Have you ever experienced a sudden loss of electricity in one part of your house, especially after plugging in an appliance? This is a common sign of an electrical problem in your home, and could point specifically to a circuit breaker tripping. There are many possible reasons why your circuit breaker keeps tripping, and a licensed electrical contractor can help you get to the root of the issue.
What is a circuit breaker, and how do I know if it has tripped?
A circuit breaker is an electrical safety device which protects circuits from damage by automatically cutting off the electrical flow when an overload or short circuit is detected. In a home, it is commonly located in the basement or garage. Circuit breakers are essential to the safety of your home, because they prevent electrical fires and electrical shock, among other problems. When a circuit breaker is tripped, that usually means that voltage and current levels are higher than usual, causing the breaker to cut off the electrical supply.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between a power outage and a loss of electrical power due to a circuit tripping. A tell-tale sign of a circuit breaker tripping is a loss of power in a specific part of your house, instead of throughout the house. Another sign is when multiple outlets in only one room have stopped working. Even though these are all typical signs of a circuit breaker tripping, it is necessary to inspect the circuit breaker to confirm the root cause.
When looking at the circuit breaker panel, you can tell whether the breaker has tripped by seeing whether the switch is in the “on” or “off” position. When a power outage occurs, the switch will remain in the “on” position the entire time, however when a circuit is tripped, the switch will flip from “on” to “off”.
Reasons why your circuit breaker keeps tripping
A circuit overload is one of the most common causes for a breaker trip. If the breaker is undersized and does not have sufficient capacity to manage the amount of electricity passing through the wire, it may cause the circuit to become overloaded. This commonly happens when too many items are plugged into one outlet, and the simple solution would be to remove some appliances and connect them to a different outlet.
A more serious reason for a circuit breaker tripping is a short circuit. A short circuit may be caused by loose connections, frayed wires or a faulty electrical switch. A common sign of short circuits is seeing sparks, hearing popping sounds and sometimes seeing smoke. Short circuits are especially dangerous because they can lead to high temperatures and cause electrical fires.
Resetting a tripped breaker
When the breaker trips, the first plan of action is to switch the breaker from the “on” to the “off” position, and then back on again. This is a fairly standard and straightforward way to reset the breaker, and will usually restore electrical power to the home if the root cause was a one-time problem, such as an overloaded circuit. However, if there is a deeper underlying reason for the circuit breaker tripping (such as a short circuit), resetting the circuit breaker will not restore power and a licensed electrical contractor may be required to do some troubleshooting.
Hire a licensed electrical contractor to find the root cause
Sometimes, circuit breakers may trip frequently if there is a deeper underlying problem which cannot be solved by resetting the breaker. In these instances, it can be hazardous or unsafe to try and solve the problem yourself if you aren’t familiar with electrical wiring. All types of electrical wiring problems should be inspected and addressed by a licensed electrical contractor.
Are you tired of your circuit breakers tripping?
Contact MADE ELECTRIC today! We are a trusted electrical contractor that operates in Toronto and the GTA, with a professional and fully licensed team. We’re happy to help diagnose and solve any electrical problems you may have.
Our company can be reached at any time through our contact page, and you can also give us a call at +1 (833) 623-3247, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.