Electrical Repair 101: Circuit Breaker Tripping

9 December 2020
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Residential electrical issues can be concerning not only for convenience reasons but also for safety. One of the most common reasons why many homeowners seek electrical repair help is because of problems with tripping circuit breakers. Here's a look at some of the things you should know about tripping circuit breaker issues and the things that can cause them.

When Is A Tripping Circuit Breaker A Concern?

Most homeowners have experienced a tripped circuit breaker at one point or another. Usually, you can reset that breaker and everything is fine. However, when a circuit breaker trips multiple times, that's a key indication that there's an electrical issue that needs to be addressed. There are several things that can cause this problem, but frequent circuit breaker tripping is a problem that should be inspected by an electrician as soon as possible. 

What Do You Have Plugged Into That Circuit?

One of the most common causes for repeated circuit breaker tripping is an overload on the circuit. That's usually the result of plugging in too many electrical devices on one circuit, drawing more power than the circuit is equipped to supply. When the circuit experiences a draw that exceeds its capacity, the breaker will trip due to the overload. This is a safety feature designed to protect the electrical system and your devices. 

Before you call an electrician, evaluate what you have plugged into the affected circuit. Consider moving some devices to a different circuit or turning off anything you don't absolutely need running. 

An electrician can test the circuit and tell you if it's experiencing an overload as well as provide suggestions to repair the problem.

Have There Been Any Power Surges?

Another important thing to consider when you're dealing with a tripped circuit breaker is whether or not there have been power issues in the area. Power surges can create an overload-type of response in your electrical system. You can minimize the risk of this type of problem by having your electrician install surge protectors for your home, including an inbound surge protector on the primary incoming electrical source.

Are There Any Damaged Electrical Wires?

Damaged electrical wires can cause an electrical short. These are dangerous because they can lead to the possibility of an electrical fire. While you may not realize that you have damaged electrical wiring, problems like this can be the result of mice, squirrels, or other rodents chewing on the wires. It can also be caused by a variety of environmental issues. You'll want to have an electrician inspect your wiring to identify any potential damage and replace those wires.