How to Install a GE Circuit Breaker

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GE circuit breakers are a standard model and can fit into most types of circuit box without fuss. But installing them can be intimidating; circuit boxes can be imposing for the uninitiated, and the potential dangers of electricity loom large in the mind. But the fact remains that installing a circuit breaker is simple, and that GE circuit breakers can be placed in your box without the services of an electrician.

Things You'll Need

  • GE circuit breaker Screwdriver Multimeter Rubber-soled shoes Masking tape
  • Shut off the main power switch in the circuit breaker box, turn the circuit breaker you wish to replace to the "off" position and make sure your new GE circuit breaker is in the "off" position.

  • Unscrew the panel frame surrounding the circuit breakers and set it aside, keeping track of the screws so you can reattach them later.

  • Pop the old circuit breaker out of its frame. For older circuit breaker boxes, you will need to unscrew it. Examine the wires connected to it and the terminal screws to which they are attached. Mark which wire goes where, using masking tape to differentiate them if necessary. (Most types of electrical wire are color-coded to help you keep track of them, but the masking tape works just in case they aren't.)

  • Set a multimeter to the "Volts AC" setting, then attach the prongs to the old breaker's "hot" terminal and the ground screw on the ground bar. This should confirm that there is no electricity running through the breaker.

  • Unscrew the wiring from the terminals on the old breaker. Match the wires to the corresponding terminals on the new GE breaker and screw them into place.

  • Snap the GE breaker into position or screw it into place if screws are required. Turn on the main power and the GE breaker, then test it with the multimeter to confirm that electricity is flowing through it as it should.

  • Screw the panel frame back into position and close the circuit box.

Tips & Warnings

  • GE makes a number of different circuit breakers, not all of which will be compatible with your box. When purchasing your GE circuit breaker, make sure it matches the size and amperage of the old circuit breaker precisely.
  • Electricity can be dangerous, even when you believe it is turned off. Keep the area around the breaker box free of standing water, and wear rubber-soled shoes when you install your GE circuit breaker.

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