My Circuit Keeps Tripping – What Is Wrong?
Having a circuit breaker trip is a common problem that can happen whenever there is some sort of electrical disruption or surge that affects the electrical wiring in a building.
Breaker tripping is a safety feature that essentially shuts off the electrical current flowing to that circuit in response to an irregular response from an appliance or other electrical item receiving that power.
While it is quite normal for circuit breakers to occasionally trip, most will continue to function just fine once reset if the problem was temporary; however, if the circuit keeps tripping, it is possible that circuit box repair or some other repair is needed.
What Can Cause Circuit Breaker Tripping?
When circuit breaker tripping continues to happen, it is time to call a licensed electrician who can check for these usual reasons why it is happening and make the necessary repairs.
- Circuit Overload - The most common reason why people experience repeated breaker tripping is a circuit overload that is not being corrected. This happens when there is too much electricity flowing through the circuit for it to safely handle, so the circuit breaker trips. It usually happens when there are too many electrical draws on the same circuit but it could also happen due to bad wiring, or a problem with one of the plugged-in items.
- Short Circuit - Short circuits happen when a hot wire and a neutral wire touch, causing a spark and an overload of the circuit. This can happen due to faulty wiring, a loose wire, or other reason that results in the wrong wires getting into close contact with each other. This is a problem that definitely requires circuit repair from an experienced electrician.
- Ground Fault - A ground fault is what happens when a live wire gets loose and touches the ground or the grounding element on an appliance. When this happens, the breaker is tripped due to a power surge sent back to the circuit box. An electrician must find where the ground fault is happening and, if it is occurring outdoors, make the appropriate circuit box repair to stop it and allow the circuit to function normally again.
- Bad Circuit Breaker - Circuit breakers do go bad, especially if they are old. Sometimes, repeated circuit breaker tripping might be caused by a bad breaker itself, and not by faulty wiring or a circuit overload. When the breaker itself goes bad, tripping happens immediately or the circuit cannot be reset anymore. The breaker must be replaced so it can be turned back on and stay functional once an active electrical current is turned on again.
- Wrong Circuit Breaker - Finally, putting the wrong capacity circuit breaker in the breaker box can also cause immediate or repeated breaker tripping. Circuit breaker boxes hold breakers of various sizes and capacities to handle the electrical load of different currents and circuits. A breaker that is too small for the circuit will trip, or even break, signaling that there is a problem that must be remedied. Installing the right size circuit breaker usually takes care of the problem so the breaker stops tripping.
Call A Qualified Electrician To Handle Frequent Circuit Breaker Tripping
Occasional breaker tripping is not usually a cause for calling an electrician; however, when circuit breaker tripping continues to happen after resetting the breaker, a deeper look is necessary.
Circuit breakers prevent dangerous situations like damaged appliances, burnt wiring, and fires as well as keep people from accidental electrocution.
Ongoing issues that hint at a need for wiring or circuit box repair should be taken very seriously.
Contact a local licensed electrical service that can come and inspect the building, find what is causing the tripping, and make the necessary electrical repair.