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Continuously Tripping Circuit Breakers: What’s the Cause?

Safe home lighting setup to prevent circuit breaker trips and electrical fires

Your circuit breakers play a vital role in your home’s electrical system. Without them, any potential electrical issue could cause a fire or result in electrocution – especially when you plug something in or turn it on. It’s an essential safety feature but can also be frustrating if you’re continuously tripping circuit breakers.

Fixing the immediate problem is usually as easy as turning the breaker back on. But when they are continuously tripping, there’s usually another factor at play. An experienced electrician in Ann Arbor can pinpoint the issue in your electrical wiring, but it helps to understand the issue and what’s at play.

How the Circuit Breaker Works

There are several different circuits in your home, each providing electrical power for an area. You will have dedicated circuits for most larger modern appliances, including your oven, furnace, air conditioner, water heater, washing machine, and microwave, and all the circuits are located in the electrical panel. The electricity runs from the grid into your home, and then into the electrical panel, and through each circuit.

Each circuit has a breaker, which can shut the power off to the circuit if it’s overloaded or short circuits. It’s a safety mechanism to prevent fires and electrocutions, but also prevents you from losing power through the whole home for an issue in a specific circuit.

What Causes Circuits to Trip

Overloaded Circuits: Each circuit is designed to only be able to take a certain load. Once it exceeds the load, the breaker trips. The circuit can easily overload when you try to power too many things or run too many electrical appliances at once. The best thing you can do at this time is to unplug or stop using whatever tripped the circuit.

Short Circuits: When the wrong wires in a cord touch, it can short circuit. At this point, too much current flows into the circuit. This can be caused by damaged wiring or loose connections. It could originate in wiring, or in an outlet or light switch. Damaged power cords and older appliances can be big culprits for this.

Ground Fault Surges: Ground fault surges are typically caused by poorly insulated or damaged wiring inside walls or appliances. Water in the outlet is another cause. Both ground fault surges and short circuits result in a burning smell or discoloration around the outlet.

Faulty Circuit Breakers: Sometimes, the appliance isn’t the issue, it’s the breaker itself. If your breaker or panel is old or faulty, it may cause tripping circuit breakers.

The Help You Need From Expert Electricians

If you have regularly tripping circuit breakers in your Ann Arbor, Michigan home, it’s time to address this issue with an expert electrician. Safety can quickly become an issue when the breakers cause a continuous fire or electrocution hazard. An experienced electrician can look over your electrical box and wiring to pinpoint the cause and help you understand what needs to be fixed to improve performance of your electrical system.

Contact us today to evaluate your electrical system and determine the cause of continuously tripping circuit breakers!

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