Why Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

Many homeowners deal with a circuit breaker that trips more than they’d like. When your circuit breaker trips it usually leaves one area or multiple areas of your home without power. The cause is a surge of energy overloading a circuit. Lighting can overload a circuit, and more commonly, a heavily stressed outlet that is drawing too much current. The circuit’s safeguard is to switch the circuit to the OFF position. If you’re experiencing frequent circuit breaker trips, the best thing to do is call a licensed Omaha electrician to evaluate your situation.

What to Do When Your Breaker Trips

When you lose power from a circuit breaker trip, you can get it back on by following these steps.

  1. Turn off all the lights and appliances affected by the power outage. If your TV doesn’t have a manual off switch, then unplug it. It’s best not to have electronics drawing electricity when the circuit breaker is reset.
  2. Find your circuit box and look for the breakers that are in the OFF position. Some breakers will show a red or orange color if they are switched to OFF.
  3. Flip the breakers from OFF to ON. Your power should now be restored.

What if Your Breakers Keep Tripping?

If your breakers keep tripping, there could be a serious issue. Repeated circuit breaker tripping caused by general wear on a breaker is usually due to one of the following issues:

  1. Short Circuit: A short circuit is common, but can be dangerous.  This is when a “hot wire” is contacting a neutral wire in an electrical outlet. It causes an overload of current to flow through the circuit, creating excess heat. Your circuit breaker will shut off to prevent an electrical fire. 
  2. Overloaded Circuit: If your electrical system or individual circuits can’t handle the amps coming through the circuit, it will flip the breaker, and possibly damage electronics or even start a fire. 
  3. Ground Fault: When a hot wire and bare ground wire are both touching the metal box housing them. This will set off a chain reaction that pushes more electricity through the circuit than it can hold, which will trip the breaker. A ground fault, or ground fault surge, will typically burn an outlet. 

Your Omaha Electric Company

If your breakers keep tripping, give us a call. We can do an electrical safety inspection and pinpoint why your breaker keeps tripping. It may be a minor repair like a short circuit. Whatever the cause, it’s important to take care of it to avoid fire or costly electronic equipment damage.