When your circuit breakers keep getting tripped, it can be a sign of a much larger issue than just temporary loss of power. If you find that this is a common occurrence in your home, it is time to call in the professionals. A well maintained electrical system is key to the safety of your family and property. Here are three ways your circuit breakers might be tripping, and the possible underlying causes:
Short circuits occur when a “hot” or black wire touches another hot wire or touches a “neutral” or white wire. When this happens, a massive current will flow through the wires, effectively creating more heat than the circuit can handle. As a safety feature, your breaker will turn off in the hopes of avoiding an electrical fire. You can spot short circuits by examining your outlets and plugs for any burning or black discolouration. The crossing of wires could simply be a loose connection, or it could allude to a more dangerous problem like improper wiring.
An overloaded circuit is the most common cause of a circuit breaker trip. This is the result of too much current being pushed through a circuit which was not built to handle all that power. As homeowners started filling their homes with more and more electrical devices, newer houses were built with electrical systems that could handle the new load. Older homes, however, didn’t get the updates they needed. In many old homes it is apparent that extra circuits have been added, greatly increasing the risk of trips and fires.
In the same way as a short circuit, ground faults are caused by wires touching. In this case however, it’s when a hot wire touches a ground wire. Observing your electrical outlets for a burning smell or blackened edges are one way to reveal if this is your problem. Ground faults are often the result of insulation breakdown. Insulation helps to keep all of your wires separate and direct the electricity where it needs to go. Ensuring proper insulation is vital to the success of your electrical system.
Tripping your circuit breaker is more than just annoying, it can indicate that your electrical system needs some serious TLC. Don’t wait for an emergency to occur; call 403-768-1864 today to have one of our certified electricians come in and inspect your electrical panel.