# How to Solve the Problem of Tripping Circuit Breakers

 Sandra in Oklahoma asks; How can I fix a Tripping Circuit Breaker Problem? How to Identify the Electrical Circuit Requirements and Updating the Electrical Service.

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Evaluating the Total Electrical Load and Circuit Requirements
Electrical Question: How can I fix a Tripping Circuit Breaker Problem?

At our home the main breaker box at the electric meter has two circuit breakers.

• One circuit breaker is for the the water well and the other is for everything else, and by everything else I mean the house and my husband’s taxidermy shop.
• We have a total of six big chest freezers, a wall air conditioner and heat unit in the shop, and a wall air conditioner unit in the house. We also have an electric stove (we are planning to switch over to gas stove) and an electric dryer.
• So here is what is happening. If I am in the house and my husband is working in the shop and I want to run the dryer, then one of our ac units has to be off. And if I need to turn the stove on both of the ac units has to be off or the breaker at the pole trips.
• I realize that this is running way too much stuff and that is why it is tripping the breaker.
• What I am wondering is if we can put a new breaker box or add a breaker to the existing box so that the house and the shop are separate? Or will we have to put in a second meter in to have them separate?

Background: Sandra, a Homeowner from Canute, Oklahoma.

Thanks for your electrical wiring question Sandra.

## How to Identify the Electrical Circuit Problems

Application: Tripping Circuit Breaker Problem.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This electrical project is best performed by a licensed electrical contractor.
est performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the available access to install the circuit and electrical connection box.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring connections
Lets take a close look at what your electrical requirements are and then understand what changes will need to be made to prevent tripped circuit breakers.

• This question is a classic example of overloaded circuits and the lack of  dedicated circuits. The amperage size of the main electrical service has not been provided, but lets go ahead and look at how to fix this problem.
• Just like planning a meal, electrical services are basically the same where we start with the end in mind. With food you need to know how many hungry mouths there will be at supper and just how big of an appetite they will have, and with electrical we need to know how many electricity hungry devices we and equipment we have so we can make sure to have enough power.
• Make a list of all the electrical devices that will be used. Pay careful attention to the name plate information, specifically circuit requirements for the voltage  and amperage.
• Most large equipment, such as air conditioners, electric dryers,  and electric stoves require their own dedicated circuit that will not be shared with anything else otherwise we have the problem of tripping circuit breakers.

### Evaluating the Total Electrical Load

• The required amperage size of the electrical service panel will be determined by the understanding the circuit loads that will be required.
• We know that not everything will be ON at the same time, but we still need to factor the time of use for all of the devices, so this will have an affect on the actual size of the main electrical service.
• Smaller homes have a 125 amp service and larger homes require a 200 amp service, but again, it depends on the end result or total connected electrical load.  The panel should be sized for the number of circuit breakers that will be required as well.

### Providing the Required Residential Electric Circuits

The solution for the problem of overloaded circuits is to identify the electrical circuit requirements for all equipment. Identify high energy consumption devices that will need a dedicated circuit. Make sure your electrical service panel is large enough. Install the required dedicated circuit wiring to the equipment or devices.

### House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers

This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.

### Electrical Circuit Wiring

This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.

### Electric Circuit Listing

The size of the home electrical service panel is designed by calculating the square footage of the home and factoring in the code requirements for the electrical circuits that are required.

### Home Electrical Circuit Breakers

A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.

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Will Display at the End of This Video
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## Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

## The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

## The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

## Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

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#### FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “How to Solve the Problem of Tripping Circuit Breakers”
1. Suhaimi says:

Why does my ceiling fan trip the circuit breaker when I turn it on?

2. Dave Rongey says:

The problem may not be with the ceiling fan, but with the electrical wiring. To know this for sure, the ceiling fan should be disconnected, and then test the circuit wiring to make sure it is correct.