Tip & How-To about Hammering

Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

Your circuit breaker keeps tripping and you are wondering why it would do that. There actually can be many things that can cause a circuit breaker to trip, or shut off. I will give you some reasons why circuit breakers trip and also some circuit breaker troubleshooting tips.

The first thing to remember about a circuit breaker is that they are first and foremost a safety device. The protection provided by the circuit breaker is also two fold. The circuit breaker will protect against overcurrent, or in other words, it will keep you from melting down the wires by placing too high of a load on any circuit. This would cause the wires to overheat and start a fire.

The other way a circuit breaker protects you is that the circuit breaker senses very quickly if there is current flowing to the ground with out it going through a load. This means that there is a shock hazard or a fire hazard. The circuit breaker will interrupt the current and shut off to prevent damage from happening.

If your circuit breaker is tripping off then you need to find out why this is happening. By eliminating the load on the circuit you can start to narrow down the possibilities. If there are a number of things plugged into the circuit then unplug something till it will stay on.If you can get the load low enough so that the circuit breaker stays on then you are okay and just need to spread the load out over a couple of circuits to prevent the overloading.

If you cannot stop the circuit breaker from tripping, unplug loads until you narrow the problem down to one thing. Once you narrow it down to one thing that is tripping the circuit breaker then you can find out why the load is tripping the circuit breaker.

Now if the load that is still plugged in is an appliance like a washing machine, then you need to find out if the cause of the tripping is the motor or if it is something like a wire that is rubbed through and is shorting out. If it is the motor the circuit breaker will often trip right when the motor goes to start up.

If the circuit breaker trips immediately when power is applied then you probably have a bad wire or connection. Poor connections are common in appliances such as an oven or a dryer where high amounts of current can be pulled at one time and the heat will make the connection get hot and eventually fail.

There are so many different possibilities for circuit breakers tripping that it is impossible to cover them all. There is one tool that will make the detective work of finding a short or problem much easier.This tool is called an "OHM" meter. One of these can be purchased at most any hardware or electrical store. Many big box stores and even a Wal-Mart also have them. There are many very inexpensive models available.

By using an OHM meter you can check the resistance of a circuit. The idea is that if a circuit has NO resistance to ground then it is bad and the electric can flow to the ground unhindered. This is a dangerous situation and must be corrected. In motors the flow of current between phases with no resistance, is also a reason why a circuit breaker will trip.

Above all remember that you need to verify and make sure that all electric is shut off to any piece of equipment that you are working on. Isolating and finding electrical problems can be very time consuming and frustrating. It will take time and patience to methodically eliminate the possible causes of a circuit breaker that keeps on tripping or a circuit breaker that will not reset. Through careful checking you can one by one eliminate the possibilities and find the cause of your circuit breaker not staying on.

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1 Answer

Cuicut breaker keep failing


It would seem you have a short in the wiring in that circuit, or occasionally a breaker will fail and need to be replaced. Another thing that could cause it is if the circuit breaker is overloaded, ie. too much electical things plugged in on it. If the combined amperage of things plugged into that circuit is more than the breaker is rated for it will trip. Example, having a garbage disposal and a microwave plugged into a 20 amp breaker. It may work a little while with both running but then it gets hot and trips.

May 13, 2016 | Miscellaneous

1 Answer

Curcuit Breaker appears to be on but no power?


It sounds like something in that circuit is causing the overload. Disconnect anything that is in that circuit, flip the breaker, and one item at a time plug whatever was on that circuit back in until it trips again. Then try that item in a different circuit and see if it does the same thing. It could also be that the breaker is worn out and is tripping at a lower point that it supposed to. In that case you would have to replace the breaker.

Mar 04, 2015 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

simoniz S2000 XE02 internal cct breaker keeps tripping after 30secs tried to get a parts break down but that info is really ****** and nothing on line anywhere. Any idea what causes the cct breaker to trip. I've taken the thing apart three times now can't see anything obvious.


First be very careful because the unit is protected by a ground fault internal circuit interrupter and may trip if there is a short circuit to ground. Even a very small short circuit will trip the circuit breaker.

Something else: If you are plugging it into an already existing ground fault outlet then that may also cause one of the breakers to trip.

Like I first mentioned, if you don't know what your doing be very careful. Electricity and water are not friends, especially if the circuit breaker is tripping.

Good luck,

Marty

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1 Answer

no lights upstaires circuit breaker keeps tripping


Jan 2013
1) Move wire to another same-size circuit breaker to eliminate bad circuit breaker as suspect.
Do NOT increase size of breaker or it will cause fire.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-circuit-breaker.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Troubleshoot-household-electricity.html

2) Put hand on each appliance and outlet to see which ones are warm. Outlet should never be warm or hot. Replace outlet. Inspect wires for loose and burned connections.

3) If the breaker is good, then add up total watts being used by checking watt rating on each device. 100 watt light bulb is 100 watts. Big screen TV has a label that shows 300 to 500 watts. Computer has label. Space heater has label showing 1500 watts. Iron has a watt rating label. Take total watts and divide by 110Volts and this will give amp load. Total watts used = 2000 and then divide 2000 by 110 volts = 18.8 amps
Compare amp load with circuit breaker.
20 amp circuit breaker has 80% safe maximum, or 16 amps.
If amp load is 18.8 amps, then 20 amp breaker is starting to get hot, and weak breaker will start tripping.
If amp load is 18.8 amps, and breaker is 15 amps, then you are overloaded and breaker is feeling the heat, and tripping because of heat.
Solution is to reduce amp load.

4) If you have short circuit, that can also trip breaker.
Unplug everything and then plug things back in slowly to see which plug or appliance is causing the problem.

Jan 18, 2013 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

dryer keeps tripping the circuit breaker


hello mam please change the mains breaker after tripping for several times the breaker will be defected and check the power socket outlet by removing the socket there should not be any loose connections and skinned wires.

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