What to do when your circuit breaker keeps tripping

If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, it’s a major red flag, especially if it’s caused by your home office or kitchen appliances. Your circuit breaker keeps tripping because your electrical system is warning you something’s wrong. It’s trying to protect you from electrocution and fire hazards.

Electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of U.S. home fires . . . Fires involving electrical failures or malfunctions accounted for the highest share of civilian deaths and direct property damage.

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)

6 Reasons Why Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

NFPA also says the majority of electrical home fires are caused by arcing. “Arcing” is what happens when a circuit is overloaded. When your circuit breaker keeps tripping, it’s a warning that overloading may be an immediate threat. If you ignore it, the damaged circuit breaker will stop tripping and allow electricity to flow, causing a fire.

Reasons your fuses (older homes) or circuit breaker keeps tripping include:

  1. Age – Some of the common protections in place in newer wiring may be missing in your older or historical home. Older homes with aging wiring need a professional, residential electrical inspection. The oldest type of wiring (circa the 1940s) is dangerous when the insulation erodes.
  2. Arc fault – The NEC (National Electrical Code has increased requirements for AFCI (arc-fault circuit interrupter) in newly built or renovated homes. Your AFCI breaker triggers tripping when circuit overloads, ground faults, or short circuits occur. It can also sense power fluctuations; an important safeguard.
  3. Ground fault – This is a type of short circuit. It occurs when a hot wire touches a ground wire, wall box, or wood framing. These are especially dangerous in moisture-heavy areas like bathrooms and kitchens.
  4. Overloaded circuit – If you’re using a lot of power strips in your home office, you may have a heavier electrical load than your wiring can handle. If your circuit breaker keeps tripping in the kitchen, you need to upgrade the load-carrying capacity of your wiring.
  5. Poor wiring – If your wiring wasn’t installed by a licensed electrician or was badly installed in the first place, your circuit breaker will warn you there’s a problem.
  6. Short circuit – This is a more serious reason why your circuit breaker keeps tripping. It can be because a hot wire touches a neutral wire or because an appliance has a wiring problem. If you have a short circuit, it will trip immediately after you reset it. Contact your local electrician right away.

Scottsdale & Phoenix Licensed Electrician

Any electrical problem in your Scottsdale or Phoenix-area home is not something you can DIY (do-it-yourself). It’s never worth the risk of injury to your loved ones or property. Also, if damage occurs later your insurance company can deny coverage if you didn’t use a licensed electrician for repair or maintenance.

If you have a circuit breaker that keeps tripping, it’s time to call the professionals at Turn It On Electric. We understand the need for affordable electrical work, but your well-being is our priority. We’ll tell you what you need now and what you may need later, but we won’t compromise your safety.

Let’s discuss your options. Contact Turn It On Electric today for a safer new year.

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