Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

Circuit Breakers, Won't Reset Problems

Do you have a circuit breaker that is tripped or keeps shutting down? If yes, you can consult with our local Mesa electricians free of charge. Dolce Electric Co has scheduled electricians Mesa AZ homeowners and businesses can get free over the phone help from today, Monday, June 17th, 2019, during normal business hours. Our scheduled in-office electrician in Mesa AZ will answer all of your questions about why your circuit breaker keeps tripping along with questions about other circuit breaker problems and assist you if your circuit breaker won’t reset.

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There are 3 reasons why a circuit breaker keeps tripping:

It should be noted that aside from the reasons listed below, it is also possible that a device that is plugged into the circuit or a bad light bulb can also cause this tripping. At Dolce Electric Co we advise unplugging all devices and turning off all light switches to see if it will correct the problem. If your circuit breaker resets after doing this, you do not have a wiring or short circuit problem. You would have a defective light bulb or defective device plugged in.

There is a short in the attached wiring

A wiring short can occur between two live wires, between a live wire and a neutral (white) wire or between a live wire and ground. When shorts happen large amounts of power travel across the wire causing the breaker to instantly trip, thus eliminating the over current danger. This does not mean that you have circuit breaker problems, in fact it’s just the opposite and it’s doing its job correctly. In these cases the circuit breaker won’t reset until the shorted wiring has been fixed and excessively trying to reset it can do additional damage to the wiring, the breaker and any device plugged into that circuit.

  • Tip:
    If you think a short has happened in your home ask yourself this question: “What was I doing before the circuit breaker tripped?” It can give you a clue as to where the short exists.
  • Example:
    If you just plugged a blender in you can try unplugging the blender and resetting the breakers that are tripped. If the breakers don’t trip again your wiring is fine and you need to buy a new blender. If however you have unplugged everything that could be causing the problem and the circuit breaker won’t reset you need to schedule an electrician to correct the wiring problem.

A shorted wire cannot be fixed by excessively trying to reset the breaker and doing this can increase the size of the repair and it could damage other appliances or components sharing the same wiring.

If you have questions regarding shorted out wires or circuit breaker problems you can call our Mesa AZ electricians for free over the phone help. They will walk you through a few simple and safe steps to try to correct the problem before scheduling an appointment to repair the problem.

The connected wiring is overloaded

As mentioned earlier, circuit breakers limit the maximum amount of electrical current that can flow across the attached wires for safety. An overloaded condition happens when this maximum safe threshold is crossed resulting in the circuit breaker tripping off to stop the wires from overheating.

Possible solutions to correct overloaded wiring:

  • Reduce the power demand on the wires:
    Sometimes plugging an appliance or device into another circuit can eliminate this problem if your breaker keeps overloading because you are taking part of the demand off the overloaded circuit and applying it to a different one. Just make sure you are not overloading that circuit now.

Tip:
Where numerous light fixtures are involved, changing your standard incandescent light bulbs to CFL’s or LED’s can reduce the power demand enough to correct the overloaded condition. Replacing five 65 watt lamps with five 13 watt CFL’s will reduce demand by over 2 amps or about 15% on a 15 amp circuit. LED lamps provide further reduction in energy use. Doing this will save you money on your electric bill and possibly eliminate the need for an electrician.

  • Stop using multiple devices at the same time:
    This can be an inconvenience and it’s more of a temporary remedy than a long term solution. Everything plugged into to a circuit draws power and when it’s all used or turned on at the same time the total power demand is increased. Using appliances or devices one at a time can prevent the breaker from overloading but when you forget and run them at the same time you’ll quickly remember your circuit breaker problems.
  • Add another power circuit:
    Providing additional new electrical circuits to supply ample power is the best solution if you cannot reduce the demand enough to solve the problem. To determine how much additional power is needed you will need to add up the wattage of everything on the problem circuit and divide it by 120 volts; this will give you the amount of total amps required.

Example:
An overloaded 20 amp kitchen circuit that has a microwave drawing 1800 watts on it along with a toaster drawing 1600 watts would require 3400 watts or 29 amps (1800 +1600 =3400 total watts | 3400 watts divided by 120 volts = 28.333 amps}. In this scenario one additional circuit would by recommended for using both at the same time.

If you would like help determining how much additional power you may need you can call our in-office electricians in Mesa AZ for free over the phone help. They will make the calculation for you and provide you with a free competitive estimate for a professional installation.

The circuit breaker is worn out or broken

Often time’s broken or worn-out circuit breakers will not reset in older homes but it can occur in newer home where the panel door has been continually left open exposing the breakers to the elements. Exterior main panels in Mesa that have a South or West exposure can experience shorter life expectancy from their breakers due to additional heat as well.

If you have a worn-out breaker in your panel that will not reset there is a possibility that you will, in the near future, need to replace other breakers too. Think about it like tires on your car, they all get about the same usage and have all aged the same amount of time. It’s not uncommon to see multiple circuit breakers shutting down at random in these cases. See our circuit breaker replacement page or contact our Mesa electricians for more information.

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Your circuit breakers have just one very important job, to protect the wiring inside your home from overheating and possibly start a fire. If you have a breaker that keeps shutting down there is definitely a reason why and the services of a good electrician may be required.

Each circuit breaker has a maximum amount of current (amperage) it will allow to pass through it and each wire has a limited safe amount of current it can deliver without heating up. This relationship is a vital safeguard and properly sizing the breaker with the attached wire is essential. Never install a larger breaker to correct the problem if your breaker keeps shutting down or will not reset; you could start an electrical fire.

If you are experiencing circuit breaker problems or your breaker will not reset, give our in-office electrician in Mesa a call for some free over the phone help. Dolce Electric Company has scheduled a local electrician Mesa AZ homeowners can consult with between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM today, Monday, June 17th, 2019. He will guide you through a few safe but important steps that may fix your problem before recommending that a troubleshooting electrician is dispatched.

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