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Were the appliances still plugged in when you threw the breaker back on?
Probably, although I'm don't remember for sure.
If the breaker tripped and the appliances were still plugged in then what you describe would not be a cause for concern. If your appliances were not plugged in then this could be an indication of a failing breaker and should be checked out by an electrician.
I would try it now without the vacuum plugged in but my computer is on this circuit (not the plug).
If just the heater was plugged in the breaker arcing wouldn't surprise me
Heaters draw a fair amount of juice and a breaker or even a wall switch arcing is not unusual
I'm sure the heater was plugged in. But I may have thought the vacuum was broken and tried it on another socket.
So, the fact that the heater was still plugged in when I flipped the switch was the problem(?).
It's not really a problem. Since you had an appliance that draws a fair amount of juice plugged it (a substantial load on the circuit) arcing would not be unusual.
But if it were a failing breaker, what should be done?
You should call an electrician to replace the breaker or at least check it out. If the breaker has tripped many times before it may need to be replaced
Please excuse me if I seem thick headed, it's just that I don't recall whether or not I unplugged either appliance.
Just one more dumb question, does that mean the whole breaker box has to be replaced, or just that one switch?
If you're concerned about this you might want to call an electrician. But generally this is not a cause for concern. You may never have noticed but light switches routinely arc when they are turned on
I guess I'll call an electrician then, only b/c I've never experienced a sparking (arcing?) in the past.
It's worth it if it will give you peace of mind.
Yes, thanks very much for your help.