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How to Replace a 220v Breaker in 4 Simple Steps

how to replace a 220v breaker

Your 220 breaker switch broke down recently. Now you’re wondering how to replace a 220v breaker.

Removing and installing 220 breaker typically demands proper care. It also requires the careful assessment of the service panel to ensure that you’re working on the correct circuit.

If you’re not in a hurry, take your time in reading this post. That way, you’ll know the correct steps to follow and reduce the risks of costly mistakes.

Step-by-step Guide

changing-a-breaker-in-a-breaker-box

What to Prepare

  • Screwdrivers: A flat-head screwdriver is often a necessity to disconnect a circuit breaker’s wires from the panel.
  • Wiring diagram: Some beginners may need a 220 breaker wiring diagram to help them locate the faulty circuit.
  • Replacement circuit breaker: Always remember that a 220 breaker box is often brand-specific, which means you should only replace old or faulty circuits with the same model to avoid problems.

After acquiring the necessary items for this job, follow these steps to replace the faulty 220v circuit breaker with a new model:

Step #1: Turn Off The Main Breaker

Take note that the main circuit breaker is typically in the electrical service panel. But this panel box can be in different places on a property. Some possible locations include the basement or garage.

On the other hand, RV users can usually find their vehicles’ electrical service panels inside their kitchen cabinets. Open the panel and you should see a single circuit breaker that controls the entire electrical system. That’s the main breaker, and you should turn it to the off position before proceeding.

If you don’t do this step, you’re going to put yourself at risk of accidents and injuries, particularly electrocution. Also, changing a circuit breaker that’s powered and mishandling it can result in further harm to the area’s electrical system.

Step #2: Find The Faulty Circuit Breaker

220-breaker-wiring

You’re likely going to see the faulty 220 breaker switch as soon as you open the electrical service panel box. If it sustained harm from an electrical surge, the 220 breaker wiring might have visible signs of damage.

Otherwise, you may need to look at a 220 breaker wiring diagram and test each circuit with a multimeter. With these tools, you should be able to find the circuit that’s not providing electricity to connected devices.

Step #3: Remove The Damaged Circuit Breaker

Keep in mind that changing a breaker in a breaker box often demands the utmost care. Don’t yank the faulty circuit or you might damage other wiring nearby.

Instead, hold one end of the 220v circuit breaker and rock it from its housing gently. Then, pull the breaker out from one side slowly. The other end should be easier to pull out after taking off the initial side.

Once the breaker is out of the panel, use a screwdriver to unscrew the wiring. At this point, you can bring the old and/or damaged 220 breaker 30 amp device to the store to buy the same model. 

Step #4: Wiring 220 breaker

220-breaker-switch

First, secure the wiring inside the new breaker. Make sure that the screw is sufficiently tight to hold the wires in place.

Next, push one end of the circuit breaker to its bracket. Follow up with the other end afterwards. You should know when the circuit breaker is secure if you hear a fairly audible snapping sound.

Once it’s in place, switch the new circuit breaker to the on position. Then, turn on the main circuit breaker. Test the connected devices to see if problems with the old breaker persist.

Helpful Tips

changing-a-circuit-breaker

It’s important to stay protected while handling the circuit breakers in the electrical service panel box. Some safety precautions to take note of are:

  • Wear protective gear like gloves and safety goggles.
  • Wait until the circuit breaker cools down if it’s hot after turning it off.
  • Don’t attempt to touch the circuit breaker if you see live wires.
  • Request professional help if you think replacing the breaker is too much for you to handle.

Conclusion

At this point, you should now know how to replace a 220v breaker. Remember, exercise care when handling the components and assemblies in the electrical service panel box.

Also, don’t forget to turn off the main circuit breaker before taking out the faulty 220v breaker. Then, install the new model. If done correctly, the new circuit breaker should work as intended.

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