The Three Most Common Reasons Why Circuit Breakers Trip

Home Security Services

20 May The Three Most Common Reasons Why Circuit Breakers Trip

Most people have experienced a circuit breaker trip at some time or the other; and the first couple of times it happens, it can be quite alarming. However, this is a very important safety component in any electrical circuit. A circuit breaker is essentially an automatic device used to stop the flow of current within a circuit, as a safety measure. It is specifically designed to protect your property, equipment in your home/commercial space and you from overloading the electrical circuit.

The sole reason a circuit breaker trips is to prevent the overheating and overloading of an electrical circuit, beyond the capacity of that circuit. If there is no breaker in place, the electrical units in that circuit can get damaged and potentially lead to a fire.

Steps to Follow when a Circuit Breaker Trips

In case a circuit breaker trips, the very first thing to do is to locate it in your panel box. The switch you are looking for is the one that isn’t completely in an On/Off position. Once you turn the switch into the ‘on’ position, the power will be restored. In case the power doesn’t come on, simply switch it off and then on again.

If the circuit breaker trips even after you have reset it, don’t just try resetting it again. It’s doing what it’s designed to do and telling you that there is something wrong that has to be investigated. There are three different things that can cause a circuit breaker to trip:

Circuit Overload

This is the commonest cause of a circuit breaker trip. It occurs when the electrical energy that’s flowing through the circuit is much more than what it can handle. The simplest way to solve this problem is to redistribute the power to some other circuits. Very simply put, in case too many heavy appliances are connected to a single circuit, move a couple of them to one that isn’t as loaded.

It’s important that you check whether the circuits aren’t loose. First, switch off the power and look for any loose wires; you can do this by closely inspecting the hot wires and outlets that lead from the service panel to the circuit breaker, and then tighten the connection that’s loose.

Short Circuit

If after checking the circuit overload, you find there aren’t any issues in that areas, the problem could be a short circuit. This is caused when any live wire touches another neutral/live wire. At times a short circuit may be caused by a broken wire within the breaker. It’s far more difficult to identify this as it could be just about any part of the wiring system which is connected to that circuit. At times, the culprit could be an appliance that’s plugged into an outlet.

This issue is quite a dangerous and severe one and it’s important that it be diagnosed quickly. It can be quite tedious to look for a short circuit and the outlets, plugs and wiring that are connected to that circuit, but these checks are important. Look for cracks or signs of burning in the insulation and call an electrician without delay.

Ground Fault

If it’s neither a short circuit nor a circuit overload that’s caused the circuit breaker to trip, it could be a ground fault issue. This happens when any hot wire touches the metal outlet box or the ground wire.

If a circuit breaker trips in your home or commercial property, keep in mind that it’s a very serious issue and not something that should be ignored. For the best electrical solutions, call Allround Electrical at 1300 169 263. You can also drop us a line via email or contact us through this online form.

Thanks for reading,
Allround Electrical
1300 169 263

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