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Why Is My Circuit Breaker Tripping?

Why Is My Circuit Breaker Tripping?

Table of Contents

When circuit breakers trip, fuses explode, and electricity is shut off to avoid hazardous circumstances. These are four conditions that cause your circuit breaker to trip.

Overloaded Electricity

When there is an overloaded circuit, circuit breakers are way more likely to trip. The problem happens when a circuit attempts to draw more current than it is capable of handling. The internal detecting device in the circuit breaker heats up if too many appliances or light fixtures are activated simultaneously. Once the circuit has been overloaded, it becomes inoperable. 

To fit the total load-carrying capability on the wires, the circuit breaker is designed to match the wire size. Overuse of a circuit may lead to circuit breaker tripping or fuse blowing, which indicates that you are putting excessive demand on the circuit. 

Alternatively, it may mean that your home has too few circuits and requires an update in the electrical service. If a circuit is overloaded, its breaker will delay and take 10 to 30 seconds to trip.

Short Circuit

A short circuit is a more serious problem to handle. A “hard short” occurs when the black wire comes into contact with the neutral wire, the grounded or bonded metal box, or the case of a metal enclosure. 

When the resistance is reduced owing to a short circuit, the flow of electricity inside the breaker suddenly increases. It causes the tripping mechanism to activate.

Not necessarily because of the circuit wire, but due to problematic wiring in an appliance or gadget connected into an outlet along the circuit, the wiring may become a short circuit. In a short circuit, diagnosis and repair may be challenging since the problems are often not immediately apparent. In most cases, if a circuit breaker trips again after you reset it, there is a short circuit.

Ground Fault

When a hot wire comes into contact with a ground wire, a metal wall box, or a metal frame device, a “ground-fault” happen. When ground faults develop in places where moisture levels are high, such as in kitchens or bathrooms or outdoor settings, they may be very hazardous. If you have a ground fault, you run the danger of getting an electric shock on your feet.

Ground faults may be found and fixed, but they can also be prevented. As an example, in locations where the ground or water is in direct contact. Your house may require ground-fault circuit interrupters to protect outlets.

A ground fault reduces the resistance of the circuit, causing increased electrical flow. This results in the circuit breaker mechanism heating up and causing it to trip. 

A ground fault occurs when a part of the circuit accidentally comes in contact with the ground. Thus, it may trip again when you reset the circuit breaker as soon as the fault is cleared.

Arc Fault

Conventional circuit breakers or fuses do not prevent arc faults. Fires produced by arcing need the usage of arc fault prevention.

Loose wire connections anywhere in the circuit cause frequent arcing, as tripping is typically a sign of this.

Therefore, there is a rise in the need for a particular kind of circuit breaker, known as an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), which has been ongoing over the last several years.

In contrast to tripping due to overloads, ground faults, and short circuits, AFCI breakers can detect arcing (sparking) when electrical connections have contact points. 

Do You Need Some Help?

If you’re tired of dealing with a circuit breaker that keeps tripping, the best thing you can do is contact an emergency electrician! We like to deal personally with the client in order to offer a better service, so you will speak directly with the electrician.

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