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How to Install a GE Circuit Breaker

Robert Vaux

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.

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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