Why Does My Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping and How to Fix It?

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When you notice that the circuit breaker is tripping the first time, it is easy to not worry about this at all. But the more times that this happens, the easier it is to see it as a big problem. Outside of being annoying, it could be a sign that something is wrong with your system. 

Working out the exact reason why your circuit continues to trip is a challenge. However, if you know where to look and what may be causing the problem can really make a difference. Some of the reasons why your circuit breaker is tripping and some of the steps you can take to fix this problem include:

Why is My Circuit Breaker Tripping?

There are different reasons why your circuit breaker may be struggling and tripping. This can happen on occasion, but if it does it often, it is a sign that something is wrong. Some of the most common reasons a circuit breaker is tripping includes:

1.     The Circuits are Overloaded

The reason this is called a circuit breaker is that it is designed to break up the circuit when too much current tries to run through. For example, if your circuit is designed to be 20 amps and you are running 30 amps to it, the breaker is going to stop this and trip in an effort to keep the home safe

Often we try to plug too many things into the same circuit. This causes it to overload and will make it hard to protect your home. The circuit breakers will do their best and can trip to do this. 

2.     You Need to Do a Heavy-Up

Sometimes it is hard to know how much the circuit is able to take or how much your appliances are sending over to the circuit. You may find that the appliance is running way higher than you expected and this can cause the circuit to trip. If this is the cause, it may be time to do a heavy-up.

To keep it simple, a heavy-up is a way to increase the amperage that comes into the home at your service panel. This allows you to upgrade your circuit breakers and electrical system to receive and handle more energy at the same time. If you do this, be prepared for the whole service panel to get replaced with this. 

3.     The Circuits are Shorting

This could be a serious problem because it relates back to the wiring in the home. There are several wires that are attached to the outlet. When the wires get close enough for two hot wires to touch each other, or a hot wire is able to touch a neutral wire, this causes the circuits to trip. 

If this is the main problem with your circuit breaker, then it is important to get someone over to take a look. It will not fix itself and could lead to a lot of damage from a fire inside the home. 

4.     You Have a Ground Fault

A ground fault will sometimes happen when a hot wire is touching something it shouldn’t, but this time it is touching the metal outlet box. This can be dangerous too and you need to get a professional over to see what is going on and see what your options are to fix it. 

5.     Faulty Appliances or Bad Wiring

If something is wrong with your appliances or the wiring is not doing well in your home, then this can be enough to make your circuits stop working well. A faulty appliance can cause a circuit over and over again. When this is the case, you should consider replacing the appliance to keep things safe. 

If one of your outlets has not been wired well, then it may be enough to make the breaker trip. If you get the same results out of one particular outlet, even when you try to fix it, then a qualified electrician needs to take a look at it for you. 

How to Fix Circuit Breakers That Trip

When a circuit breaker trips once or twice, then it is usually not a big deal. This is a sign that there was a surge to the system and it was able to keep your appliances safe. This is what the system is meant to do. When the circuit breaker seems to trip over and over again, then this is a sign that you need to make some changes. 

If you have a circuit breaker that seems to trip many times, then there are a few things you are able to do. Often the problem is that too many things are plugged into the same circuit. By unplugging a few of them, you may be able to fix it all. 

If you are researching some of the potential issues and notice that only one appliance is making this happen, then unplug that one and add something else there. If you can do this without the circuit tripping, this means that you need to replace that appliance. 

In some cases, the issue is going to be from old wiring in your home. Even if it was installed right, there is the potential that it has just gotten old. When this is the case, it is time to call in an electrician to check the wiring and see what is causing the issue. They can help get the wiring up to code to keep you safe. 

Taking Care of Your Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker in your home is an important component. You want to make sure that it is taken care of to ensure all your electricity and appliances always work, without causing damage to the home. When the circuits start to trip, it is a sign that something is wrong. 

 

There are many reasons why your circuit breakers are struggling with tripping and running into problems. When you notice some of the issues above, it is time to take care of the circuits and make sure they get fixed early on. 

Gabe Nelson is a content specialist of over 7 years of experience, currently working with baypower.com. Just out of high school he set off crab fishing on the Bering sea in Alaska. From there he went back home to finish his college degree at the University of Montana.  He has written hundreds of content pieces in numerous niches. Currently, he lives in Missouri with his wife and kids.

 
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