circuit breaker

What To Do If Your Circuit Breaker Is Tripping Frequently

If your circuit breaker is tripping frequently, it can be as frustrating as it is dangerous. An overloaded circuit can leave you with unreliable power and may also pose a fire risk. If you notice your lights flickering or if you’ve lost power to a part of your home, you’ll probably need to call an electrician to fix your problem, since working with electricity can be highly dangerous. However, there are a few simple ways to identify the source of your problem and potentially fix it on your own.

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What Is a Circuit Breaker?

A circuit breaker is a component in a circuit that moderates the flow of electricity through it. Circuit breakers help protect homes and buildings from electrical issues and damage.

What Is Happening When a Circuit Breaker Trips?

When a circuit breaker trips, too much electricity is trying to move through the circuit at once, causing the circuit breaker to literally break the circuit. Too much electricity passing through a circuit can overheat the electrical wiring in your home or electrical devices, which can cause a fire or electrocution. It’s vital to find out what’s causing your circuit breaker to trip so you can prevent anything dangerous from happening.

Some of the most common reasons why a circuit breaker would trip are the following:

Overloaded Circuit

An overloaded circuit means that the circuit has more power flowing through it than it is designed to handle. This can occur when too many devices are plugged into one circuit, which trips the circuit breaker or causes devices to be underpowered. This problem is common in many older homes, as modern households tend to have many more electronic devices. If the problem isn’t fixed, your power will continue to cut out and you risk a fire.

Electrical Short Circuit

A short circuit is simply a new and often shorter circuit caused by objects, such as a wire, a tree branch, or water touching an existing circuit and creating a lower path of resistance for its current. This new circuit allows a surge of electricity to pass through (far above what the circuit can normally handle), which often damages it. A short circuit can produce a dramatic burst of energy and heat that causes fires or that can electrocute bystanders.

Ground Fault

A ground fault is the unintentional flow of a current from a circuit to the ground. This is often triggered by a circuit coming into contact with a conductor that is connected to the ground, such as a person touching a wire. This can be deadly for individuals and destructive for property, and can occur easily in circuits that lack sufficient grounding. Many homes have installed ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) on power outlets to minimize the chance for shock or fire, and outlets without this technology can be more dangerous.

Appliances

Appliances can trip a circuit breaker due to faulty wiring, overheating, a bad connection, or drawing too much power. Not only is this inconvenient, but it can also be dangerous. If the problem isn’t fixed, you’ll experience chronic electrical outages in your home, affected appliances may be underpowered, and you may be in danger of an electrical shock.

Steps to Take If Your Circuit Breaker Trips

If you trip a circuit, you can try to find the source of the problem by first turning off the circuit and unplugging all devices connected to it. Go to your circuit breaker or fuse box and either switch off the breakers or remove the fuses for the individual circuits that you want to disconnect. 

Looking for an Emergency Electrician in the Las Vegas Area?

Any electrical problem in your home is a serious matter, and making a mistake while trying to fix it can pose dangers to you, those around you, or your property. While you might be able to diagnose and even fix a simple problem on your own, anything beyond that requires expert assistance to safely fix. An emergency electrician in Las Vegas can assist you with a wide range of problems, including:

  • Dead outlets
  • Faulty wiring
  • Regular electrical surges
  • Frequently tripping breakers
  • Lights burning out often
  • Flickering lights
  • Overloaded circuits
  • Not enough outlets

Bell Solar & Electrical Systems is still providing emergency services to Las Vegas and Henderson residents. Contact us today and we can assist you with your electrical problems to keep your home safe.