Why Does Your Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping?

February 18, 2022
Circuit Breaker Tripping in Seattle, WA

An electrical circuit breaker is a switching system that controls and protects the electrical power system and the electrical equipment linked to it. It can be operated automatically or manually. When too much power runs through it or it can’t handle the extra current demand, the circuit breaker trips.

This signifies that the flow of electricity has been interrupted to prevent overheating in your circuits and inflicting further damage. House fires would be much more common if circuit breakers trips did not exist.

To restore power, you must go outside or to the basement, depending on where the circuit breaker is installed. Even while tripping circuit breakers promotes safety, dealing with them regularly can be frustrating.

You can do something to stop the recurrent tripping if you know what’s causing it. Let’s look at the three most common reasons for circuit breakers to trip.

1. Overloading the Circuit

One of the most common reasons for circuit breakers tripping is circuit overload. Overloading happens when you force a circuit to deliver more current than it can. When an overload happens, it causes overheating in the circuit, placing all the electric equipment connected to it at risk.

If your TV is linked to a circuit that only requires 10 amps but is now drawing 20 amps, the television system’s circuit will be fried and ruined. Your circuit breaker trips to stop this tragedy, possibly even averting a huge fire.

You can solve this problem by redistributing your electrical equipment and putting them off the same circuit. To lessen the electrical demand on the circuit breaker, you can even switch off some gadgets.

2. Short Circuits

Short circuits, which are more destructive than an overloaded circuit, are another usual cause of circuit breakers trips. A short circuit occurs when a hot wire in a power outlet touches a neutral wire. A massive quantity of current streams through the circuit when this happens, causing the circuit to overheat. The circuit breaker trips, ending the circuit and averting dangerous events like a fire.

Short circuits can happen for various causes, including faulty wiring or a poor connection. A burning odor identifies a short circuit, and you might see a dark or black tint around it as well.

3. Ground Fault Surges

Ground faults surges are the same as short circuits. Most occur when a hot wire comes into contact with a naked copper earth wire, or the surface of a metal box linked to the ground wire. This allows more power to flow through the circuit, which it cannot handle. To protect the circuit and devices from overheating and any potential fires from breaking, the breaker trips.

If you have a ground fault surge, you’ll notice discolor on your outlet. By ignoring any of these indicators, you jeopardize the safety of your home and loved ones. If the circuit breakers keep on tripping, it’s time to contact the specialists to figure out the cause. Do not attempt to fix this issue on your own.

4. Defective Circuit Breaker

If your tripped circuit breaker problem isn’t caused by one of the concerns listed above, you could be dealing with a circuit breaker malfunction. If your breaker routinely trips, is incapable of resetting, emits a burnt odor, or leaves burn marks in the electrical box, it’s time to replace it.

When the pieces of a breaker wear out and no longer conduct electricity well, you know it’s reached the end of its useful life. If a panel hasn’t been serviced or checked by a technician for a long time, it is most likely worn out.

How to Troubleshoot a Circuit Breaker

The next step is to solve the problem now that you know what it is. The breaker tripping situation will necessitate a rational and systematic strategy to cope with the concerns raised above.

Double Check Electrical Devices Plugged In

It’s wise to keep track of the wattage consumption of the gadgets used at home.

There’s a chance you’ll forget that equipment was plugged into the very same breaker that tripped. As a result, assume that some of your electrical equipment is still plugged in. It is preferable to get an electronic circuit breaker finder if you are willing to do so.

Check the Input Wires

A tripped breaker can also be caused by input cables that are worn out. When these wires are ruptured, they tend to leak current, leading to a short circuit and breaker tripping.

The task of locating the cause of the electrical leakage should be left to the experts. For a task like this, electricians have the skills and equipment required.

Reset the Circuit Breaker

If no load and input wire issues are identified, try to reset the main panel where the relevant circuit breaker is located. If it trips again after a few moments, there’s an issue with the circuit breaker, or it’s already defective.

Replace the Circuit Breaker

If all other troubleshooting methods have failed, the circuit breaker must be replaced. Consider your new breaker’s brand, size, and type before replacing the old ones. If the type of your new circuit breaker and size is incompatible, it will not fit properly into your electrical panel.

The National Electrical Code (NEC) has a set of regulations for those installing electrical equipment. At Brennan Electric, we adhere to these regulations and make sure the equipment we work on is also up to code. We strongly suggest using a circuit breaker made by the same company as your major breaker panel. Even while some newly designed breakers appear to be the same as those you had, their variations could cause serious electrical problems if you persist in using them.

If you have any electrical issues in your house, we recommend getting an expert to handle them. Attempting to repair something you don’t understand without the required education and experience can result in disastrous consequences.

Every year, it is reported that 51,000 electrical fires occur in homes. These may have been avoided if concerns had been handled by trained specialists rather than unskilled and unqualified homeowners. Instead of attempting to fix the problem yourself, get a professional so flames and electric shocks are avoided wherever possible!

If you are experiencing electrical issues in your Seattle home, contact Brennan Electric. We take satisfaction with offering homeowners competent electrical services since 1987. Our customers appreciate that they are receiving highly trained and experienced electricians from a respected and experienced company. We provide high-quality work at a reasonable cost, and we are pleased to provide written estimates before beginning a project.

Some of the electrical services we offer include, home electrical inspections, home generator systems, whole panel surge protection, panel change-outs, full-service changes, troubleshooting, hot tub circuits, and circuit upgrades, among many others. Check out our website for more information.

To make a consultation or service appointment, give us a call now. Our staff will get you scheduled as soon as possible at a convenient time for you.

Brennan Electric icon
Categories: