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Electrical Wire and Cable


Why Circuit Breakers Trip Off and What To Do Next

What Causes a Circuit Breaker to Trip Off? The Most Common Problems that Cause a Tripping Circuit Breaker.


Electrical Video #1

How To Hook Up a Generator to the House Panel
Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit For Backup Power

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Will Display at the End of This Video
So Keep Watching So I Can Help You Wire it Right!

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Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Tripping Circuit Breaker Problem
Electrical Question: What Causes a Circuit Breaker to Trip Off?

Tripping Breaker Question #1
Mona in California asks:
Are tripping circuit breakers dangerous for computers and electronic devices?

Help, I need to show how dangerous this could be if the owner proceeds as planned.
Thank you.

Thanks for your electrical question Mona.

Dave Replies to this question and more:

Why Circuit Breakers Trip Off
2-pole-circuit-breaker

Application: Identifying Electrical Circuit Problems.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – This electrical work is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits and Extension Cord. All safety measures must be taken for your protection while working around environmental and construction hazards and when working with all types of tools.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the project, the type of construction and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing wiring in the project area should be identified, turned OFF and Tagged. Old electrical wiring that will be replaced with new electrical wiring should be removed.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

The Purpose of a Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers prevent electrical overload that could damage electrical wiring components which could result in a fire.

How to Troubleshoot a Circuit Breaker Problem

Tripping Breaker Question #2
Jim in Texas asks:
My son has a circuit breaker that just started to trip pretty much as soon as he resets it.

The Most Common Problems that Cause a Tripping Circuit Breaker

If you have any suggestions would appreciate a plan of action.

Tripping Breaker Question #3
Van in Michigan asks:
I responded to a work request for a breaker not working in the main panel of an apartment.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Troubleshooting the Cause of a Tripping Circuit Breaker

IMPORTANT: If a circuit breaker is tripping off it may not be a problem with the breaker itself.

What to do about a Tripping Circuit Breaker

Now that we have discussed the possible problems associated with a tripping circuit breaker the following should be considered for possible solutions:

Selecting the Right Circuit Breaker

Important: A tripping circuit breaker may be an indication that additional circuits may be required.

More about Electrical Wiring and Circuit Breakers

Home Electrical Circuit Wiring
Circuit Wiring

Electric Panel Circuit Listing

Home Electric Circuit Breakers
2-pole-circuit-breaker

Using Testers to Identify Electrical Problems
digital-tester


The following may also be helpful for you:

Electrical Video #2

How to Wire a GFCI Outlet

without a Ground Wire

NOTE: A List of All my Helpful Videos
Will Display at the End of This Video
Keep Watching So I Can Help You Wire it Right!

Check out my YouTube Channel:
» AskTheElectrician «
and Subscribe!

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.



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

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

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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