Why Does My Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping?

circuit breakerEvery circuit contains cables, connections, switches and other electrical equipment that is designed to transmit a maximum electrical current defined by the manufacturer. The circuit can melt, break down or catch on fire if it is exposed to more than it can carry. Circuit breakers were created to solve this problem, making sure that each circuit carries only the maximum capacity that it can manage. When too much electrical current is transmitted through the circuit breaker, it will trip; causing the outlets not to work until the circuit is manually switched back.


3 Reasons Why Circuit Breakers Trip

Overloaded Circuit. Check your sockets. How many appliances are connected to a single outlet? Having more than one major appliance (like kitchen appliances, space heaters, AC units and hair dryers) plugged into the same circuit leads to over usage of what the circuit can accommodate. When this happens, the circuit overheats and is automatically turned off from the electrical system by the circuit breaker.

Short-circuit. A short-circuit is different than an overloaded circuit, and typically has a cable or a section of the fixed wiring that is damaged. Any change you make in your house can put your electrical cable at risk. Cables hidden behind walls can be damaged by a drill, a nail or a screw. Even digging in the soil while landscaping or gardening can damage underground cables. A licensed electrician can repair this, making your home safe!

Faulty Appliances. Earth leakage current, also known as residual or ground fault current, is electricity that runs from the electrical installation to the conductive materials of the home or to the ground. An appliance can cause an earth leakage current, which is the most usual cause why circuit breakers trip. Electrical appliances pass current between the installation live conductors. They can let the current to run through their metal elements into your body and to the ground when they become faulty. Certain kinds of circuit breakers can detect this current running to the ground, protecting you from electric shock.

Contact a professional electrician if your circuit breaker keeps tripping.