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Scherer Electric Blog

Why Do the Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping?


The electrical panel in your house, a.k.a. the circuit breaker panel, is the main “switching station” for the electrical system. This is where the incoming electrical current from the grid divides up into the circuits for the rest of the house. The breakers are in place to prevent an overload on a circuit from damaging the electrical system and causing problems like electrical fires.

When a circuit breaker trips, it means there was too much draw on that circuit. The switch temporarily shuts off the circuit, and you’ll lose power to part of the house. When this happens, we recommend you shut off all appliances in the area and unplug the outlets. Then go to the panel and find which breaker has tripped. Reset it, and then go back to plug in the appliances and turn them back on.

In most cases, this will solve the problem. But what if the circuit breaker keeps tripping? This indicates a larger problem, and you’ll probably need professional electricians in Clarence, NY to help you solve it.

Possible Causes for Repeated Tripped Circuit Breakers

There are a number of sources for a breaker that continues to trip.

First, it could be a fault in the panel itself, rather than in the circuit. If you have a panel that’s more than 10 years old, it could be wearing down. The breaker itself may be faulty, tripping at only the slightest fluctuation in power levels when it otherwise wouldn’t. Electricians may be able to repair the panel, but for an older panel, it’s better to have a newer one installed.

Second, you may have a short circuit problem. This can happen because the hot wire of an outlet is connecting with the neutral wire. The surge in heat when this happens will trigger the breaker. If you suspect this is happening, do not plug anything into the outlets connected to the circuit. A short circuit in an outlet can create a fire hazard, and you want professionals to take care of this right away.

Third, is the ground-fault surge. This occurs when a hot wire is touching the metal housing connected to the ground. Electricity will always take the quickest route to the ground, and in this case, it will cause an excess of electricity to travel through the hot wire. One example of this is in an air conditioning system when the compressor becomes grounded.

Fourth is that you have overloaded the circuit with too many appliances, or appliances too powerful for the circuit to handle. This is why electricians never recommend using octopus plugs or extension cords—they can easily lead to this type of overload. Unplug the appliances and overloaded outlets, then call for electricians to see what needs to be upgraded.

We cannot stress enough the importance of leaving any work with your electrical panel, outlets, or other parts of the electrical system to licensed professionals. Amateur work can put your house in danger of electrical fires and your family at risk of high-voltage shocks. Trust our licensed pros when it comes to any vital electrical service for your house.

Scherer Electric is Western New York’s Favorite Electrician. Call us today for service for your electrical panel.

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