Electrical Wiring in the Home/Electrical Circuit Problem

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Question
Hi Robert:

One of my circuit breakers (for the living room) keeps tripping and there is nothing extra plugged in that hasn't been plugged in for the last 13 years (just 2 lamps). The first time I was able to flip the switch back on, lights came back on and I thought the issue was resolved. Now I can't even flip the switch. Could it be the breaker itself? Thanks.

Answer
Hello Kevin,
My name is Robert and ill be helping you today, in response to your question yes it "COULD" be the breaker but i doubt it.What type of breaker is it? we'll start there next from what i understand is that each time you turn on the switch the breaker trips if that's the case than it sounds as if you have a short and not a big deal all we have to do is clear the short and make any repairs if needed.That being said we need to first track down However lets rule out the breaker.
How To Rule Out The Breaker:
1-Turn off the breaker that keeps tripping(slide /flip to the left)
2-Take off the wire going to that breaker
3-Turn off the breaker either above or below the breaker your having trouble with(just as long as its the same type of breaker, Single Pole) and remove THAT wire as well
4-Now put the wire that you FIRST took off and simply put it to the 2nd breaker you just removed the wire from and turn on that breaker IF it trips than we know that the original breaker is GOOD.If it doesn't trip than the original breaker has failed and all you have to do is replace It And your DONE :) NOW if there is ANYTHING you either don't understand or feel comfortable with that I explained please don't hesitate to ask before proceeding all questions come straight to my phone so my response time is pretty quick.So lets start with that and let me know, after that we'll start with tracing down the short in addition please let me know if you have an electrical tester/meter and also would you feel comfortable removing switches and receptacles to further troubleshoot.  
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Tomasulo

Expertise

I am here to answer ALL your questions regarding anything to do with home wiring such as Switches, Receptacles,Lighting, Main Distribution Panels, HVAC, Thermostats, etc; if it has a wire and in your home I CAN ANSWER IT. Whether its as simple as "why do my lights flicker?" Or as complex as I would like to rewire my house im here to help, in addition i can offer advice on remodeling a kitchen or lighting up you back yard as well as offering troubleshooting on appliances.

Experience

I have over 17 years in the electrical industry including Residential, Commercial & Industrial, Im also a certified HVAC technician as well as a certified fiber obtic technician.I am currently employed by the New York City Transit Authority as the Senior Electrical Maintainer and serve as the Relief Foreman for the electrical maintenance division for the past 12 years.I also hold many certifications, licenses and certificates in my field

Organizations
FOA Member(Fiber Optic Association) UTU (United Transportation Union) IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) HVAC/TALK (Heating & Air conditioning troubleshooting group)

Education/Credentials
5 years of technical school after high school in electrical installation and design sponsored by Local 3 (IBEW) As well as over 17 years of hands on in the field training and education, and till this day im still learning, Not a day goes by that i don't learn something and if i feel i didn't i will open up a book to insure I DO!

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