Why Does A Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping?






There are multiple reasons a circuit breaker might trip. An overloaded circuit is why most circuit breakers trip. Multiple appliances plugged in and turned on at the same time can cause the circuit to trip. The breaker trips to avoid overheat and prevent fires. Here are some examples to help you understand why this happens and how to avoid constantly tripping the circuit breaker…

Why Does A Circuit Breaker Keep TrippingWhy Does A Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping?





HINT: An overloaded circuit is the main reason a circuit breaker keeps tripping. In simple terms, you are trying to use more electricity than the electrical system is capable of providing. (Too many amps at the same time) When this occurs, the breaker will trip or reset to avoid overheating.

Overloaded Electrical Circuits

Kitchen has tripped breaker:
Complete kitchen area has no power. If the circuit breaker keeps tripping for the kitchen area, you are most likely using multiple kitchen appliances at the same exact time. For example, if you are using a toaster oven and a blender at the same moment, this can cause the breaker to trip. Another example would be when the microwave oven is running and you use the toaster at the same time, the circuit breaker will trip.

Solution for tripped kitchen breaker:
Do not use multiple kitchen appliances at once. If you are using the toaster, do not use any other kitchen appliances until it has completed. Using a toaster oven and then running your blender can also pull too many amps and trip the breaker. Basically, do not use all of your kitchen appliances at the same time. Also, always check the GFCI outlet that the appliance is plugged into to be sure the outlet has not tripped.

Bathroom has tripped breaker:
Complete bathroom area has no power. If the circuit breaker keeps tripping for the bathroom area, try to reduce the amount of appliances you have in use at the same time. For example, using a blow dryer and using a curling iron at the same time can trip the breaker. Any appliance that provides heat are high amps and can cause breakers to trip.





Solution for tripped bathroom breaker:
Do not use multiple bathroom appliances at once. Use one hair care appliance at a time. If there are 2 people using the same bathroom at the same time, try not to use 2 appliances at the same time. If 2 people need to use appliances at the same time in the same bathroom, have one person use another bathroom or simply use the appliances at different times. Also, always check the GFCI outlet that the appliance is plugged into to be sure the outlet has not tripped.

Garage has tripped breaker:
Complete garage area has no power. If the circuit breaker to the garage keeps tripping, you are using too many electrical tools or machinery at once. For example, if you are using an air compressor and an electrical power drill at the same time, it can overload the circuit.

Solution for tripped garage breaker:
Do not use multiple garage electrical tools or machinery at once. Use only one type of machinery at a time to avoid a tripped breaker. Also, always check the GFCI outlet that the appliance is plugged into to be sure the outlet has not tripped.


Reasons Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

Short Circuited Electrical Circuits

What is a short circuit?
A short circuit occurs when a hot wire contacts a neutral wire in an electrical outlet. A big amount of electrical current flows through the circuit and creates more heat than the electrical circuit can handle. This causes the circuit breaker to trip to prevent overheat and fire.

Short circuits occur from a loose electrical connection or from wiring that was wired incorrectly. You can find short circuits from smelling a burned smell or from black burnt coloring around the wiring.

Ground Fault Surge Electrical Issues

What is a ground fault surge?
A ground fault surge occurs when a hot wire comes into contact with a ground wire or from inside the metal electrical outlet box. When this happens the breaker will trip to avoid overheat and fire. A ground fault surge can be identified from a discolored area around the outlet or metal box.





Main Circuit Breaker Issue

The circuit breaker itself may have corrosion or cracked parts. If the circuit breaker is causing the issue because of these issues, it needs to be replaced. Only have a professional replace the main circuit breaker.

NOTE: If you have circuit breakers tripping frequently call a professional to troubleshoot the problem. Do not attempt to fix this problem on your own unless you know what you are doing. Electrical systems can be dangerous and all safety issues should be taken into consideration. Always turn power OFF if troubleshooting an electrical issue.

ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant
Allen is a Home Maintenance/Appliance tech and the author/creator of this website. He has 30 years of experience troubleshooting and repairing all types of machinery. Contact here



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