4 Sneaky Reasons Why Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping
- Oct 23, 2017
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Circuit breakers are one of the most important electrical protection devices developed in the last century.
Without these handy devices (as well as fuses), bringing electricity into the home would be far more dangerous than it is today, maybe even impossible.
While you may not know exactly how a circuit breaker actually works though, you probably know that it protects you from circuit overloads, short circuits, and a host of other electrical accidents waiting to happen.
That being said, it can be tough to find the real cause behind why a breaker is continually tripping.
But don’t give up looking!
Below is a list of the top four reasons for a tripped circuit breaker that many people don’t consider. So take your time, take a peek, and most importantly of all, take note.
1. Not Knowing Which Plug Goes Where
Those little stickers next to your circuit breakers outlining which outlet each breaker controls are quite useful but it’s worth remembering that they aren’t set in stone. If you’re having breaker problems, it could boil down to a simple case of mislabeled circuits that don’t have the capacity to handle certain voltages.
This is especially true when you’re using devices and appliances that are particularly prone to tripping circuits.
2. A Bad Circuit Breaker
If your breaker is tripping more frequently than it should be, it could actually be a sign that your breaker is losing its effectiveness. Overheating is often the culprit here.
And while you should always assume that the cause is an external issue rather than the breaker itself (otherwise you may be overlooking a serious electrical hazard), testing it with a multimeter can determine once and for all if your breaker is underperforming.
3. Faulty Behind-the-Scenes Wiring
This one can be the most treacherous of all. Defective wiring can end up being pretty costly, especially if the problem is on the other side of your walls rather than right behind an outlet.
If you’ve tested all your appliances, breakers, and even the box itself though, you may be looking at only one option: calling a professional electrician. Before making that leap though, be sure you’ve already exhausted all the other possibilities first.
4. Broken or Dangerous Appliances
A lot of people are under the impression that circuit overload is the sole reason for a tripped breaker. And while it’s true that this is often the number one cause, don’t forget the other purpose of a circuit breaker: to prevent short circuits.
Older and damaged appliances, for instance, may be hiding frayed internal wiring. And if that problem is left unattended for long enough, it could end up causing some very serious damage to your home.
Listen to What Your Circuit Breaker Is Trying to Tell You
So often, people tend to just flip a tripped breaker back on without taking the time to consider why it even tripped in the first place. And doing so is not only incredibly dangerous, it’s also completely ignoring the point of the circuit breaker in the first place.
With these four sneaky reasons why your circuit breaker keeps tripping, you’ll be better equipped to diagnose the original problem and save you a world of trouble down the road.