Have you ever found yourself in the dark unexpectedly and wondered why the power went out? As you’re wondering what’s going on, you notice the neighbors have working lights. That’s not a power outage – that’s what happens when your circuit breaker trips! While this can happen on occasion, it is essential to know why it happens if it continues.
What is a Circuit Breaker?
A circuit breaker protects against a housefire, as it turns off the electricity when too much power is running. If a circuit breaker failed to stop an excess of electricity, the circuit could overheat and spark. The breaker serves to sever the connection and acts as a safeguard.
What is ‘Tripping?’
‘Tripping’ happens when the breaker cuts the power on its own. When the circuit breaker has to take action to prevent disaster, it trips. Tripping, in the grand scheme of things, is a good thing. Unfortunately, it is also an annoyance.
What Causes It?
It has been explained that your circuit breaker tripping is commonly the result of too much electricity. While that is true, there are a couple of other reasons that tripping occurs repeatedly. Knowing why your breaker keeps tripping is vital to grasp how to fix the problem.
A short circuit is a dangerous issue that you must take care of to avoid a fire. To explain, a short circuit results from a loose connection or lousy wiring that causes two wires to touch that should not cross. When a hot wire comes into contact with a neutral wire, the excessive current that comes through the wiring creates a level of heat the circuit was not prepared for. That heat trips the breaker.
While tripping the breaker is good in this case, fixing the issue is still important. An electrician can safely fix the problem, but it is not typically safe for a DIY fix. Contacting a professional is the safest option in this case.
Ground Fault Surges
A ground fault surge is like a short circuit in that two wires that shouldn’t touch do. However, rather than connecting a hot wire to a neutral wire, a ground fault surge connects a hot wire to a ground wire. This can cause a fire, discoloration surrounding the outlet, or overheating appliances. Before any significant damage can occur, the breaker should trip.
Again, the circuit breaker tripping acts as a fire preventative measure, but it is not wise to rely on it. For the safety of your home and those in it, you should seek professional help immediately if you suspect a ground fault surge.
Overloading the Circuit
As mentioned, too much electricity is a common cause of tripping the circuit breaker in your home. This is the least dangerous of the reasons and can be solved by eliminating the amount of electricity in use. If you have multiple appliances and devices plugged in and running in the same corner of the kitchen, you are likely putting too much electricity through your wiring. An air fryer, the microwave, a lamp, and a slow cooker going simultaneously are not great for your electricity. Instead of doing everything at once, try to space out your usage. If you have to use each item at the same time, spread them out so that the currents are not originating from the same outlets.
Brunelli Electric in Franklin, MA Can Help!
When your breaker won’t stop tripping, and you aren’t sure what the cause is, Brunelli Electric can help! Identifying the issue may be a safety precaution that you should not ignore. Contact us today for help with your circuit breaker concerns. Fill out a contact form or give us a call at 508-400-5571.