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Fixing a Breaker That Keeps Tripping - All Your Question Answered

Fixing a Breaker That Keeps Tripping

How to fix a breaker that keeps tripping - When your home’s electrical system doesn’t operate in the most effective way possible, it can lead to a variety of problems. One of the most common issues is when your breaker keeps tripping and resetting every time you turn on a specific appliance or device. If that sounds like something that is happening in your home, read on to learn why this is happening and how you can fix it. 

Whether you have a single-phase or three-phase power system in your home, tripping breakers are something that can happen from time to time. However, if this happens continuously with one particular breaker, there is likely an underlying problem with that circuit. This article will outline some of the most common reasons why your breaker keeps tripping and some potential solutions to get them working again as it should. 

When Your Breaker Keeps Tripping: Is It a Short Circuit?

A short circuit happens when electricity has nowhere to go and is being conducted across unintended paths. It can happen at any point in your system but is often located in places where wires are in close proximity (such as outlets, switches, and junction boxes). The wiring in your system has a certain amount of resistance, and when that resistance is overcome with too much current, it can melt the wiring, creating a short circuit. 

If there are a lot of different appliances being used on a circuit that is also home to a short circuit, the breaker will trip almost instantaneously because of the high amount of current being drawn through the circuit. If you think this might be what is causing your breaker to trip, try unplugging everything from that outlet (including the short circuit) and test the outlet with a multimeter. If there is still a short when nothing is plugged into the outlet, you will need to replace the outlet.

Breaker Keeps Tripping Due to an Installed Device

When troubleshooting why a breaker keeps tripping, one of the first things you should do is make sure you understand the circuit you are trying to fix. This means looking at the breaker box and labeling the circuit breakers for the electrical circuits in your home. In particular, when your breaker keeps tripping, you may have installed a new device (such as an air conditioner, heater, or refrigerator) that requires more power than the circuit can provide. 

This is especially true if you have a single-phase circuit (typically found in older homes) that only provides 110 amps of power. New devices that require higher amounts of current will overload the circuit and trip the breaker. To fix this, you will need to install a device that operates at a lower current, or you can upgrade your circuit to a higher amp circuit.

Breaker Keeps Tripping Due to an Incorrect Rating

When you are installing new devices in your home, you need to be aware of the circuit’s capacity and the device’s current draw. If you install a device that draws more current than the circuit can handle, this can trip the breaker. One way this can happen is if you install a device with a higher wattage than what is on the label. 

For example, if you install a 100-watt light bulb when the circuit is only rated for 60-watt bulbs, the circuit will trip. Similarly, if you use a higher voltage device than is on the label, this may cause the circuit to trip. For example, if you use a 110-volt device on a 120-volt circuit, this will probably trip the breaker.

Breaker Keeps Tripping Due to a Shorted Wire

If you have already followed the above steps and your breaker is still flipping, you may have a shorted wire. Short circuits are a leading cause of electrical fires, so if you are experiencing these issues, you should handle them quickly and safely. If you suspect you have a shorted wire, turn off the circuit breaker, and then unplug all electrical devices plugged into the circuit. 

Next, use a voltage detector to locate the shorted wire. You can also visually inspect your wiring and look for discoloration, burns, or sharp edges that may indicate a short circuit. If you find a short, you will need to shut off your power and contact an electrician to repair the wiring.

Breaker Keeps Tripping Due to Overloaded Wiring

The last reason why a breaker keeps tripping is that the wiring connected to that circuit is overloaded. The easiest way to determine if this is the cause of your circuit issues is to simply take a look at the length of your wiring and the number of wires connected to each circuit. 

For example, if there are two 20-foot wires connecting a light fixture to a single-pole breaker and a 30-foot wire connecting a nearby outlet box to the same breaker, you have an overloaded circuit. If this is the case, you will need to either shorten your wiring or install a circuit breaker to handle the extra load.

Additional breaker tripping troubleshooting tips

When you are investigating why your breaker keeps tripping, keep in mind that wiring issues may not always be related to a breaker. If your lights are flickering, you may have loose wiring or faulty wiring connections in your home. If you have outlets that are not getting power, you may have a wiring issue or a problem with your electrical panel. 

If you are experiencing these issues, you should contact an electrician as soon as possible so they can inspect your system and make any repairs as needed. When dealing with circuit issues, it is important to remember that safety comes first. Always make sure you are working in a safe environment when dealing with electricity and follow the appropriate steps when troubleshooting your system.