Common Causes of a Tripped Circuit

November 19, 2019

Many people are familiar with the fact that if a circuit is overloaded, the circuit breaker will trip. However, they’re often not aware of the many other possible causes behind a tripped circuit. Two other common causes are short circuits and ground faults.

Short Circuit

In addition to causing the circuit to trip, a short circuit might come with sparks, smoke and popping sounds. Short circuits occur when an active wire touches a neutral wire. This overloads the circuit, forcing it to trip the breaker in order to protect you and your property.

What causes short circuits?:
  • Animals chewing on wires
  • Loose connections
  • Faulty switches and outlets
  • Broken plugs or cords
  • Faulty fixtures

You’ll need an electrician to inspect your home to determine the cause behind a short circuit. The experts from Brennan Electric provide trustworthy electrical services throughout the Seattle area.

Ground Fault

If an active wire touches the ground wire, a ground fault may occur. Defective or damaged equipment can cause ground faults. When this happens, an excessive current travels through the circuit breaker, causing it to trip. Without ground fault circuit interrupters installed in your home, fires and an electrical shock can result. The National Electrical Code requires GFCIs in certain areas of the residence such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Circuit Overload

Of course, the most common cause behind a tripped circuit is circuit overload. This occurs when your plugged-in appliances and devices demand too much amperage. Loose and corroded wires can also lead to overload. You can usually fix a circuit overload problem by unplugging a device and plugging it back into a different circuit. If this doesn’t work and your home has frequent tripped circuits, you’ll need an electrician to diagnose and repair the problem.

Brennan Electric‘s electrical services in the Seattle area cover a wide variety of needs, including home electrical inspections, circuit breaker and fuse panel upgrades, and replacements, electric baseboard and in-wall fan replacements, hot tub circuits, maintenance, and surge protection. We also offer a whole-house backup generator installation. Contact us today if you’re in need of our electrical services.

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