Why Does My Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping?

It can be incredibly annoying to have a circuit breaker that keeps tripping, shutting off electrical power in your home. When this continues to happen, the circuit breaker is letting you know that it’s shutting off electrical power so that the circuit doesn’t overheat and cause damage, or even a fire.

There are three causes of a circuit breaker that continues to trip: circuit overload, short circuit and ground fault.

Overloaded circuit

Your breaker will experience a circuit overload if you are trying to run too many heavy power-consuming appliances or devices at the same time. For example, during the summer, your air conditioner is running almost constantly. You also might be watching TV, charging laptops, cooking a meal and trying to do laundry all at the same time. All of these heavy-powered appliances can cause your circuit breaker to overload. Turn off some of these appliances that aren’t absolutely necessary and see if it takes care of the problem.

Short circuit

This problem will happen if you have a hot wire touching another hot wire, or one that is neutral, inside of your home’s electrical outlets. When the wires touch, it can create an incredible amount of current. This is more than a circuit can handle, so it will shut off to prevent a fire. To see if this is the problem in your home, inspect your outlets and be aware of any burning smells.

Ground fault

This problem happens if a hot wire touches a ground wire on an outlet box. Again, check all of your outlets and watch for any signs of burning or damage. The problem can sometimes be taken care of by having improper wiring and loose connections fixed.

If you continue to have problems with a tripping circuit breaker, it will be wise to call a professional electrician.