A circuit breaker that keeps on tripping can be quite annoying and cause for concern. However, your circuit breaker could be either doing it’s job or just faulty so there is no reason to worry!
Let’s talk about the different causes and how you can fix them.
Causes For Circuit Breakers That Keep Tripping
Circuit breakers are not like fuses. Fuses were functional and rarely went out unless there was an actual overload. On the other hand, circuit breakers are mechanical devices and can fail.
Therefore, if you have a “newish” electrical system (newer than 25 years old), try replacing the breaker with the same size and branded breaker. Breakers have the amperage and brand/type on the breaker itself so just type that into Google to find what you need.
Here’s How To Replace A Circuit Breaker
Be sure to turn off the main electrical panel switch before messing with any electrical equipment. If you are unsure or questioning yourself, simply call an electrician or handyman.
Another common cause for constant breaker tripping is when the circuit is overloaded. This means the power requested (appliances or items plugged in) is too much for the breaker.
SIDE NOTE: The breaker could simply be too small, which is usually not the case if it is original.
Breakers have amperage limits that shut off in case there is too much power being used through the circuit. So, to check for this cause, try to isolate power systems on that circuit breakers circuit to see if you can find the appliance causing the tripping.
For example, a faulty toaster oven or vacuum may cause the tripping and need to be replaced.
The last common cause for a circuit breaker that keeps tripping is a short circuit. This happens when hot (black wire) and neutral wires in the circuit are touching or two hot wires are touching.
This causes overheating and possible arcing. If this is happening, you should definitely call a professional out to evaluate. Typically, short circuits happen with older wiring systems (older than 30 years), or unprofessional wiring.
Check out articles on cloth wiring and knob and tube.
You could have a tripped ground fault or arc fault. If you are unsure, you should read up on those articles as well so you are aware.
If you have any further questions, be sure to comment below and we can assist as best we can.
You can also read about defective electrical panels in the electrical category.