What Causes Circuit Breakers to Trip Off
How to Identify the Cause of a Tripping Circuit Breaker© By: Dave Rongey
How to Identify the Cause of a Tripping Circuit Breaker
Electrical Question: I have one circuit breaker that keeps tripping off.
- I tried to fix it with a new breaker.
- Where do I go from here.
- This is a problem with just one circuit.
This electrical question came from: Robert, a Handyman from Marlton, New Jersey
See more about Home Wiring for New Jersey
Thanks for your electrical question Robert.
Solving the Problem of a Tripping Circuit Breaker
Application: Tripping Circuit Breaker.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate. This electrical project is best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Why Circuit Breakers Trip Off
Robert, circuit breakers rarely go bad and the majority of the time a tripping circuit breaker is due to a fault within the circuit or a problem with a device or equipment that is connected to the circuit.
Testing Electrical Circuits
- The beast way to find out if the circuit breaker is bad is to test the circuit. Typically if a circuit breaker trips off immediately after resetting it then this is a very good indication that there is a direct short within the electrical circuit.
- There are times when after resetting the breaker that it will make a humming sound and then trip off, which is typically caused by a motor or some device that is connected to the circuit that is trying to start but for some reason the device is not functioning properly.
[ad#block2]Using Electrical Testers
Understanding Electrical Testers
When working on home electrical wiring using voltage testers can play an important part in electrical safety. Electrical testers enable you to identify electrical circuits and help prevent the possibility of accidental electrical shock.
Types of Electrical Testers
Using Electrical Testers
You identified your project to be about Troubleshooting, so you might find this information useful:
Troubleshooting and Repairing Electrical Wiring
Licensed Electrician Reveals the Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.
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.
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.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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