My Breaker Keeps Tripping—What Should I Do?

November 25, 2020 11:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A circuit breaker is a device in your electrical panel that shuts off the electrical current if a circuit gets overloaded. This helps to prevent electrocution, fires and other safety hazards, and also protects any devices or appliances you have plugged into those circuits.

Before you call to schedule circuit breaker repair in North Scottsdale, AZ, it’s important to understand that a circuit breaker that trips once isn’t necessarily indicative of a huge problem. There are a variety of reasons why a circuit breaker could trip that aren’t necessarily a long-term concern. Simply go to your electrical panel, find the tripped circuit breaker in the panel (it should be the breaker that’s not fully in either the “on” or “off” positions), and shut the breaker completely off before you turn it back on again. Once you get the breaker back into the “on” position, power should be restored to the affected circuit.

If, however, you have ongoing issues with breakers tripping, this is something you’ll probably need to have a professional check out. Here are a few of the most common causes of breakers that regularly trip:

  • Overloaded circuits: Circuit overloads are the most common reason for any kind of breaker trip, and if you don’t take the proper steps to reduce the load on the circuit, you can expect breaker trips to just keep occurring. An overload happens when electricity flowing through the circuit reaches higher levels than what the circuit was designed to handle. A simple solution is to send some of the power to other circuits. So, if you have a lot of appliances on a single circuit, you may wish to move a couple to a different circuit that has a lighter load so you can spread out the electrical burden. You should also make sure your circuits are all tightly connected—look for loose wires after you turn off the power when inspecting your outlets.
  • Short circuits: If a circuit overload isn’t the problem, there’s also the potential that you’ve had a short circuit in the breaker. This occurs when a live wire touches another live wire or a neutral wire, or if there is a broken wire somewhere in the breaker. Broken wires can be problematic because they’re hard to find—they can be in any part in the wiring system connected to the circuit, or caused by an appliance that’s plugged in. You should contact a professional to look for a short circuit, because it can be a difficult and time-consuming task if you don’t know what to look for.
  • Ground fault: If the problem wasn’t an overloaded circuit or a short circuit, then it could be a ground fault, a circumstance in which a hot wire touches the ground wire or a metal outlet. The fix here is to make sure a hot wire isn’t touching either of those areas.

For more information about circuit breaker repair in North Scottsdale, AZ and what to do if you’re having regular issues with breakers tripping, contact an electrician at Eavenson Electric Co. with any questions.

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