How to Safely Remove and Replace a Siemens Circuit Breaker: A Step-by-Step Guide

Key Takeaways Table

What are the common reasons to replace a Siemens circuit breaker?Tripping frequently, overheating, buzzing sounds, or age.
What safety precautions should be taken?Use insulated tools, stand on a rubber mat, and ensure the power is off with a voltage tester.
What tools are needed for this task?Insulated screwdriver, non-contact voltage tester, insulated wire strippers, replacement breaker, flashlight.
What are the basic steps for removing a circuit breaker?Turn off the main breaker, remove the panel cover, test for power, turn off the branch breaker, disconnect the breaker, remove the old breaker, install the new one, reattach the cover, turn on the main breaker.
When should you consult a professional?If unsure about the process, if problems persist after replacement, or for regular inspections.


Established in 2013, ControlNexus is a leading provider of Siemens PLCs, HMIs, and Inverters. One of the critical components in electrical systems is the circuit breaker, ensuring safety and functionality by protecting circuits from overloads and short circuits. Occasionally, circuit breakers need to be replaced due to tripping, overheating, or simple wear and tear. This guide will walk you through the process of safely removing and replacing a Siemens circuit breaker.

Safety Precautions

When dealing with electrical components, safety is paramount. Here are some key safety precautions:

  • Use Insulated Tools: Always use tools with insulated handles to protect against electrical shock.
  • Stand on a Rubber Mat: Insulating yourself from the ground reduces the risk of electric shock.
  • Ensure Power is Off: Before starting, turn off the main breaker and use a non-contact voltage tester to confirm no live current.

Tip: Even when the main breaker is off, parts of the panel may still carry deadly levels of electricity. Proceed with caution and consult a professional if unsure.

Tools Needed

To successfully remove and replace a Siemens circuit breaker, you will need the following tools:

  • Insulated Screwdriver
  • Non-contact Voltage Tester
  • Insulated Wire Strippers
  • Rubber Mat or Plywood
  • Replacement Siemens Circuit Breaker
  • Flashlight or Independent Light Source

Note: Ensure all tools are rated for electrical work and are in good condition.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Turn Off the Main Breaker

Locate the main breaker in your electrical panel. It is usually the largest breaker at the top or bottom of the panel.

  • Switch it to the OFF position: This cuts off power to the entire panel, ensuring safety.

2. Remove the Panel Cover

Using an insulated screwdriver, unscrew the panel cover.

  • Stand to the side: This protects you from potential arc flashes.
  • Remove the cover carefully: Support it with one hand while unscrewing the last few screws to prevent it from falling.

3. Test for Power

Use a non-contact voltage tester to check for any live current.

  • Test all wires and terminals: Even with the main breaker off, double-check that no part of the panel is live.

4. Turn Off the Branch Breaker

Identify the specific circuit breaker you need to replace.

  • Switch it to the OFF position: This ensures that the circuit is not receiving any power.

5. Disconnect the Circuit Breaker

Using an insulated screwdriver, disconnect the wire attached to the faulty breaker.

  • Loosen the terminal screw: Carefully move the wire aside, ensuring it does not touch any other part of the panel.

6. Remove the Old Breaker

Gently pry the old breaker out of its position.

  • Rock it back and forth: This helps to loosen it from the bus bar without using excessive force.

7. Install the New Breaker

Position the new Siemens circuit breaker into the panel.

  • Snap it into place: Ensure it fits securely and is properly aligned with the bus bar.
  • Reconnect the wire: Attach the circuit’s load wire to the new breaker’s terminal and tighten the screw.

8. Reattach the Panel Cover

Once the new breaker is securely installed, it’s time to reassemble the panel:

  • Align the cover: Position the panel cover back in place.
  • Screw it back on: Use the insulated screwdriver to secure the panel cover, ensuring all screws are tight and the cover is firmly in place.

9. Turn On the Main Breaker

With the panel cover securely in place, you can now restore power:

  • Switch the main breaker to the ON position: This restores power to the entire panel.
  • Turn on each branch breaker individually: Gradually switch on each breaker, including the newly installed one, to ensure they are all functioning properly.

10. Test the New Breaker

Finally, it’s essential to confirm that the new breaker is operating correctly:

  • Use a voltage meter: Test the new breaker to ensure it’s delivering power to the circuit as expected.
  • Check for any issues: Monitor the breaker to ensure it doesn’t trip or exhibit any problems.

Common Issues & Troubleshooting

Even with careful installation, issues can sometimes arise. Here are some common problems and solutions:

  • Breaker Continues to Trip: If the new breaker keeps tripping, it could indicate an underlying issue with the circuit. Ensure that there are no overloads or short circuits.
  • Unusual Noises or Smells: If you notice buzzing sounds or burning smells, immediately switch off the main breaker and consult a professional electrician.
  • Loose Connections: Double-check all connections to ensure they are tight and secure.

Pro Tip: Regularly inspect your electrical panel and breakers to ensure they are in good condition and functioning correctly.


Replacing a Siemens circuit breaker is a task that can be handled safely with the right tools and precautions. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure your home’s electrical system remains reliable and safe.

For more detailed guides and expert tips on Siemens products, visit ControlNexus. Established in 2013, we are a leading provider of Siemens PLCsHMIs, and Inverters.

Additional Resources

For further reading and comprehensive guides on Siemens products and solutions, check out the following articles:

By continuously learning and staying updated with the latest best practices, you can ensure the optimal performance and safety of your electrical systems.


One Response

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