Question about Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

Why does circuit breaker spark when turned on?

Posted by on

1 Answer

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 20 achievements.


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

  • Master
  • 3,287 Answers

Under most conditions, sparks occur between contacts of switches, circuit breakers, etc. during the split instant between fully closed and fully open positions (these sparks are really refered to as arcs or arcing). This instant is the point when the full pressure of the internal spring-loaded mechanism that is pushing or pulling contacts together or apart; is not yet felt. This pressure is usually felt only in the fully closed or fully open positions.

The brightness and duration of the arc is directly tied to the amount of power is being switched and the condition of the contacts themselves (contacts become pitted and dirty over time and arcing becomes more noticeable). Many larger switches and circuit breakers employ specially engineered arc flash suppression techniques and materials as the intense heat from the arc is destructive to ordinary insulated switch materials. Ordinarily, the arcing should not be visible to the naked eye.

Here\'s a video of an incredible arc at a power switching station when the switch is opened.

Posted on Jan 17, 2013

1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
the service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of (from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones).
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

Mr Heater ignition constantly on. Circuit breaker trips.

I s this spark ignition ? if so check out the igniter see if it is cracked ,it should send a signal back to the box and the stop sparking

Dec 17, 2016 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

When sparks fly from connector to electrical main panel and to me it means overheating of wire, what kind of danger can it caused to other wire (or circuits)sharing the same conduit?

Overheated wire can catch wire and melt other wires.
Sparks from a loose connection usually will not damage other wires, unless the short circuit has been going on for a while... but usually a short circuit will trip breaker or the arcing will completely short out and no more electricity will flow

Problem can be undersized wire and breaker or mismatched wire size and breaker rating


Jun 11, 2015 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

How do you reset the circuit breaker?

when a circuit "pops" you must turn it off then back on if it sparks and pops off again do not try a third time. means its is shorting out.

Apr 02, 2015 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

Why does circuit breaker spark when turned on?

When any switch or circuit breaker is turned on, and there is a load present, there will be an arc as the current jumps the small gap between the contacts just before they actually touch. For example, if you could see inside a simple light switch you would see this arc as you either turn the switch on or turn it off. On the other hand, if there was no light bulb in the fixture, (this is the no-load situation) there would be no spark. The higher the voltage, the greater the gap that can be jumped. The larger the load (say more, high-watt light bulbs) the larger the spark. Most switches are designed to snap quickly through the position when the contacts are close together, so that the spark doesn't cause too much damage to the contacts.

Jan 13, 2013 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

Engine cranks but will not start checked the connections battery level resisntance in plug wires and coil but but the coil connector is not recieving a constant 12v shows 12v for a second then back to zero...

Pull the spark plug wires off and insert another set of good plugs in them. Do not remove the spark plugs that are in the engine now. You engine has a compression sensor and if it doesn't sense compression it will not have spark. Try to crank the engine will watching the plugs. If you do not see a spark, turn the switch off and listen closely for a slight "tick". I cannot remember what year Harley went to using fuses instead of circuit breakers but you could have a short somewhere tripping the circuit breaker to your ignition circuit. Listen again when you turn the switch back on. After a few seconds, you may hear the slight "ping" of the circuit breaker when it trips.

If that isn't the problem, I'd say that the compression sensor on your engine is bad or you don't have compression. Check the compression on your engine. Good Luck

Apr 12, 2010 | 2001 Harley Davidson FLHTCUI Electra Glide...

2 Answers

No water in the house from well. circuit breaker is trippe. when i move it to sparks & trips immediately (pump does respond & turns on briefly)

There is really only Three options...
1) The pump is out
2) Wiring is shorted
3) Breaker is bad

The reason it sparks when you turn the breaker to " ON " is there is a dead short. An easy way to check a 110v wire and breaker is to disconnect it from the pump and hook it to a SPARE NEW receptacle and plug in a light... turn on the breaker and see if it still sparks and if the light comes on. If you don't get sparks and the light comes on, then your pump is shorted and needs repaired or replaced. If it does spark when you turn on the breaker then you need to replace wire and or breaker.

Hope this Helps,

Dec 02, 2009 | Plumbing

1 Answer


You should turn off the power to that circuit, and replace the receptacle. The problem is most likely in the outlet

May 06, 2009 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Dryer kicks off circuit breaker, pf code is on dryer. now won't let me do anything

pf is for power failure. sounds like You may have a short somewhere. Be careful of electric shock.

Apr 21, 2009 | Dryers

1 Answer

Oven sparking problem

i think you will find the power cord is burned this happens if it wasnt tightend up properly and gets loose turn the oven breaker off before you pull it out

Jan 24, 2008 | KitchenAid KERC601 Electric Kitchen Range

Not finding what you are looking for?
Electrical Supplies Logo

Related Topics:

71 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Electrical Supplies Experts


Level 3 Expert

3287 Answers

Gene Haynes

Level 3 Expert

5089 Answers

Brad Brown

Level 3 Expert

15557 Answers

Are you an Electrical Supply Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides