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Troubleshooting Circuit Breaker Tripping
Troubleshooting Circuit Breaker Tripping
Feb 19,2024

Troubleshooting Circuit Breaker Tripping

The circuit breaker is easily one of the most important safety features in your house or business. This crucial electrical device automatically cuts off power to your building in the event of an unexpected or dangerous electrical event. Lighting strikes, power surges, and short circuits are just some of the things that can “trip the circuit breaker” and shut off the power supply. In this brief article brought to you by Mr. Electric, we go over some ways to troubleshoot why the circuit breaker is tripping.

If you’d rather have a certified electrician inspect your circuit breaker, then call Mr. Electric. We are your one-stop-shop for electrical needs. Whether you need a circuit breaker repair or a complete electrical panel replacement, the uniformed professionals at Mr. Electric are here to help.

Understanding the Circuit Breaker

A tripped circuit breaker happens when the breaker detects an electrical fault or overload, causing it to automatically switch to the "off" position, thereby cutting off power to the affected electrical circuit. This protective mechanism prevents overheating, electrical fires, and damage to appliances and wiring. Identifying the cause of a tripped circuit breaker is essential for restoring power safely and preventing future occurrences.

Troubleshooting a Tripped Circuit Breaker

We won’t get into the nitty gritty of the wiring here, but we can offer a rough step-by-step guide to investigating common issues. Remember to exercise caution and wear protective gloves when handling circuit breakers to avoid electrical shock:

  1. Identify the Tripped Breaker: Locate the electrical panel in your home or business and inspect the position of each circuit breaker. Find the one that has tripped to the "off" position.
  2. Reset the Circuit Breaker: To reset a tripped circuit breaker, firmly push the breaker switch to the "off" position then back to the "on" position.
  3. Investigate the Cause: Once the circuit breaker is reset, it's time to play detective. Consider what might have caused the trip. Was there an appliance running when the power went out? Was there a storm or a sudden power surge? Identifying the cause is key to preventing future occurrences.
  4. Assess for Overload: Check the circuit's load by unplugging or turning off some appliances or devices connected to it. Spread out your electrical load across different circuits to avoid overburdening a single one.
  5. Look for Short Circuits: A short circuit occurs when a hot wire comes into contact with a neutral wire or ground wire. Inspect outlets, switches, and electrical appliances for signs of damage, exposed wiring, or burnt smells. If you find any, repair or replace them promptly.
  6. Check for Ground Faults: Ground faults can occur when a hot wire touches a grounded surface or conductor, diverting current away from its intended path. Ensure that all GFCI outlets are functioning correctly. Press the "test" and "reset" buttons to ensure they trip and reset properly.
  7. Examine Outdoor Electricals: If the tripped circuit serves outdoor areas, inspect outdoor outlets, lights, and appliances for signs of water damage, corrosion, or exposed wiring.

Address the Issue without Delay

If you're unable to identify the cause of the tripped circuit breaker or if the issue persists despite troubleshooting efforts, don't hesitate to seek assistance from a qualified electrician. Call Mr. Electric to request quick and affordable electrical repair service. Our team of licensed electricians is ready when you are.


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