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How to Change The Main Breaker: Follow These 5 Easy Steps

Sometimes circuit breakers get permanently damaged without any prior symptoms. It’s a painful situation as your home loses all electrical connections. And without knowing how to change the main breaker, you might have to wait very long to fix the problem.

How to change the main breaker?

Actually, you can do it on your own very easily. But you have to follow some certain steps for doing the work smoothly. You’ll have to check the main breaker whether it is permanently damaged or not. Before that, cut the electric connection. In the end, Remove the breaker and install a new one.

Now, this short information might not provide all the necessary information. That is why I’ve discussed the whole thing in this article. Please have a read!

Necessary Tools and Safety Materials

Before you start to work, it’s important to know which tools you’ll need and also the safety materials required. Here are the things listed below:

  • Wire cutter
  • Screwdriver
  • Allen wrench
  • Digital multimeter
  • Safety gloves and helmet
  • Rubber shoes
  • Flashlight etc.

Collect these items for your convenience while working.

5 Steps for Changing the Main Breaker

After collecting the necessary items for work, now it’s time to get started with the work. I have explained the process of how to change the main breaker in 5 easy steps. So, without any further delay, let’s get started.

Step 1: Turning off the Electrical Line

In the first step, you have to turn off the electrical line of your home. Before starting it’s essential to ensure there is no electricity supply. Otherwise, you can get injured or the electrical appliances at your home might get affected. This happens due to an abnormal supply of electricity while working.

Ask your local electricity provider to turn off the electric supply at your home. Or else, if your house has a main switch, turn that off.

Keep a multimeter with you to check whether the electricity at your home has been switched off or not. Thus you can keep yourself safe.

If you are searching for good multimeters, I have some suggestions. Check them out:

Product 1
Product 2

I hope this list will help you to buy your desired multimeter.

Step 2: Uncovering and Checking the Breaker

After you are fully ready with the equipment and the electric supply turned off, remove the circuit breaker cover. 

The circuit breaker has a protective cover outside to protect the inside elements. Remove this cover using a screwdriver. Keep the cover in a safe place after removing it.

Once you have removed the cover, check the breaker whether it’s really faulty or not. There might be overloading, improper switching or any other problem for which you won’t need to change the breaker. But if that’s not the case, then you should consider changing the breaker.

Step 3: Remove the Breaker

This is the most sophisticated part of this work. Remove all the wirings from the breaker using a cutter and disconnect them from the circuit. Be careful and give proper attention while doing this.

Use a screwdriver to carefully remove the main breaker by prying it. The breaker should come out easily. They are designed to maintain seamlessly. Roll out the breaker from the circuit.

Step 4: Installing the New Breaker

After you have removed the faulty breaker, you’re finally ready to install the new breaker. Make sure you’ve bought a proper breaker. Carefully keep the breaker in the old one’s place and gently push it into the open socket. Also, avoid backstabbing the wires in the socket.

The new breaker should easily fit in the circuit. Somehow if you feel that the breaker is not placed properly, check if something is obstructing the installation of the breaker. And if you are not sure of what you’re doing, take the help of a professional electrician.

Step 5: Final Touch

After performing all the above steps, you’re finally at the end of the project. Now it’s time to finish up your work.

After you’ve installed the breaker in the circuit, you’ll have to connect the wires again. The connection of the wires may vary depending on the model of your breaker. Extend the wiring if needed. Torque in the screws firmly to connect the wires to the breaker.

After you’re done with your work, place back the breaker cover again. Thus you can change the old main breaker with a new one.

Following the 5 steps mentioned above, you can change your main circuit breaker.


Question: Is it costly to replace the main breaker?

Answer: The cost of changing the main breaker varies depending on the type and capacity of the breaker. But typically it costs around 1700$ – 2000$ to replace the main breaker.

Question: How to identify the faulty breaker?

Answer: A faulty breaker will have some physical damage. It will get hot and there will be a burning smell from the electrical panel box.

Question: How many years do main breakers last?

Answer: Typically, the lifespan of the main breaker is about 30-40 years. But poor electricity rating and fluctuating voltage can reduce the longevity of the breaker.


From the above discussion, it’s clear that changing the main breaker is not that tough. I tried to make it easier for you by discussing how to change the main breaker.

Remember that safety is always a big concern. Be safe while working and always keep a proper backup. Wear a safety helmet, gloves, and boots to reduce the risk factors. 

That’s all for now. Have a good day!