5 Reasons Why Your Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping


The circuit breaker is a device that protects the electrical devices connected to the electrical system. In the case of a fault, the circuit breaker will automatically stop the flow of electricity. The breaker trips when too much electricity flows through it or when it can not handle the overcurrent load. The flow of electricity will be cut off to prevent damage to your house or building. In other words, this ensures nothing will break if there are too many appliances on at the same time and cause a short circuit.

Why Does Your Breaker Keep Tripping? 

electrician tested the circuit breaker panel

If you have frequent tripping within your circuit breaker, this means that there is something wrong with the circuit. For example, it may have a short circuit, overload circuit or a ground fault in one of your appliances. It’s possible that the circuit breaker box is defective. You can fix the frequent tripping if you know why. Pay attention to all the reasons listed below that might be causing your circuit breaker to trip more frequently.

Overload Circuit 

An overloaded circuit is one of the most common reasons for a circuit breaker tripping frequently. This happens when a circuit breaker is beyond the carrying capacity of electricity, and the electrical system cannot manage the amps flowing through the circuit. Overheating can cause all the attached appliances in danger. You should move some appliances and devices to different circuits because there is an excessive amount of demand on the circuit.

Also, it can mean that you need to increase the circuits to upgrade your electrical system. For instance, if your air conditioner is linked to a circuit that should only require 15 amps but is instead utilizing 20 amps, the circuit would become destroyed. To stop this danger, the circuit breaker trips to avoid fire. After the breaker is reset in the ON position, the circuit can get power back and work again.

Short Circuit

A short circuit is a more serious reason for breaker tripping than an overloaded circuit. It happens when a "hot" wire and a "neutral wire" come into contact. When this occurs, a lot of current flows through the circuit to generate more heat than the circuit can take. Then the breaker will keep tripping and cutting off to stop potentially dangerous situations like an electrical fire.

If a circuit breaker trips again right away after being reset, there may be a short circuit present. Faulty wiring or a loose connection can lead to short circuits. You may smell burning or notice a brown or black discoloration around the breaker. But it’s more complicated for other reasons like a wiring issue with an appliance plugged into one of the circuit's outlets. In that case, you may need to call a professional electrician for help.

Ground Fault

Ground Fault is a particular kind of short circuit. This occurs when bare ground wire and hot wire are both in contact with the metal box that houses them. When they occur outdoors or in damp environments like kitchens or bathrooms, ground faults can be more dangerous. There is a known risk of shock when there is a ground fault. An outlet can be burned by a ground fault. Similar to hard shorts, a ground fault immediately lowers resistance and increases electrical flow. It causes the circuit breaker's internal mechanism to heat up and trip. The breaker trips to prevent overheating or potential fires and to safeguard the circuit and the appliances.

ARC Fault

ARC fault is typically regarded as a major factor for frequently tripped circuit breakers. In most cases, frequent trips are a sign of loose wire connections along the circuit. An ARC fault happens when there is a short contact caused by loose or corroded wires resulting in an arc or a spark.

For instance, this may occur when a loose screw terminal connects to a switch or outlet. This can cause heat to lead to an electrical fire. You have an arcing problem if you hear the buzzing of the outlet or the hissing of your light switch. AFCI breakers can help to detect early wiring issues before they cause short circuits or ground faults. It’s an important protection against fires caused by arcing. A typical AFCI breaker can be reset in the same manner as a normal breaker. 

Defective Circuit Breaker


5 Reasons Why Your Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping


If the above reasons are not causing the circuit breaker to trip, then it may be the fault of your circuit breaker. Like other electrical appliances, they must wear out while operating. When the breaker is old to service life, it will be more sensitive to trip even if the circuit is not overloaded, it’s time to replace it. Maybe you could replace a smart breaker for more protection and learn how to install.You have to keep your eyes on the following warning signs. If your breaker is at fault, you may get a burnt smell from the box. There are scorch marks or other signs of damage on the circuit box. The breaker trips frequently and it’s unable to reset.

What Should You Do When the Breaker Keeps Tripping?

Lightning strikes or heavily overloaded outlets can stress circuit breakers. By tripping frequently, the breaker switches it off as a safeguard. Here’s what you should do to get your power back when the breaker keeps tripping. First, you have to turn off every appliance such as TV, fan and computer. Unplug them in case of damage once the power surges back.

Secondly, you should find the circuit breaker to switch it off or remove the fuse, and get the power back on again by resetting it. Be careful to wear safety goggles in case of any sparks. Then, check the circuit box if there is any other situation cause the trip. Finally, you can switch all the appliances to test the circuit and figure out whether you need to replace with a new circuit breaker or not.

If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, you still can’t find why and fix it after inspection, you need expert assistance to help you out. A professional electrician can save you time and money. If you are looking for a new smart breaker to upgrade electrical safety, please contact us. At competitive prices, we offer a wide selection of high-quality circuit breakers. Millions of people have been served by AT-ELE as we provide convenience, safety, reliability and profession.