A circuit breaker is designed to trip off when it detects too much power running through the wire it’s protecting. There are three main reasons circuit breakers trip off:
- There is a short circuit.
- There is an overloaded circuit.
- The circuit breaker is broken.
Short circuits occur when two electrical wires accidentally touch each other. A short circuit will immediately cause one of your circuit breakers to trip off or one of your fuses to blow.
To fix a short circuit, ask yourself this question: “What was happening right before the short circuit?” If you had just plugged something into a receptacle (outlet) or turned on a light or an appliance, then this gives you a clue as to what caused the short.
If you just plugged in an iron, for instance, you can simply un-plug the iron and then re-set the circuit breaker or replace the fuse. If everything is now OK, then your electrical system is fine – and it’s time to get a new iron!
If, however, you can’t find anything plugged in which is causing the problem, then it’s time to call a good electrician to locate and repair your short circuit.
Overloaded circuits occur when too much power is running through an electrical wire. To protect the wire, the circuit breaker does its job by detecting the overload and tripping off. The solution to this problem is to remove some of the appliances that are connected to the overloaded wires. You may wish to add a new set of wires so that you can supply power to all your appliances. For this, you’ll need a good electrician.
Broken Circuit Breaker
Sometimes circuit breakers just wear out and need to be replaced. A knowledgeable homeowner with electrical skills can do the job. Otherwise, hire a good electrician.