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Your Breaker Keeps Tripping, Now What?

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

Your breaker keeps tripping, now what? Circuit breakers are meant to trip "OFF" and cut off the electrical supply when there is unusual electrical activity in the respective circuit. This safety feature can protect you, your appliances or devices, and your electrical system from serious electrical damage. If the circuit breakers are frequently tripping, however, then there is some investigating to be done. In this short article brought to you by Super Electric of Reno, and Sparks Nevada, we will go over common causes and help you troubleshoot your issue. If you live in the Reno and Sparks area and would like to hire an experienced electrician, then call Super Electric of Reno and Sparks to speak with a live representative.

Tripped Breaker

What to Do When the Circuit Breaker Trips As the name suggests, a circuit breaker will break the circuit connection when there is unusual or dangerous electrical activity in said circuit. This safety feature protects electrical wiring as well as connected devices from getting fried by electrical overloads. So, what do you do when, for example, a lightning strike sends a surge of energy through the circuit and trips the circuit breaker OFF? Your first step should be to switch everything (devices and appliances) to the OFF position. In fact, unplugging them is the safest route but be careful not to touch exposed wires and do not tug at the cords! With everything turned OFF or unplugged, you should head to your circuit box and look for the appropriate circuit breaker.

Flip the breaker from the OFF position back into the ON position and head back to the room to turn on or plug in your appliances and devices. If the circuit breaker trips again, then unplug everything and call an affordable electrician.

Why Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping

If your circuit breakers are constantly tripping, then there is an underlying electrical issue that must be addressed. Simply flipping the circuit breakers into the ON position will not resolve the issue. In fact, forcing the circuit breakers can end up doing a lot more damage. The three most common reasons for a constantly tripping circuit breaker are:

  • Overloaded Circuit: If you have too many devices and appliances on a single circuit, then the circuit will not be able to handle the amperages coming through the circuit. To be safe and prevent damage, the circuit breaker will flip OFF.

  • Short Circuit: Electricity will travel along the shortest route. If a "hot wire" contacts a neutral wire, this will cause an overload of current to flow through the circuit. This will create heat and potentially cause an electrical fire. The circuit breaker will trip OFF to prevent this.

  • Ground Fault: Like a short circuit, a ground fault occurs when electricity flows in an unintended path. Specifically, this is when the "hot wire" and "ground wire" are both touching the metal box housing them. The result is an abundance of electricity which will usually burn the outlet. The circuit breaker will trip OFF to prevent this.

Fix Constantly Tripping Circuit Breaker

If the issue is simply an overloaded circuit, then unplugging some of the devices or appliances should resolve your issue. If the problem persists, then you may need to have an electrician inspect your circuit breaker and the electrical wiring. If you live in the Reno and Sparks area, then you can call Super Electric of Reno and Sparks. We offer circuit breaker repairs and circuit breaker replacement services. Call 775-230-7006

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