Why Is My Breaker Tripping?

Your circuit breaker plays a key role in protecting your home from dangerous levels of flowing electricity. When too much power begins pouring through a circuit, the breaker will trip and cut off the dangerous current of energy before it can cause problems.

Here are three possible reasons why your circuit breaker is tripping.

Tripped breaker caused by an overloaded circuit

Not all circuits are created equal. Older homes sometimes have electrical panels that are not as prepared to handle the amount of power modern appliances and devices use. Often the cause of a breaker trip in older homes is an overloaded circuit caused by too many devices. Avoid plugging multiple high-powered devices into the same circuit.

If you suspect your tripped breakers are due to an overloaded circuit, call in a certified electrician to inspect your home’s electrical system.

Short circuits

Short circuits are another common cause of tripped breakers. When a sudden surge of electricity comes through a circuit, the breaker will quickly shut off to stop the flow. Often, short circuits are caused by faulty appliances or faulty wiring.

If a tripped breaker is caused by a faulty appliance, you can test by plugging the device you suspect into multiple outlets. If your breaker trips when this device is used on multiple plugs, you have a faulty appliance.

If your short is not device-specific but is consistent with a particular outlet or light fixture you should bring in a professional to inspect your wiring. It might be possible that you have faulty wiring or that something is damaged; both of which need to be addressed as soon as possible.

tripped breaker

Tripped breakers due to faults

Another kind of short circuit is called a fault. There are two types of faults, a ground and arc fault. A ground fault occurs when a hot wire touches a ground wire, or a surge of electricity comes into contact with the ground wire because of dripping water, metal or wood connection, and more which causes a high amount of power to flow and the breaker to trip.

An arc fault is when sparks are happening at points in wiring, and the electricity begins to cross over. There are systems designed to detect this, as well, and shut down the circuit.

All of these causes of tripped breakers require a certified electrician to inspect and correct.  If you have noticed any of these problems, give us a call or schedule service online today.

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