you can repeat the process of resetting the breaker to turn it on.

Step 3: Close the Breaker Box and Test

Check all the circuit breakers and then close the panel box. Ensure that your outlets and light receptacles have the proper voltage using a non-contact voltage meter. The circuit breaker may trip again if you use a high voltage device in your low voltage outlet, so it’s best if you know what outlet you could use for each respective device.

This step-by-step procedure can also apply to a standard circuit breaker that doesn’t have a test button. You can reset this regular circuit breaker simply by turning it off and on again. Furthermore, the test button is only used to test the breaker if it trips by pressing it.

You can watch this video by Cardel Homes for a better understanding of how to reset your circuit breaker with a test button. They also demonstrate the proper way of testing a circuit breaker.

You can also teach this easy procedure to the people inside your home. So, if they experience a sudden circuit breaker trip and you’re not in your house, they would know what to do to reset it.

If you don’t have one, I highly recommend you read about the top-rated non-contact voltage testers if you want to have one in your house. This tool is one of the easiest and safest ways to check your electric connection. It will also allow you to determine which electrical socket, lighting receptacle, and other electrical systems are connected to which breaker.

However, if you turn on your circuit breaker and it trips again after a few seconds, there may be a problem in your system. The possible causes of tripping circuit breakers include damage to your electrical lines or the circuit breaker itself. The only way to be sure of your problem is to test your system thoroughly.

What are the Things to Consider

These are the things or signs that need to consider to test and change your circuit breaker:

  • Burning Smell in your Circuit Breaker Panel

If your circuit breaker panel has a foul odor or burning smell, consider checking or testing your circuit one by one. There may be a faulty circuit breaker in your system that needs to be replaced.

  • A Circuit Breaker is Tripping Frequently

If you experience frequent tripping of your circuit breaker, it might not have enough capacity to handle your needs. It can also mean that you have a bad circuit breaker that needs to be replaced for safety.

  • Damaged Circuit Breaker


Scorch marks, crack, and broken parts of your circuit breaker mean it needs to be replaced. It may still be working, but we can’t say how good it is or how long it will last. It’s better to invest now than to have big problems in the future.

  • Circuit Breaker Age

A circuit breaker usually lasts at least ten years, but you need to check and test it regularly. When your circuit breaker gets old, it might develop problems that you overlook. It is a wise decision to periodically inspect your circuit breaker.


Everyone in your house must know how to reset circuit breaker with test button. It allows you to save money by doing basic troubleshooting yourself instead of calling an electrician.

If you need to have a non-contact voltage meter, look at the 12 non-contact voltage tester options you can choose from. These are the tools that I’ve used before, and I know they’re reliable.

Who do you think needed to know this procedure? Let me know in the comment below.

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