Your home’s electrical system features an arrangement of switches controlled and protected breakers or fuses. Circuit breakers are safety nets for your home, as they protect your home from electrical overload.
If you find yourself resetting a tripped breaker often, it’s time to call an electrician. We do not endorse working on an electrical service panel unless you are a licensed electrician. However, in many situations, the tripped breaker is simply from overloading the circuit with too many things plugged into the same circuit. Here are some troubleshooting tips to follow if you keep dealing with tripped breakers:
Tip #1: Locate Your Circuit Breaker
To figure out the issue, you need to know where to start. Your service panel is normally located near the furnace or water heater, laundry area, or in the garage. We have seen some older homes with circuit breakers on the exterior of the house next to the power meter. Take the time to label each breaker so you know which breaker to check if there is a problem. We recommend that the circuit should be drawing no electrical load at the moment the tripped circuit is reset.
Tip #2: Have Dedicated Circuits
Dedicated circuits protect your appliances, your family, and your home. Appliances that require a dedicated circuit include:
- Garbage disposals
- Space heaters
- Heating and air conditioning units
- Water heaters
- Garage door openers
- Sump pumps
- Water pumps
- Central vacuums
- Blow dryers
Tip # 3: Is the Circuit Overloaded?
One of the most common reasons for a breaker to trip is due to circuit overload. An overloaded circuit happens when it draws more electricity than it can safely carry. The circuit breaker will fuse and trip by a spring-loaded component within the breaker. This component blocks the continuous pathway of the breaker, which leaves the circuit non functioning. To revive the circuit, reset the breaker lever is reset to the ON position.
Keep in mind that using power strips can add plugs but can also exceed the circuit capacity.
Tip # 4: Are There Ground Fault Issues?
A ground-fault is a specific type of short circuit that occurs when a hot wire touches a ground wire or grounding boxes. Ground faults are known as particularly dangerous when they occur in spaces where water is present due to the likelihood of shock. If the issue is a ground fault, the circuit breaker may trip again after resetting it.
To prevent a ground fault from occurring, we recommend protecting your outlets with GFCIs (ground-fault circuit interrupters).
Tip # 5: Watch out for Arc Fault
An arc fault happens when loose wire connections or damaged wires produce sparking or arcing, which has the potential to create dangerous electrical fires. If the breakers continue to trip after resetting them, it’s likely that there are loose wire connections somewhere along the circuit, causing repeated arcing. stripped breaker
Arc fault protection is an essential defense against fires caused by arcing. For added safety, the National Electrical Code increased requirements for the arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) are required by the National Electrical Code for certain electrical circuits in the home.
The AFCISafety.org claims:
“Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) were created as a direct response to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report conducted by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) that identified an electrical problem in branch circuit wiring systems that was causing numerous residential fires. In 1999, AFCIs became a requirement in the National Electrical Code (NEC®). An AFCI breaker provides a higher level of protection than a standard circuit breaker by detecting and stopping a hazardous arcing condition before it can become an electrical fire.”
Tip # 6: Troubleshooting Tripped Breakers
If the breaker is tripped, it usually will be in the middle, not on or off. If you find your breaker in this condition, you need first to turn the breaker off to reset, and then turn it back on. If the breaker continues to trip, unplug what you are trying to use. If the breaker continues to trip, it is time to call an electrician.
If the breaker doesn’t trip again, then you have isolated the failure. Always use extreme caution when dealing with electricity and don’t exceed your understanding.
Tip # 7: Call a Repair Technician
When it comes to dealing with your home’s electrical system, it’s important to remember safety first. So, if you’re unsure or worried about your circuit breaker, we recommend calling a repair technician. The experts at iFiX have extensive electrical knowledge. We can correctly and efficiently diagnose your electrical appliance issues. Hiring a quality professional company will ensure you are only installing parts that are needed and not installing more and more parts until its fixed.
If any of your appliances are malfunctioning, call iFiX. We will promptly and affordably restore your peace of mind.