Why Do Breakers Trip?

September 30, 2022

Why Do Breakers Trip?

A circuit breaker is a safety device designed to protect a circuit from being damaged when it is overloaded or when an electrical short occurs. The location of circuit breakers is within your home’s electrical panel. When a breaker trips it terminates the flow of electricity to the affected circuit, which prevents the wires from heating up and potentially causing a house fire.

Reasons Why Breakers Trip

  • A circuit can become overloaded because the electrical demand has exceeded what the circuit can safely provide.
  • A hidden short circuit condition somewhere along the affected circuit.
  • A faulty appliance or cord connected to or plugged into the affected circuit.
  • A damaged plug, switch, or fixture in the circuit.
  • A faulty or worn-out breaker.

How to Reset A Tripped Breaker?

  1. Turn off all light switches and unplug all appliances on the affected circuit.
  2. Locate the tripped breaker in the electrical panel. It should be in the OFF position, or in the middle between ON and OFF.
  3. First, flip or press the breaker firmly to the OFF position (this may require some force) wait 5 seconds and then firmly flip it to the ON position. You may hear it snap into place. Your power to the circuit should now be restored.
  4. Now replace the unplugged appliances one by one. If the breaker trips again, then the problem is likely with the appliance you have just plugged in. Either it is creating a short in the circuit or the addition of that appliance is overloading the circuit. Never increase the size of the breaker to accommodate a larger load, unless the wiring used for the circuit rating is for the larger breaker size.
  5. If the breaker continues to trip, call Blue Crest Electric. We’ll send a qualified and licensed electrician who has the expertise, specialized tools, and testers to troubleshoot the problem.
  6. Flipping breakers back and forth is never a good idea as this may prevent the breakers from resetting properly.

Replacing Breakers

Why Do Breakers Trip?

Unlike most electrical devices such as receptacles / outlet, switches, dimmers, etc., electrical breakers must match specifically to the panel brand in order for the panel to operate properly, safely, and to maintain certification. If there’s an installation of another brand or an incorrectly sized breaker, manufactures may refuse to warranty their panels. When replacing a breaker in your electrical panel our electricians will always use the same brand of circuit breaker for the coinciding electrical panel.

For any questions regarding your home’s circuit breakers or electrical repairs, call us at any of the numbers listed on our contact page.

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