What Is Causing My Tripped Breaker?

Breaker panel

Encountering the occasional need to reset tripped breakers is not a big deal. However, if this occurs frequently, it could be an indication of the need for electrical repair in Comal County, TX. If you accept that a visit to your fuse box is just part of running the dishwasher, using your home theater or keeping a space heater and hair dryer on at the same time, it is likely time to examine your system. Here are some reasons why breakers might keep tripping, and what you can do about them.

Common Reasons Your Circuit Breaker Tripped

Excessive activity in one room or area: You know there is a tripped breaker because one area or room in your house no longer has electricity. Power outages and system failures affect electricity in your entire home. When you notice that one area experiences frequent power loss, look around for signs as to why this occurs. It could be that your system requires an upgrade, or you may need to move items to other rooms.

Overloaded circuits: Breaker trips occur because a wire or circuit receives more amperage than it is designed to handle. Without this reaction, your house could catch fire or, at the very least, your system could be compromised and nothing will run. Old or worn wires lead to bad connections that make it easy for circuits to overload. Also, if you’ve recently added more computers or high-end appliances, their demand for electricity may be higher than your system allows. Try unplugging these items before setting the breaker. Once reset, plug in one at a time until the breaker trips again. That indicates which appliance causes the overload, and it is likely you need a circuit with higher amperage.

Short circuits: When an active wire and a neutral wire touch, it causes a current overflow that overloads the system. This should involve only a tripped breaker and the need for repairs. However, if you notice sparks, popping sounds and smoke, you need to call an electrician right now. You may have a damaged connection that is a house fire waiting to happen. Also, rodents chew on wires, so if your home was recently visited by an exterminator, have an electrician check your electrical system once the mice and rats are gone. Short circuits are a better-safe-than-sorry condition you want to be addressed immediately.

Ground faults: This results from an active wire touching a ground wire. It leads to an excessive current which trips a breaker. In these cases, your Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) may be wearing out, or your home may not be equipped with one at all. The only solution to ground faults is to replace the GFCI and other electrical components.

What Do Tripped Circuit Breakers Indicate?

Tripped breakers are a safety precaution. If they did not occur, you would experience much more than a mere annoyance. Electrical failure and fires result when breakers do not trip when overloaded. While overloaded breakers are not uncommon in our technological age, they are also not something you want to handle on your own unless you have training as an electrician.

If you need skilled electrical repair in Comal County, TX, call Lowry Electrical today and speak with one of our experts!