How to Replace the Main 60-Amp Circuit Breaker

Many do-it-yourselfers are surprised to learn that replacing any circuit breaker in a breaker panel, like a large 60-amp breaker, for example, is actually easy to do and may only require a common screwdriver to get the job done.

Part of the reason more people don’t do this sort of work is the danger. Electricity is deadly, and safety is fundamentally important when working with it, so before working on any tasks in the panel—even simple ones—be absolutely certain that the power is off to the panel.

Turn off the power to your breaker panel. There should be a large switch on the top of the panel itself. With larger panels, the switch will be outside, in the same box as the electric meter.

Unscrew the terminal screws for any wires in the 60-amp breaker, and pull them out. There are probably two, and they are probably black, red, or both. Keep track of them; you’ll need them later.

Pull the breaker out of the socket. Some firm pressure should slide it right out.

Slide the new 60-amp breaker into the slot where the old one was. Firm pressure should slide it in securely.

Replace the wires you removed before, and tighten the terminal screws to secure them.

Turn the power to your breaker panel back on.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • 60-amp breaker

Warning

  • If you fail to turn the power off before working with the breaker, electric current will travel through your arms into your heart, killing you almost instantly. When in doubt, hire a professional.

About the Author

L.P. Klages is an entrepreneur and software developer, concentrating on information theory, software user experience, and mathematical modeling. He has been writing about technology and the business of technology since 1999. His articles have appeared on many sites, including GameDev.net, KenSharpe.net, and eHow. Klages attended Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla.