What Exactly to Do if Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping Without Load
- Jan 29, 2018
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At some point or another, everyone has to deal with a circuit breaker tripping.
Usually, the “solution” doesn’t require a whole lot of work.
You reset the breaker and that’s all there is to it.
However, if your circuit breaker keeps tripping without load, constantly resetting it isn’t going to do much but raise your blood pressure.
The Reason Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping “Without Load”
First and foremost, it’s important that you understand why your circuit breaker keeps tripping without load.
That’s because there actually is some amount of load.
Unless electricity has been completely cut off from your home or building, the breaker is always working with some amount of it.
For example, your television is full of capacitors. Diodes, transistors, and other versions are constantly conducting very small amounts of current, even when the television isn’t on.
Therefore, the idea that it’s tripping without a load is actually a misnomer.
The question then becomes, what’s behind this problem?
Assuming there isn’t something mechanically wrong with the circuit breaker (which would require replacing the whole unit), the source of the problem is almost certainly with the wiring.
3 Wiring Problems Causing Your Circuit Breaker to Trip
Before we list the wiring problems that may be behind this problem, quickly check to make sure you haven’t forgotten about a device that’s plugged in and on.
Sometimes, people forget about gadgets in their garage or plugged in outside.
Provided that’s not happening, here are three wiring problems to consider.
1. Current Leakage
One possibility is that one or more of the input wires is suffering from current leakage.
In that case, the frustrating problem you’re experiencing is actually occurring for your own good. It’s a safety precaution.
2. Damaged Wires
The damage could be anywhere, not just with the input wires. Insects or other pests may have gotten to them and done serious damage just by chewing. Even with extremely low loads, this type of problem can be enough to cause your breaker to trip.
3. A Loose Wire in an Outlet
This wiring problem can be maddening. In short, one of your outlets has a loose wire that is causing your breaker to trip and will continue to do so until it’s replaced. This is a somewhat common problem if you have an outlet with a GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter).
Have Your Wires Checked Immediately
Keep in mind, the above advice only applies if your circuit breaker keeps tripping without load (that you’re aware of, anyway).
If it’s only done this once, it might just be a power surge.
However, if it keeps happening over and over, call a technician to inspect your wires.
Unless you have experience with this, do not trying doing this yourself. Again, there is always electricity running to your home, so even if your lights refuse to come on, you run the risk of electrocution.
The good news is that once the repairs are done, the problem with your breaker will be a thing of the past.