A home will have electrical wiring running throughout the entire home which connects to outlets, light fixtures, light switches, and appliances. On the other end of the electrical wiring is the circuit breaker. The breaker is housed in the electrical panel. Each circuit has its own amp load, supplying power to outlets, lights and appliances throughout the home. If you begin to have trouble with your breakers tripping frequently, this could be a sign that you need to have your electrical system checked and potentially repaired. Burley Electrical Services will share some of the common reasons why a breaker will trip.
Circuit Breaker Was Overloaded
One of the most common reasons why a breaker will trip is when the circuit has been overloaded. As previously mentioned, each circuit is designed to supply up to a certain amount of amps. When the electrical demand surpasses the circuit capability, the breaker will trip. The breakers are designed to trip when the circuit becomes overloaded to prevent an electrical fire. When a circuit is overloaded, it is a potentially dangerous situation. As the homeowner, you will want to see how many electrical devices you have running on a single circuit. You will want to spread out the electrical load to other circuits if you find you are overloading the circuit.
Another common reason why a circuit breaker will trip is due to a short circuit. A short circuit occurs when the wiring interacts improperly. There are three wires that run throughout the home or building. There is the black hot wire, a white neutral wire, and a bare copper wire that is the ground wire. A short circuit occurs when the black hot wire comes in contact with either the neutral wire, the ground wire, or metal material. Short circuits often occur during some kind of electrical repair or work. However, if a short circuit occurs without any explanation, this is a much more serious situation. Short circuits can occur due to damaged wiring or a loose connection. The wiring will need to be inspected and repaired to prevent a potential fire.
Old or Worn Down Breakers
Breakers will trip frequently when they begin to degrade or wear down. As the breaker themselves wear down they can develop a lot of problems including tripping. You will always want to maintain your breakers. They are your home’s electrical safety component. Any detection of irregular power fluctuations and the breaker will trip to prevent a fire. An electrical system should be inspected every 5 to 8 years, during which time the breakers are inspected and if needed, replaced.
Ground Fault Surges
A ground fault surge occurs when the hot wires touch the ground wire or the metal of the electrical box. Most ground faults occur when there is poor insulation or damaged wiring inside the walls or in an appliance. A ground fault can also occur when water or moisture gets into an outlet. Where a short circuit and a ground fault seem similar, one major difference is that you will smell a burn odor when a ground fault occurs.