Why Does My Circuit Breaker Trip?

Posted on: October 6, 2014

As one of the most prominent electrical service companies in Clearwater, we like to address the frequently asked questions we get from our clients.  One of the most common of these is: “Why does my circuit breaker trip?”

As homeowners ourselves, we know that going outside to constantly reset a flipped switch gets old after a while.  And on top of the irritation it causes, this solution doesn’t address the root of the problem: There is too much current being drawn.

So how does this happen? Well, there are three main reasons why a circuit breaker trips:

  • Overload
  • Ground Fault
  • Short Circuit

Overload

This is the most common cause of a tripped breaker in your home, and occurs when you are simultaneously running too many high power consuming appliances on the same circuit.  There are two ways to prevent this:  You can either work around it by turning off devices/redistributing them to other rooms, or you can hire professional Clearwater electrical services to upgrade you to a more robust system.  One other cause of an overload that should be noted is an overheating appliance pulling unusually high amperage.

Short Circuit and Ground Faults

These less common, but more dangerous possibilities, can occur when a positive wire touches another positive, negative, or ground wire.  The resulting current that flows across this connection generates more heat than the circuit can handle, causing the breaker trip off.  This typically also won’t allow the breaker to stay on when you attempt to reset it.  Common signs of a short circuit include scorched outlets or a burning smell; each of which require immediate electrical services as they pose a serious fire risk to your Clearwater home.

Now that you know the answer to the question: “Why does my circuit breaker trip?” It’s time to work on a permanent solution.  Fortunately, the electrical services at Midway of Clearwater include professionally trained and certified electricians, utilizing state of the art equipment.  So whether you’re finally fed up with the inconvenience, or you need our 24/7 emergency service, you know the job will be done both promptly and properly.