If you need to turn off the power to just one room of your house, you may be able to do it yourself without calling your local electrician for help. This is important to know how to do if you ever undertake a home repair or DIY project and might encounter your electrical system. It’s always safest to turn off the power at the source (not just by unplugging things) when doing repairs and renovations.
By knowing how to turn off the power to a single room, you and your family can continue using electricity elsewhere in the home while work is going on. It’s also a neat trick if you ever have a roommate who hasn’t paid their share of the utility bills and needs a wake-up call, or if you want to go green by dedicating one part of the house as an electricity-free zone.
If you have trouble figuring out how to turn off electricity to the one room where you want it off, go ahead and call your trusted local electrician for safety’s sake and to get the best results out of your home maintenance. However, your local electrician is also glad to walk you through these simple steps to turn off the power:
1. Locate the electrical panel.
This is the control panel with a hinged door and a number of circuit breakers inside, often in two columns. Each breaker controls a different room or area of the house. Homes around the Sonoma and Marin County area typically have them in a basement, laundry room, or other miscellaneous room, or sometimes outside. If you can’t find the control panel, call the local electrician for help rather than risking safety if you are about to start repairs or renovations.
2. Find the right lever to turn, if possible.
Hopefully, your circuit breakers are labeled right next to them or in a diagram on the door. Note: older homes may have a fuse box rather than circuit breakers; fuses are unscrewed rather than flipped on and off, but they function the same.
3. If the breakers are unmarked, do careful trial and error.
If you have no indication of which breaker controls which areas, you can proceed with some cautious trial and error. It’s usually best to turn off or unplug appliances and electronics throughout the home, especially where you are not using surge protectors. Another option is to have your local electrician use a circuit breaker finder to locate the switch immediately.
4. Call a friendly local electrician whenever necessary.
If you are unsuccessful in finding or reaching the control panel and the breaker that controls the room, you can turn off all the breakers at once by flipping the main breaker. However, if you really need to continue having electricity in the rest of the house, don’t hesitate to call the local electrician for assistance.
Most of the time, any homeowner can handle using the circuit breaker to turn off the power in one room. Just remember that if you get in over your head when undertaking a home project, your local electrician is there to help out and complete the job safely and quickly.