When you are using an outlet in your house to run an appliance or other item and it just stops immediately it can be a problem with the circuit. There is a panel on the outside of the house or in the garage that has a metal box that is called the circuit panel. It may be scary to open it and see all those switches but understanding it is a great way to know how to work with it. It you look at it in a simpler way these switches work in the same way that your switch on the wall will turn on a light. A flip of the switch and the light is on while another flip and it is off again. The difference is that you know that the switch is only going to address a particular outlet and nothing more. When it comes to your circuit panel it will be assigned more than a single outlet. Each breaker has a job to do and it is a way to keep your home and appliances safe from a power surge.
Sentry Electric Outline What You Will See When You Open Your Circuit Breaker Panel
Main Breaker: When you open the panel up and look inside you will see a whole bunch of switches that are called breakers. The first breaker that you need to know about is the main breaker. This is the breaker that you want to switch off if you need to stop all the power from going to the entire house. Sometimes in an emergency this is the easiest breaker it find and can be a quick stop if needed. It is often labeled and is at the top of the panel. Often times it carries around 200 amps which is a normal size for a single family home. This is not always the switch you want to flip if you are trying to figure out where a particular problem is.
Double Pole Breaker: When you are looking at the box you will start to notice that some of the switches are doubled up and have two that are usually attached to each other. This is called a double pole breaker and is often the type that is used when it is connected to a larger appliance that is using more amps. It will be marked so you know when it is on or off and should have a label so you know what area of the house it is securing.
Single Pole Breaker: This is the more standard breaker that you will find in the box. The breaker is the most standard one and can be used for lots of electrical outlets in the house. This can be lights, fans and small appliances. They are just a single switch and also has markings on it to let you know if they are on or off.
Open Slots: There are some slots that are in the panel that are empty and do not have any switch at all. That means that they are open and there is no electricity being sent to those areas. The reason they are there is if there are any additions to the home that will require more electrical wiring to be ran to that area.