Is It Dangerous If Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping?

In our electrical system, a circuit breaker is one of the best protective devices. It can resist the circuit from a short circuit. Whenever high current flows through it then it disconnects automatically and stops current flowing through the medium thus protecting the crucial electronic device. We know that sometimes the circuit breaker goes bad and sometimes trips due to some technical effect. But is it dangerous if the circuit breaker keeps tripping consistently? So, take a look at which is correct and what should you do in that case.

Is It Dangerous If Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping?

The answer is YES. Because the breaker trips when high current flows or overload occurs than the breaker-rated capacity. In that case, breaker trips. But if it trips continue then it is really an issue. But the question is, how is it dangerous if circuit breaker keeps tripping. Indeed, the breaker is a safeguard but the continuous tripping may cause something. It may have another dangerous situation. So, let’s figure out what common reasons to trip a breaker repeatedly.

  • Short circuit
  • Overloading
  • Ground fault surge

Short Circuit

The circuit breaker can keep tripping due to a short circuit. Indeed, a short circuit is a common event in the electrical and electronic terms. A short circuit can occur in different ways, such as damaging the circuit due to the flow of high current if neutral and live contact comes together, if excessive current flows through it, sudden overload if the appliances have loose contact and others. So, a short circuit may happen due to various reasons.

You know that, if a short circuit occurs at anyway, that any time the current becomes very high. In that case, this sudden severe current limit goes out of the resistance obstacle limit. As a result, the appliance loses its resist limit and creates massive heat, sometimes burning or sometimes creating smoke. It is noted  

Over Loading

When does overload occur? Whenever the electrical load goes higher than the circuit breaker load controlling capacity. At that time breaker trips repeatedly. Indeed, overloading occurs, when you connect various devices with a circuit breaker without counting the breaker overloading capacity.

Whenever your appliances become loaded then it goes out of breaker capacity. Suppose you have a 20 Amp double pole circuit breaker or single pole breaker but you have connected several 20 Amp appliances.

As a result, the circuit breaker will trip repeatedly whenever your appliances become loaded. The circuit breaker trips after 30 minutes or a few hours. Be confirmed that overload can be the main reason to trip intermittently. So, remove extra load appliances.  

It is noted that breakers are designed to face 80% of their rated load capacity. So, before installing a new circuit breaker, you must calculate load capacity. In most cases, breakers are designed with several amperages, such as

  • 30-amp breaker = 24 amps
  • 20-amp breaker = 16 amps
  • 15-amp breaker = 12 amps

 So, the best way to avoid overloading conditions, connect the appliances with a circuit breaker depending on the breaker’s high current and overload resist capacity.    

Ground Fault Surge

Whenever electrical wire (live wire and ground wire) comes in contact then ground fault occurs. It causes the tripping of a circuit breaker. It behaves the same way as an electric short circuit. If the ground wire and live wire touch together, that will cause massive electricity flow through it. As a result, the breaker will trip the same way as a short circuit.

So, to avoid this difficulty, you should ensure that the live wire and ground wire of the breaker box are completely isolated. It is noted that the breaker can trip repeatedly if the connected appliances are defective or broken. So, make sure that your home appliances are not like that. 

What Happens When a Circuit Breaker Trips?

Indeed, the breaker trips when heavy current flows through it. If the current reaches its breaking limit then the breaker contact (fixed and moving contact) opens and stops flowing electric current to the appliances. Which is called circuit breaker tripping. The breaker also trips in an overload condition.

It is noted that the circuit breaker has two contacts fixed contact and moving contact. If a heavy current or overload occurs than its limit, in that case, moving contact, and fixed contact become separated, and stop the current flowing. As a result, connected appliances become safe from burning or damage.       

Should I Ignore When Tripping a Circuit Breaker?

The circuit breaker will trip automatically whenever it is needed. If it trips continue, it means there is something wrong. In this case. What should you do? If you have skill in electrical work, then you can inspect and find what’s wrong with it. But before doing that make sure that the breaker connection is completely off.

Secondly, call the electrician and let him know in detail and get a solution from him. It is noted that if you see that the breaker is tripping again and again then shut off the main switch. Because your crucial appliances may be damaged due to the breaker’s incessant tripping.

Can A Tripped Circuit Breaker Cause a Fire?

Indeed, massive electricity tries to move through the circuit at once, if the circuit breaker trips. At one stage breaker breaks the circuit. Due to the cause of passing massive electricity, the breaker medium becomes overheated and your home appliances also become overheated.

It may cause electric fire and smoke. If any undesired situation happens, suppose, your installed circuit breaker has tripped but the circuit is not broken and current is flowing through it to your appliances. In that case, high currents can cause damage your appliances.   

How to Reset a Tripped Circuit Breaker?

How to fix a breaker that keeps tripping? It is very simple to reset a breaker if your breaker tripped. Basically, a breaker has two positions on and off position. So, follow some simple ways to reset your breaker in a superior way.

  • Remember if the circuit breaker tripped then it will exist in the center position.
Breaker tripping condition
  • In that case, if you press the breaker switch On condition then it will automatically back again in the middle position.
How to Reset a Tripped Circuit Breaker
  • Now press the breaker On/Off switch to the Off position.
How to Reset a Tripped Circuit Breaker
  • And then press it to the On position.

So, follow these ways to reset your circuit breaker if it is tripped. If the breaker keeps tripping after resetting, then you should replace the breaker and install a new one 

Why Does a Breaker Keep Tripping Without Plugged in?

