Imagine reading the newspaper when suddenly the power goes out due to a tripped breaker in your electrical system. Isn’t that frustrating?
At first glance, this might not seem like a severe electrical problem. But it would be best to let it go unnoticed since it can cause significant damage eventually. Resetting the circuit breaker isn’t a permanent solution since the issue may occur again.
As such, ascertaining the reasons for circuit overload, ground faults, or short circuits can help you prevent problems in the future. On that note, we have put together this guide to illustrate the common reasons that your circuit breaker keeps tripping so that you can prevent it from happening.
What Causes Circuit Overload?
One of the main reasons a circuit breaker can trip quite often is when the electrical circuit is subjected to an overload. As the name suggests, this problem usually occurs when the circuit receives excess power from the main electrical source, which causes it to overload. Besides this, corroded or damaged wires can cause the circuit to draw out more amperage than it can normally handle.
Another possible cause of an overloaded circuit is when too many electrical appliances are plugged into the same power outlet. This causes a lot of strain on the power outlet since it has to draw out more power than it can handle. Nevertheless, you can follow these steps to prevent the circuit breaker from tripping due to an overload:
- Unplug unnecessary appliances before using any electrical appliance, as it prevents the outlet from drawing excess power.
- If you have reset the breaker, we recommend plugging one appliance at a time to prevent power overload.
- You can also install a dedicated circuit for appliances that need extra amperage.
- A separate circuit should be employed for large appliances to distribute the power supply evenly.
What Are The Causes Of A Short Circuit?
A short circuit usually occurs when an active or hot wire comes in contact with a neutral wire which causes a large amount of current to overflow. This excessive current flow causes the circuit to overload and the breaker to trip. If not taken care of, it can also cause popping sounds, sparks, and smoke.
Here are a few other reasons that can cause a short circuit:
- Faulty electrical fixtures, plugs, appliances and switches
- Loose connection in the main circuit
- Damage caused by pests and rodents chewing the wire
- Slipped wire
Additionally, short circuits are considered to be unsafe since it creates a lot of high temperatures whenever current flows through the wire. This can pose a risk to your family and home as it could instigate electrical fires if not managed cautiously.
We highly recommend contacting a qualified electrician when you notice a short circuit problem in your house. They can repair and rewire any damaged or faulty wiring.
What Causes A Ground Fault?
A ground fault usually occurs when an active or hot wire comes in contact with a ground wire which triggers excess current to pass through the circuit breaker. This causes circuit breakers to trip as they try to prevent the circuit from overloading from the extra amperage.
A ground wire is designed to act as a grounding agent whenever excess current hits the electrical system during a thunderstorm. However, damaged or defective equipment and the appliance can trigger a ground fault.
It can pose great danger whenever live electrical wires and parts are exposed. If you are not careful around them, such an event could cause fatal accidents and severe electrical shock. Apart from this, you can get a ground fault shock if you touch the hot side of the wire with wet hands.
As such, places such as bathrooms, outdoor spaces, and kitchens are prone to having a higher chance of ground fault since the floors remain damp. You can avoid this problem by ensuring the house complies with the local safety electrical code. You can install ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) to prevent fires and accidents.
How To Figure Out If A Circuit Breaker Is Faulty?
Circuit breakers are one of the most essential electrical fixtures you should install as a central part of the electrical system since it helps to protect your home appliances. However, a faulty circuit breaker might give wrong signals, which can cause accidents to happen more often. In addition, a malfunctioning circuit breaker may trip despite everything being normal.
Keeping this in mind, here are a few signs to help you determine if the circuit breaker is faulty or damaged:
- Signs of damage on the breaker, such as scorch marks and burn marks
- A burning smell coming from the electrical box
- Frequent instances of tripping the breaker, despite all parameters appearing normal
- The electrical panel hasn’t been serviced or maintained for more than ten years
- A circuit breaker is hot whenever you touch it.
Circuit Breakers Trips: What You Need to Know
We wrap this guide to identify why your circuit breaker trips. Before signing off, here are a few tips that can help you to maintain a better safety environment in your house.
Firstly, you should never try to repair an electrical appliance or a cord without experience or qualification. And wear all the appropriate safety gear while touching an electrical appliance.
Secondly, if you are working in a damp location, you should ensure the electrical cords are well-insulated since water can easily cause the system to short circuit. Plus, replacing any defective cable with a newer one will help prolong the electrical system’s life drastically.
Lastly, we highly recommend plugging one appliance at a time into a power outlet to prevent it from overloading. If the power outlet isn’t compatible with the appliance, you should refrain from using it.
Nevertheless, we strongly advise that you call an electrician, who is qualified, to thoroughly inspect the system if the circuit breaker continues to cause trouble. If you need an electrician in Sydney, look no further than our highly experienced team at Bright Force Electrical. We offer 24/7 electrical repairs across Sydney, so don’t hesitate to call us today.
That said, stay safe, and see you next time!