Ensuring the safety and functionality of your home while you’re away for an extended period is crucial. One essential aspect of this is properly setting your circuit breaker. This guide will walk you through the process step by step, ensuring your property remains secure and your appliances are protected while you’re away.

When you’re heading out for an extended period, like those who only live in Florida for the winter, ensuring your home’s safety and efficiency is crucial. Among the essential tasks is setting your circuit breaker properly. This article will guide homeowners through the process of adjusting their circuit breakers for a season-long absence.

Locating Your Circuit Breaker

Locating your circuit breaker is the initial step in ensuring your property’s electrical safety. Usually situated in a utility room, basement, garage, or even outside in a weatherproof enclosure, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with its whereabouts before the need arises.

Take note of any labels or markings to swiftly identify the circuit breaker corresponding to different areas or appliances in your property. This knowledge will prove invaluable in times of electrical emergencies or routine maintenance checks.

Proper Circuit Breaker Identification

Properly identifying your circuit breakers is essential for the effective management of your property’s electrical systems. Knowing which switches control specific areas or appliances prevents potential hazards and facilitates troubleshooting. Preventative maintenance is the key to a safe home.

If your circuit breakers aren’t already labeled, take the time to do so, ensuring clarity and ease of use for yourself and any future occupants of the property. Labeling your circuit breakers can also save time and frustration in the event of an electrical issue, allowing for quick identification and resolution of problems.

man in a hardhat working on a circuit breaker

Additionally, consider creating a diagram or list that outlines which breaker corresponds to which area or appliance, providing a handy reference guide for yourself or anyone else who may need to interact with the breaker panel in your absence.

Adjusting Your Circuit Breaker Settings

Properly adjusting your circuit breaker settings is a crucial step in preparing your property for an extended absence. By carefully managing the flow of electricity to various appliances and systems, you can ensure both the safety of your property and the efficient use of energy.

In this section, we’ll explore the specifics of adjusting your circuit breaker settings to maintain essential functions while minimizing risks during your time away. We’ll discuss what appliances to leave on to preserve functionality and which ones to turn off to prevent unnecessary energy consumption and potential hazards.

Keep On

Refrigeration Unit

Keep the circuit for your refrigerator on to prevent food spoilage. Empty the refrigerator of perishable items and clean it thoroughly before leaving to prevent mold and odors from developing. Before leaving, ensure that the refrigerator door is tightly sealed to maintain its efficiency while you’re away.

Garbage Disposal Unit

Leaving the garbage disposal on helps prevent odors and blockages caused by stagnant food. To maintain its functionality, periodically run the disposal unit with water before departing to eliminate any leftover food residue.

person putting bottles in garbage can

This practice also ensures that the disposal doesn’t rust out or lock up due to non-use.

Air Conditioning and Heating System

If you’re leaving during a season with extreme temperatures, consider leaving these systems operational to prevent damage from freezing or excessive heat. Set the thermostat to moderate temperature to maintain a balance between energy efficiency and preventing damage to your property.

Turn Off


Unless necessary, switch off the circuit to your dishwasher to conserve energy and prevent potential leaks or malfunctions. Ensure the dishwasher is empty and clean before turning off the circuit.

Laundry Appliances

Similarly, turn off circuits connected to washing machines and dryers to prevent water damage or electrical hazards. Clean the lint trap in the dryer and remove any standing water from the washing machine before turning off the circuits.

Water Heating System

If you won’t be needing hot water, switch off the circuit to your water heater to save energy. Consider draining the water heater to prevent the buildup of sediment and mineral deposits during prolonged periods of inactivity.

Other Appliances:

  • Electrical Outlets and GFCIs. If your property will be vacant, it’s advisable to switch off non-essential outlets to reduce the risk of electrical fires. Unplug electronic devices and appliances to prevent phantom power usage. You should also perform electrical safety checks.

wall with outlets on it

  • Kitchen Range. Unless required for intermittent use, such as for security lighting, it’s generally safe to turn off the circuit to your kitchen range. Clean the stove and oven thoroughly to remove any food residue and grease before turning off the circuit.

Frequently Asked Questions About Circuit Breakers

Does Frequent Switching Impact Circuit Breaker Longevity?

No, circuit breakers are designed to handle frequent switching without significant impact on their lifespan. However, avoid excessive tripping, as it may indicate an underlying issue that needs addressing. Regular maintenance and inspections can help identify and resolve potential problems before they escalate.

How Does Having a Surge Protector Affect Circuit Breaker Usage?

Surge protectors safeguard your appliances from voltage spikes, but they don’t replace the need for a circuit breaker. They work together to provide comprehensive protection for your electrical system. Install surge protectors on sensitive electronic devices and appliances to prevent damage from power surges during storms or power outages.

Bottom Line

Setting your circuit breaker appropriately before leaving for the season is crucial for the safety and preservation of your property. Income Realty Home Watch can assist homeowners by ensuring that these measures are taken care of reliably and professionally.

Our services include regular property inspections, maintenance checks, and emergency response, giving homeowners peace of mind knowing their properties are in good hands.

By following these steps and utilizing the services of Income Realty Home Watch, homeowners can confidently prepare their properties for extended vacancies, ensuring they remain secure, functional, and well-maintained in their absence.

Properly setting your circuit breaker is just one aspect of comprehensive property management, but it’s an important one that should not be overlooked. By taking the time to understand your electrical system and implementing these precautions, you can protect your investment and minimize the risk of damage or accidents while you’re away.

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