Circuit breakers can switch off at any time, but the cause of a trip can create issues for your home and appliances. Stevens Electric is here to help you troubleshoot the problem.
Most homes have breakers that control individual circuits, and you can usually find the breaker in your home’s main service panel. When circuit breakers trip they can leave the whole house without power. What that means is the circuit breaker is trying to gain more electric than the breaker is able to carry. A circuit breaker’s basic function is to interrupt current flow after a fault is detected making it shut off or, “trip”. When a surge of electricity overloads the circuit it will switch the breaker in that area to an “Off” position. Breakers trip before the wires heat up to damaging levels keeping your house and appliances intact. These trips normally are no issue, but if they continue to trip consider having us look. Don’t worry, a simple flip back to an “On” position could bring everything back to normal. In case it doesn’t, Stevens Electric is here to help troubleshoot without needing an electrician. Let’s start with the basics.
Simple Steps After Circuit Breaker Trips
Start by turning off all the lights and other electrical products that are affected by the power surge. Having these items turn off and on by a surge cause damages to your items. Then go to the circuit breaker and find all the “Off” position breakers. Likely they will have colors on their switch to indicate they are off. From there, simply flip the breakers back on! When flipped back on your electrical appliances should go back to work. However, if they continue to trip or the items seem damaged, contact an electrician immediately. When the circuit breaker continues to trip, here are some common causes.
My Circuit Breaker Tripped Again, Now What?
When breakers continue to trip it can be a serious issue, and you may need a new circuit breaker. From our experience, a trip comes from several issues. The most common issue is a short circuit, which can also be the most hazardous. This comes from a hot wire coming in contact with a neutral wire in an outlet, which causes an overload to your circuit breaker. A short circuit can create heat causing damages. Another issue could be an overloaded circuit. If the electrical system or circuits cant handle the amps it will flip the breaker. If it does flip the breaker again it may damage your electronics.
Ground and Arc Faults
What is a ground fault? This happens when a hot wire and a ground wire are both touching the metal box housing them. A chain reaction pushes the electricity the breaker was meant to hold, thus tripping the breaker. There’s another fault that is called the arc fault that only happens in new homes, and that’s because their circuit breakers will have an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). Arc faults sense power fluctuating when arcing occurs between contact points in a wired connection.
Ordinary circuit breakers offer protection against arc faults. An AFCI’s job is to sense wiring problems before they lead to ground faults or other circuit issues. If you have an AFCI the reset is just like a circuit breaker reset. If the AFCI continues to trip it’s usually an indication loose wiring is causing the arcing.
A tripped circuit breaker should be fixed as soon as possible. Of course, we encourage you to start with troubleshooting your breaker to save from any unneeded expenses. We also create an electrical mapping of your home and can create labels on your circuit panel. If that doesn’t work please contact us immediately. Contact us on our contact form or call us at 6103169998 for a free estimate today.