What Exactly to Do If Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping with Nothing Plugged In
- Jan 29, 2018
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No one likes dealing with a tripped circuit breaker, but usually, it’s just a mild annoyance.
The solution is simple.
You unplug the responsible device(s) and reset the breaker.
Then, everything goes back to normal.
However, if your circuit breaker keeps tripping with nothing plugged in, it can be tough to keep your cool.
Fortunately, the reality of the situation is fairly straightforward.
Once you understand it, you’ll have an easy time restoring your circuit breaker to normal operation.
Why Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping with Nothing Plugged In
Here’s the truth: it’s very unlikely that your circuit breaker keeps tripping with nothing plugged in.
Unless your building or home has had the electricity completely cut off from it, there is always some amount of load on your breaker.
Troubleshooting a Circuit Breaker that Keeps Tripping with Nothing Plugged In
That said, let’s look at three possibilities that could be behind your circuit breaker tripping even though nothing is plugged in.
1. Something Actually Is Plugged In
While you’ve probably already checked for this a million times, make sure that nothing could be tripping the breaker that you haven’t considered.
You might have a device plugged in outside or in the garage where you’ve forgotten all about it. Maybe there’s a device in another room that you don’t think is on the same breaker.
One way to check for this is to use an electronic circuit breaker finder to map out which outlets are connected to which breakers.
If you don’t want to make that kind of investment, just do a quick check and consider unplugging some devices in the surrounding area just to see if they were actually connected to the breaker in question.
2. A Damaged Input Wire
If you’re sure you’ve checked that first box, the next suspect is a damaged input wire that is causing current leakage. This problem could be dangerous if it wasn’t for your trusty circuit breaker constantly tripping to keep you safe.
Of course, that doesn’t make it any less annoying.
You’ll need an electrician to come out and chase down the source of the leakage in order to fix it. This isn’t the type of weekend project most people are equipped for in terms of both the expertise and equipment required.
3. Your Circuit Breaker Has Gone Bad
Finally, you may need to replace your circuit breaker.
The reason why it’s nearly impossible for a circuit breaker to trip without devices being plugged in is because, sometimes, the breaker has simply gone bad and is just malfunctioning.
There’s nothing you can do in this case but switch it out for another.
Fixing Your Circuit Breaker So It Quits Tripping with Nothing Pugged In
Provided you checked for devices that could be responsible, hopefully, you now have a better understanding of why your circuit breaker keeps tripping with nothing plugged in.
Unfortunately, unless you have experience working with current, fixing the issue is best left to an electrician. At least by troubleshooting first, you won’t be paying them for nothing. It also shouldn’t take them too long to root out the source of the constant tripping and fix it.