Image Source: Unsplash
Many homes were built before the widespread use of electric heaters and other high-power appliances. The result is that most homes have a 30 amp breaker in their main electrical panel. This is enough to power a few standard outlets and lights, but it’s not enough for many new devices. If you want to install an electric heater or another device that requires more power, you need to change your 30 amp breaker to a 50 amp one.
It’s a fairly simple process that can be completed in less than an hour with minimal risk of personal injury and property damage. Read on to learn more about changing a 30 amp breaker to a 50 amp one.
Overview of a 50 Amp Breaker?
A 50 amp circuit breaker is designed to handle twice the power of a 30 amp breaker. This means that you can safely plug a 50 amp appliance into a 30 amp circuit without tripping the breaker. A 50 amp breaker is also larger and heavier than a 30 amp breaker and typically has a silver color. Many homes have a main electrical panel that has three or four circuits. One of those circuits is typically dedicated to a circuit that feeds the entire house. This circuit is frequently a 50 amp circuit. This is sufficient for most appliances, and it’s unlikely that you’ll need to change the circuit breaker in your main panel.
Things to Know Before Changing Your Breaker
There are a few things you should keep in mind before changing a breaker:
– The breaker panel must be fed by an unbroken power feed. Any break in this feed can cause a fire.
-You’ll need to make sure no repairs are in progress in your home, and there are no uninstalled electrical junctions.
– The circuit breaker you’re replacing must be switched off before you begin the process. Once you’ve changed the breaker, you can turn the original breaker back on.
– You should unplug all appliances plugged into the circuit you’re working on. – It’s important to choose the right type of breaker. The breaker should have the right configuration for the panel.
Tools you will need
– A circuit tester: This will allow you to check whether a breaker is feeding power to the circuit. You can pick up a basic circuit tester for around $10.
– A ladder: The breaker panel is usually in the garage or basement. It’s a good idea to use a ladder to make it easier to reach the panel.
– Gloves: You don’t want to risk getting an electrical shock during this process. – A screwdriver: You’ll use this to remove the breaker panel cover.
– New circuit breaker: You’ll need a 50 amp breaker for a 30 amp circuit.
– Electrical outlet: You’ll use this to test the wiring to see if it is properly connected.
Step 1: Locate the breaker panel and open it
The first thing you’ll need to do is locate the breaker box that houses the circuit breakers. A good place to start is the electrical panel at the back of the house. If you don’t see a breaker box, try the garage, basement, or another room with electrical outlets.
Once you’ve found the breaker box, open it up. You can do this by removing the cover on the box. If you’re not sure how to open it, try looking for information online or asking a friend for help.
Step 2: Turn off the main circuit breaker
Once you’ve opened the breaker box, you’ll want to turn off the main circuit breaker. This prevents power from running through the breakers and possibly shocking you during the process. It’s a good idea to write down the position of the main breaker so you can reset it when you’re done.
Step 3: Take off the 30 amp circuit breaker
Now, you’ll need to remove the 30 amp circuit breaker. You can do this by turning the breaker wheel until it cannot turn anymore. Keep in mind that you don’t want to turn the wheel too far or you risk damaging the wires and breakers in the breaker box. Next, unscrew the nut that holds the breaker in place and pull it out. You can now disconnect the wires from the breaker. Be sure not to touch the wires with your hands. Instead, use a circuit tester to ensure the circuit is dead.
Step 4: Install the 50 amp circuit breaker
Image source HomeDepot
Once you’ve cleaned out the old breaker box and checked for loose or frayed wires, you can install the new 50 amp circuit breaker. First, hook up the wires to the breaker. Next, screw the nut back into place and turn the wheel to tighten it. Before you close up the breaker box, you’ll need to write down the position of the 50 amp circuit breaker so you know where to reset it later.
Step 5: Turn on the main breaker and put the panel cover in place
Once you’ve installed the 50 amp circuit breaker and tested the circuit, it’s time to turn on the main circuit breaker. After you’ve done that, you can close up the breaker box and put the cover back on. Now, you can go through the house and plug in any appliances that were unplugged during the process.
Changing a breaker is a fairly simple process that can be completed in less than an hour with minimal risk of personal injury and property damage. Be sure to follow the instructions outlined above to complete the process safely and efficiently.
Now that you’ve changed the breaker, you can plug in any devices that require a 50 amp circuit. If your home was built before the widespread use of electric heaters, this may be something you want to do. It can be a real lifesaver on cold winter nights when you want to use an electric blanket or electric mattress pad to keep warm.
Also, ensure that you buy a premium quality 50 amp circuit breaker from a reputable manufacturer or supplier.
If you want to find more Electronic Components Distributors, please check out the following articles: