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Why Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping & How to Fix It

When your circuit breaker trips the first time, you’ll probably think, “No big deal!” The second time, you may think, “Hey, didn’t I just have this problem?” By the third or fourth time, you may start to wonder, “Why in the world does this keep happening, and how do I make it stop?

Working out why your circuit keeps tripping can be tricky—however, if you have a head start on where to begin your investigations, it may help you find the source of the problem and determine a solution.

Reasons Why Circuit Breakers Trip

Here are some of the more common reasons circuit breakers trip and what you can do about the issue.

  • Your circuits are overloaded –  A circuit breaker gets its name because it is made to break the circuit when there is too much current running through it. If you have a 20 amp circuit, for example, and you try to run 30 amps through it, the circuit breaker will block the circuit and trip to keep your home safe from the amperage overload. If you have too much plugged into one outlet, try unplugging some of the things connected to the outlet.
  • You’re in need of a heavy-up – Alternatively, you could contact one of our electricians at GAC Services to find out how many amps your circuit can handle, and make sure your appliances aren’t running at a higher amperage! If that’s the case, you may be in need of an upgrade or heavy-up.
  • Your circuits are shorting – This problem is a little more serious, as it has to do with the actual wiring in your home. There are different wires attached to your outlet. When two hot wires touch each other, or a hot wire touches a neutral wire, this can cause a short. If you suspect this may be the issue, it is best to have an expert check it out!
  • You’re experiencing a ground fault – Just like a short circuit, a ground fault happens when the hot wire touches something it shouldn’t—except this time, it isn’t another wire! A ground fault is when the black or hot wire touches the metal outlet box. Just like a short, it is best to have a professional take a look if you suspect this is the problem that is causing your circuit breaker to keep tripping, since the hot wires can be very dangerous to an untrained person.
  • Your appliances are faulty – Sometimes a faulty appliance (even something simple like a hair dryer, toaster, or lamp) can cause a circuit to trip over and over again.  This issue is usually easy to diagnose, and the best way to get rid of the problem is to replace the appliance!
  • You’ve just got bad wiring – If an outlet has not been wired correctly, this can cause the breaker to trip. If you keep getting the same results from an outlet no matter what you try, it’s time have an electrician check the outlet to make sure the wiring was installed correctly.

How to Fix Tripped Circuit Breakers

If you have a circuit that tends to trip over and over again there are several things you can do. If the circuit has way too many things plugged into the circuit, you may want to unplug a few appliances and see if this fixes the problem.

If it is just one appliance that is causing the issue, plug a different appliance in and see if the circuit trips. If it doesn’t, then you know that the appliance is likely the problem—and that means it’s either time to replace the appliance or get a dedicated circuit installed!

If an overload circuit or a bad appliance doesn’t seem the be the problem, it is time to call an expert in. It is a good idea not to take care of electrical issues yourself, since handling wiring and electrical components of your home can be dangerous.

Contact the team at GAC Services online or give us a call at 240-224-3144 today! Our electrical experts can help you find the reason for your tripped circuits, then we’ll fix the issue quickly so you can get back to business as usual.

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John Micheal, MD
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