What is Tripping My Breaker?

Electrical Panel (breaker-box)
Electrical Panel (breaker-box)

A tripping breaker is annoying. At random, homeowners end up without power in parts of their home and it begs the question, “why is this happening? ”  While this may be frustrating, keep in mind that your breaker’s safety mechanism is still operating! It is preventing your electrical system from overloading by shutting down the circuit completely. And that is a good thing.

There are many reasons your breaker could be tripping. Briefly, we’ll mention 3 common reasons:

#1- The breaker is bad. With your eyes only, look at your breaker box (because touching before looking could be bad!) and note any burning or visible damage. In some cases the breaker may be damaged and would require replacement. If you notice anything unusual, burn marks or damage, you should contact an electrician immediately. It is best to leave your breaker diagnosis to a licensed electrician.

#2- The breaker is preventing circuit overload. Circuit overload happens when the amount of electrical current needed is greater than the circuit can provide. As previously mentioned, the breaker trips as a safety mechanism to keep the circuit from being overloaded. Perhaps your breaker trips when you plugin an extra device, space heater or appliance. Take note of the rooms in your home that are powered by the same circuit breaker. You can try disconnecting non-essential items to see if the breaker will stay on. If the breaker continues to trip, contact a licensed professional to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

#3- There is an arc fault. There is electric current being discharged from your wiring which could cause a spark and ultimately start a fire. No person wants to be exposed to danger and potential loss in their home due to fire. If your breaker is tripping due to arc fault, this is a warning flag waving at you for house-fire prevention. A licensed electrician would need to troubleshoot, diagnose and repair the electrical system if this is the case.

Request Electrical Service

If you have a failing breaker, it is best to take immediate action. The breaker is tripping for a reason and delaying accurate diagnosis could be dangerous. If you need a licensed electrician to troubleshoot your breaker or electrical system you can contact In The Light Electrical, LLC at 913.944.9940 or submit a service request online. Want to know what customers think of our work? Take a look at our reviews on Facebook and Google. You can also view our customer recommendations on Nextdoor.