5 Reasons Why Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

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old circuit breakersA circuit breaker is designed to trip under specific circumstances. Simply put, if a circuit carries more load than it is supposed to, a circuit breaker will interrupt the flow of electricity by  preventing the electric current from reaching your wall sockets.

There are many reasons why your circuit breakers trip, including faulty residential electric wiring. Although a circuit breaking tripping is a problem that many of us have and can encounter, it is not something that we should take lightly. All of the reasons for circuit breakers to trip needs to be looked into to avoid accidents and injuries.

Here are 5 reasons why your circuit breaker might trip:

Faulty WiringElectrical failure

A circuit breaker that trips can be due to faulty wiring. Within your home, there are meters and meters of wires in your home that connect your socket outlets to your circuit breakers. A faulty wiring installation will cause problems with your home’s electrical system that should also cause your circuit breakers to trip. The simple solution to this is checking your wiring and re-tightening loose connections, which may have been caused by either aged wires, or human error with its installation. Acting early on this will prevent damages to your home and or fires. Seeking the assistance of an expert electrician is highly advised.

Old Circuit Breakers

This is a common problem in old homes wherein the circuit breakers are not designed to handle the variety of electrical output of modern appliances. A few years ago, a typical family living room would only have a television and a VCR. But in today’s world, a computer with all its peripherals, a plasma screen television, and its entertainment system would be a burden for one old circuit breaker. Remember to pay attention to what your circuit breaker is telling you, in order for you to maintain a safe and effective home electrical system.


A tripped circuit breaker is just most of the time an overloaded circuit. If a breaker that is protecting a circuit is rated at, let us say,  40 amperes, then 40 amperes is the maximum that it can take before that circuit breaker will trip. This is plus or minus 6kilo ampere depending on the interrupting capacity of your miniature circuit breaker.  The more load it accepts the circuit than what was intended, the circuit breaker will then break the circuit to prevent overloading.

High Powered Electrical Devices

When a circuit breaker can’t handle the electricy demand of some electrical devices, such as powertools, it will inevitably trip. to avoid this, designate a dedicated circuit that can handle that load of your powertools.

Short Circuit

Typical homes use a 20-32 ampere breakers for their branches. A short circuit somewhere in the electrical system is also one of the common reasons for the circuit breaker to trip. When a short circuit occurs, the hot wire could be broken or there may be a break in the wire insulation allowing contact with a ground. If this happens, the ampere will be greater than the allowable kaIC rating of the breaker and it will trip. Resetting the breaker will not help. It simply trips again. You may notice equipment malfunction, or perhaps even a burning smell or melted wire. When this happens, this is a serious situation that calls for a qualified electrician.

2 responses to “5 Reasons Why Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping”

  1. My wife and I moved into an older home this year and have noticed the electricity is pretty faulty. We don’t want to risk a home fire, so I think having the wiring re done and circuit breaker replaced is a good idea. I like that you mentioned how we have much more technology and power we use nowadays and how it can effect our breakers.

  2. At my home, it seems like once a month the circuit breaker will be tripped. We moved into an older home so it is possible that the wiring cannot take the electricity. Next week we are having an electrician come out and install a new circuit breaker panel and hoping that fixes it.

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