Here Are The Common Reasons Residential Circuit Breakers Trip

Your electrical circuit breaker is designed to stop the flow of electricity if it detects a dangerous malfunction in the electrical circuit. This means the breaker is actually there to help you, and not to inconvenience your life. Here are some of the specific malfunctions that can trip the breaker:

There Is a Short Circuit

A short circuit occurs when electrical current is allowed to flow through an intended part. A classic example is when the hot (current-carrying) conductor comes into contact with the neutral wire. A short circuit is dangerous because it can damage the electrical system, the appliances in the circuit or cause an electrical shock.

A short circuit can occur within the electrical wiring system, for example, if an outlet is improperly installed. It can also occur within an appliance, for example, when an electric kettle is damaged, and its wires are allowed to come into contact. In both cases, the circuit breaker will trip to prevent the current from flowing where it shouldn't be flowing in the first place.

The Circuit Is Overloaded

A circuit breaker can also trip if the circuit is experiencing more current than it was designed to handle. In this case, the circuit breaker trips to save appliances or fixtures connected to the circuit and to save you from electrical shock or fire. For example, your precious electronics such as computers and TV sets can easily fry their electronics if they receive more power than they can tolerate.

  • Here are some of the common reasons circuits become overloaded:
  • When too many appliances are connected to the same circuit
  • When a major appliance that should be on a dedicated circuit, such as a heater, is connected to a circuit with other appliances
  • When the wrong breaker (with a lower rating) is used in a circuit

There Is Arcing In the Circuit

Lastly, your circuit breakers may also trip if they have detected arcing in the circuit. Arcing occurs when electricity jumps from one conductor to another, ionizing the air between the two conductors and (sometimes) emitting visible light. Such a discharge is often accompanied by extreme heat that can damage the affected appliances. Arcing typically occurs when two conductors are brought too close together, sometimes intermittently touching; for example, arcing can occur if two electrical wires within the same conduit experience damage to their insulators.

As you can see, a tripped breaker means there is something wrong with the circuit. Therefore, don't reset the breaker if it trips more than once (once can be an accident, but not more than once); instead, consult an electrician to diagnose the fault and fix it first. Contact a company like Conway Electric for more information.

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