Every home’s electrical system features a set of circuits that are controlled and protected by circuit breakers. If you are living in an older home, your electrical system may still be using fuses and may be in need of an upgrade. Circuit breakers trip when there is too much electricity flowing through it or when it cannot handle the excess current load. This prevents the circuits from overheating and causing more damage. While circuit breakers offer a level of safety to your home’s electrical system, it is a good idea to determine the cause if you are experiencing constant circuit breaker tripping. There are a few main reasons that can cause a circuit breaker to trip.
A circuit overload occurs when the amount of electricity flowing through a particular circuit exceeds its actual capacity. This can result from having too many appliances operating on one circuit causing the circuit to overheat. An increase in electricity can damage any appliances or electronics on that circuit or even cause a fire. The circuit breaker trips to prevent this from happening. Redistributing your electrical devices to other circuits or turning some of them off can help reduce the electrical load on the circuit breaker.
Circuit breakers can also trip because of a short circuit, which can be more dangerous than a circuit overload. A short circuit occurs when a “hot” wire comes in contact with a “neutral” wire inside one of the electrical outlets. This can cause a circuit to overheat due to the large amount of current flowing through it. To prevent a fire or further damage to the circuit and any devices on it, the circuit breaker will trip. There are a number of reasons a short circuit could occur including faulty wiring or loose connections.
Ground Fault Surges
Similar to a short circuit, a ground fault surge occurs when a “hot” wire touches a ground wire or the metal outlet box connected to the ground wire. When this happens, more electrical current will begin passing through the circuit. If it is more than the circuit can handle, the circuit breaker will trip.
If you are experiencing frequent circuit breaker trips, it is time to call Bradley Mechanical at (804) 748-6728. Our team of certified electricians can assess the situation, determine what is causing the circuit breakers to trip and offer the right solution. We have been keeping homes in Central Virginia safe for over 50 years.