What to Do When Your Circuit Breaker Tips
So the lights, an appliance, or an outlet are not working in your house. If applicable, you reset your GFCI and the outlet or appliance still doesn’t work. So you head out to the breaker box and you notice that one of the breakers is going the opposite way of the other breakers. Using your powers of deduction, you determine that you tripped your circuit breaker. Is that bad?
First, it’s good that your circuit breaker tripped! Think of breakers as safety devices. They cut off power to your home to prevent overheating and fire.
Why Did My Circuit Breaker Trip?
There are essentially 4 reasons why your breaker could trip:
- Circuit Overload – this happens when there are too many appliances on a circuit. This is one of the most common causes of a circuit tripping. If you recently added an appliance to a room (say a vacuum or a hair dryer) it is likely that this was the cause of the overload.
- A Short Circuit – this is when a hot wire touches a neutral wire in your home’s wiring system.
- Ground Fault – when a hot wire touches a ground wire, it overheats the system and causes a ground fault.
- A faulty appliance – if there is an issue with the wiring of an appliance, it can draw too much power an overheat the circuit.
If you believe that your circuit breaker trip was caused by a short circuit or ground fault, you should call an electrician right away.
How to Reset a Circuit Breaker
The good news is that it is relatively easy to reset a circuit breaker. Follow these easy steps:
- Turn off all the lights and unplug appliances. If you are overloaded, failure to do so may trip your circuit again!
- Locate your electrical panel (if you haven’t already).
- Make sure your hands are dry and that you aren’t standing in a puddle. If you aren’t comfortable, call an electrician for help.
- Look for the tripped breaker. It should be in the “OFF” position. Move it to the “ON” position.
- Test the area by reintroducing lights or an appliance to the circuit.
If your circuit breaker trips after you reset it, this may be the sign of an electrical problem in your home. Give us a call at (928) 726-5671 and our licensed electricians can help diagnose and fix the problem. Thanks Yuma!