Check the home wiring process. If the breaker keeps tripping without plugged in, then you should inspect your home wiring system. Home wiring systems can be the main reason for that situation. On the other hand, check the loose connection with another device, the worst insulation in your wall, and other reasons.

How to Fix Circuit Breakers from Tripping?

The circuit breaker has a tripping mechanism. When an undesired situation occurs then breaker trip. But sometimes different situation happens or trips repeatedly. In that case, how to fix it? There are a few ways to fix the breaker from tripping.

If you say I have a microwave and sometimes I also face this type of issue. In that case, how to fix microwave breaker tripping? So, don’t worry we are here. Let’s see some easiest processes, and if you follow those steps. You can easily solve it.

Step 1.

If you have a breaker box, then identify which breaker tripping incessantly. In that case, you can use a circuit breaker finder to easily identify a bad breaker. However, the tripped breaker must be on or off position. It is noted that in that situation must isolate yourself. Because a simple mistake can cause your life risk.

Step 2.

Turn off all the appliances that are connected to the tripped breaker. Because if you reset the breaker then it will prevent surge power. It may cause damage to your appliances.

Step 3.

Check all the wiring that can be the reason to continuously trip your breaker and see damaged wires, loose connection with the device, corrosion, and other wiring issues. If only the connection becomes the main reason to trip, then make a proper connection with your breaker to appliances.  

Step 4.

Now test the identified breaker and assess the wear and tear of your breaker moving position (off and on position). If you notice that you can move the breaker switch easily and feel loose. Be confirmed that the breaker is defective. Or if you see that the breaker switch is not moving. It means you can change the breaker switch to an on-and-off position, or the breaker switch is fixed in one position. In that case, become sure that your breaker is defective. So, you should replace the breaker.

What Should I Do When the Breaker Keeps Tripping?

When a circuit breaker keeps tripping incessantly, it can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous issue. Indeed, breakers are designed to trip when they detect an electrical overload or a fault in the electrical system to prevent fires and electrical hazards. We have referred to some crucial steps and guidelines on what to do when your breaker keeps tripping.

1. Make Sure a Proper Safety

  • Always make sure that you are completely safe. In that case, turn off all electrical appliances and devices connected to the circuit that keeps tripping.
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes and use insulated tools if you need to touch or inspect any electrical components.

2. Identify the Affected Circuit

  • Locate the circuit breaker in your breaker box that has tripped. In this case, you must shut off your electrical panel.

3. Reset the Circuit Breaker

  • Before resetting the breaker, you should figure out the issue and try to understand why it tripped in the first place.
  • Push the tripped breaker firmly to the Off position first, and then back to the On position and listen for a distinct click.
  • If the breaker trips immediately again, it indicates a serious problem, and you should not attempt to reset the breaker again.

4. Unplug and Disconnect

  • Unplug all devices and appliances connected to the affected circuit.
  • If the breaker continues to trip without plugged in or connected, it’s a common sign of a wiring issue.

5. Investigate the Cause

  • Inspect the wiring and outlets on the affected circuit for visible damage or signs of overheating (scorched marks, burnt smell).
  • Check for loose connections or damaged cords.
  • If you are not sure about the wiring or any issue, it’s recommended to contact a qualified electrician for further inspection.

6. Call a Professional

  • If the breaker continues to trip or identify the cause, it’s essential to call a licensed electrician.
  • Electrical problems can be dangerous. That’s why call a professional who can safely diagnose and resolve the issue.

7. Preventive Measures

  • Consider installing surge protectors to protect sensitive electronics and appliances from power surges.
  • Regularly check your electrical system for signs of wear and tear, and perform maintenance as needed.

How to Understand That Circuit Breaker Has Gone Bad?

Sometimes circuit breaker goes bad. Basically, there are a few reasons for that, such as massive short circuits, high power surges, conduit systems with ground wires, heavy overload, etc. But how to understand that your breaker has gone bad? Let’s see some key points to understand that breaker has gone bad.

  • If you see the burns and scorch marks on the breaker’s body.
  • If your breaker gives a humming sound, then you can be confirming that your breaker is bad.
  • Another thing is that if your breaker needs to reset repeatedly, it indicates that you are using a bad breaker.
  • If your breaker switch cannot position cannot change (On/Off) position, it indicates that your breaker is in the wrong position.

It is noted that we have shared probably the situation but it may have another reason to become a bad breaker. So, the best thing is, to inspect your breaker panel with skill hand where you installed circuit breaker, and figure out the problem. 

Does Tripping a Circuit Breaker Cause Damage?

Yes, over-tripping can be the reason for damage to the circuit breaker. Indeed, the circuit breaker was designed to protect the device from excessive power. The breaker mechanism opens when overcurrent flows through it and interrupts the power supply to the connected appliances.

So, repetitive overload and overcurrent weaken the breaker’s conductive mechanism. If breaker trips continue due to the flow of very high currents and heavy overload, then that can cause the breaker to be damaged.

Can Tripping Circuit Breaker Cause a Fire?

Yes, excessive tripping circuit breakers can cause a fire. Because, when a short circuit occurs, high current flow and medium become overheated. If it goes out of endurance of the breaker capacity. In that case, breaker elements can melt and cause smoke or fire. It is noted that fire in a breaker is a rare case. But breaker element melting is a common case.   

Final Thought

In most cases, it is dangerous if the circuit breaker keeps tripping. Because the breaker is used to secure the appliances from overload, overcurrent, surge current, etc. If breakers make trouble to protect them then why should you use breakers? If you feel that your breaker making trouble and the preliminary inspection is not working. In that case, choose a new circuit breaker and connect it to the appliances depending on the breaker amperage and overload limit capacity and get better protection.

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