It's annoying when a circuit breaker trips off because you're without power, and it's also a little frightening because a breaker trips off to protect your home from a fire, so it means something is wrong. Here's a look at four things that can cause the circuit breaker to trip and when electrical repairs are needed.
You Have Too Many Things Plugged In
If you have too many things plugged in and running at the same time, you can trip a breaker. It's easy to diagnose and solve this problem. Turn everything off and then turn the breaker back on.
If the breaker doesn't trip until you turn everything on, you should unplug some of the lights or appliances to drop the load on the circuit. An electrician may be able to add more circuits if you don't have enough in your home to operate everything you need.
An Appliance Has A Short
A bad appliance can cause the circuit breaker to trip. This is tricky to diagnose on your own, especially if the appliance isn't the only thing plugged into the circuit. If you have multiple things plugged in, unplug them all and then plug them in one by one.
If an appliance causes the circuit to trip and the other appliances or lights don't, then you may want to have an appliance repair service check the appliance for a short or other electrical problem.
The Wiring Is Bad
There could also be a short in the wiring from the breaker to an outlet. Call an electrician to check for this problem if you've determined the circuit isn't overloaded. If there's a short in the wiring, you might feel hot spots along the walls or smell a burning odor. You'll want this problem checked right away by an electrician.
The Circuit Breaker Is Bad
The circuit breaker itself can go bad. An electrician can check for this with a multimeter after opening up the electrical panel. A bad breaker has to be replaced, and when that's done, the problem should be solved as long as the electrical panel is in good shape.
Working on an electrical panel is dangerous work, so hiring an electrician is a good idea, especially when you're not sure of the cause of the breaker tripping.
One thing to remember is that a breaker trips off as a protective measure to prevent a house fire. While it's common for a breaker to trip off occasionally, if it happens repeatedly, get to the bottom of the cause. Also, if the breaker trips off as soon as you flip it back on, leave the breaker off and call an electrician for help. Prompt electrical repairs could save your home from a disaster.
If you are having problems with your circuit breaker, contact an electrical repair service, such as McDonald Electric.