How Can I Tell What is Tripping My Circuit Breaker?

It is common that circuit breakers trip and can be difficult to tell what specifically is causing the circuit breaker to trip. Don’t be too alarmed if a circuit breaker trips, this is meant for safety and can be frustrating when you’re not sure what is causing it to trip. If you’re not experienced in electrical maintenance, Muth Electric can help you find what specifically is causing the breaker to trip.

Circuit Breaker keeps tripping

Circuit Overloads are Common

One of the most common reasons why your circuit breaker trips is because you have too many things plugged in to a specific outlet or circuit. This can occur when you want a circuit to provide more electricity than it is actually capable of. There is an internal sensing mechanism that is spring loaded in the circuit breaker that heats up will trip the breaker to ensure safety and prevent a fire from breaking out.

Short Circuits on the Other Hand Can be Dangerous

Short circuits happen when a hot wire comes in contact with a neutral wire, ground wire or bond wire, or a metal box, this is called dead or hard short. This can be very dangerous because a large amount of current will flow through the circuit, which then creates more heat than the circuit can handle. The breaker will trip to prevent any damages or fires, this can happen when there is a faulty wiring, loose connection, wiring issues in the appliances or equipment.

Ground Fault is Common with Consistent Tripping

If you’re circuit breaker continues to trip when trying to turn on, it could also be due to ground fault. This happens when a hot wire is touching a bare ground wire, metal box, or metal on an appliance or equipment. Ground fault are especially dangerous when they occur in high moisture areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, or outdoor locations and carries a high risk of getting electrocuted.

Arc Fault

In recent years, the National Electrical Code has gradually increased requirements for a specific type of breaker to help protect home owners known as arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). AFCI breakers are designed to trip due to overloads, short circuits, and ground faults along with sensing the power fluctuations that occur when sparking occurs between contact points in a wiring connection. This is caused by a loose wire under a screw on an outlet or switch.

These are 4 common events that can cause the circuit breakers to trip. It is recommended you talk to a professional electrical company such as Muth Electric to get to the bottom of the issue and fix it before any other dangerous or hazardous events occur.

Contact Muth Electric at 605-996-3983 today or visit us online for more information!