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  • Troubleshooting a Tripped Circuit Breaker

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  • Troubleshooting a Tripped Circuit Breaker

    June 8, 2018

    A circuit breaker tripping can be the result of many causes. While some of these causes can be relatively simple, others can be more involved and ultimately detrimental to your system. Therefore, it’s important to perform some troubleshooting steps when a circuit breaker has tripped. While you may not always be able to find the exact cause of the problem, you can still find some helpful signs that will help you make informed decisions.

    The experts at The Happy Outlet have provided some troubleshooting steps to take in the case of a tripped circuit breaker. Follow our guide below before contacting an electrical professional!

    Identify Which Circuit Belongs to the Tripped Circuit Breaker

    Each circuit breaker holds the ability to distribute power to a certain circuit. And when one trips, all outlets and light switches on its associated circuit will lose power. Before performing any troubleshooting tips, it is important to know which circuit the circuit breaker belongs to.

    Since the circuit breaker has already tripped, you don’t want to reset the breaker to figure out its associated circuit. Instead you’ll want to check which appliances in your home have turned off. Although circuits can vary in size, their outlets and switches tend to stay close together. You may not be able to identify all connections to the circuit using this method. But it will at least give you a general idea.

    Unplug All Associated Appliances on the Circuit

    Once you have identified appliances that are on the circuit, go ahead and disconnect them. Circuit breakers can trip from faulty or misuse of appliances. This can be from faulty wiring, electrical overload, or damaged circuitry in the appliance.

    Check the Condition of Each Appliance

    Examine every appliance for any noticeable damages, burn marks, or burning smells. These signs can indicate a faulty appliance, which can lead to a short circuit, eventually causing a tripped circuit breaker.

    Additionally, use this time to check if your circuit can handle the load of each of these appliances. A common cause of tripped circuit breakers is an electrical overload, which is when a circuit is over capacity. This can happen from overuse of extension cords, using too many appliances at the same time, and failing to give certain appliances a dedicated circuit.

    After you have unplugged every appliance you know is on the circuit, go ahead and try to reset the circuit breaker. If the breaker trips again, continue to the next step.

    Check the Outlets Located on the Circuit

    If the cause doesn’t seem to come from the appliances that used the circuit, then you should check the outlets themselves. Faulty outlets can cause a circuit breaker to trip, and can be the result of frayed wiring, loose connections, or damaged parts. If any of your outlets are experiencing these signs, contact The Happy Outlet for further consultation:

    • Visible burn marks on outlet
    • Burning smell coming from outlet
    • Outlet emitting a buzzing sound or vibration
    • Outlet feels warm to the touch

    Be sure to follow these troubleshooting tips in the case of a tripped circuit breaker. And contact The Happy Outlet to have a professional diagnose the issue after you troubleshoot. Give us a call at 775-841-9473 for affordable troubleshooting and repair services from Carson City’s leading experts.