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Why Electrical Outlets Trip The Circuit Breaker

My 20 amp breaker which serves 7 wall outlets continues to trip without any reason…

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Why Electrical Outlets Trip The Circuit Breaker
Background: Roger, a Homeowner from Gouldsboro PA
[ad#block]Question: My 20 amp breaker which serves 7 wall outlets continues to trip without any reason. It can be reset and it may trip immediately, 10 minutes later or several days or even a month later. 4 outlets are used on regular basis. None are heating or cooling units A TV, clock radio and two lamps used periodically.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Roger. I would check every device that is plugged into these outlets. I suspect an intermittent short or failing electronic component. Aside from that a complete circuit analysis would be advised.

The Following links will assist you with your electrical question:

Electrical Testers

Circuit Breakers
House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers

Electrical Outlets

For more information about Circuit Breaker
Circuit Breaker

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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
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
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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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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Why Electrical Outlets Trip The Circuit Breaker”
  1. Stephen says:

    We have a circuit breaker for outlets and lights that trips overnight when nothing is turned on!
    In the morning when we wake up the breaker is tripped. Sometimes during the day the circuit problem mysteriously is resolved which allows us to reset the breaker. After resetting the breaker we can use the living room lights and TV, and the garage which is also on this circuit.
    What can cause the breaker to trip when little or no power is being used? What can change during the day that allows the breaker to be reset?

    Thank you for your help!

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Stephen,
    There are a few things that may cause a circuit breaker to trip at night:
    Moisture or water that may create a direct short to earth ground, or to other conductors of the circuit.
    Nocturnal critters that may chew on electrical wiring and cause an electrical short.
    An uninvited guest who is tapping onto your electrical circuits or outlet and using your electricity.

    Because you mention that this problem corrects itself in the daytime, I would suspect there may be an area of the circuit that may be getting wet during the nighttime, and then it drys out during the daytime. If this is found to be the problem then the circuit should be made water tight using approved electric wiring methods that ensure a dry condition.
    I hope this helps,