While it is likely one of the most annoying things that can happen, a circuit breaker tripping is doing exactly what it was designed to do. They trip to protect you and your family from electrical issues like short circuits, and overloaded circuits that could cause a fire. So that begs the question; how do you know if a circuit breaker is bad? Here are a few things to try. If after you’re done you’re still not sure, call us; we can tell you.
First, figure out what the breaker is protecting. When you look at your electrical panel, you’ll see a sheet of paper that corresponds to each breaker. This will tell you what each breaker is protecting, for example, “Kitchen Outlets” or “Upstairs Hall Lights.”
Once that’s sorted, if you breaker is protecting outlets, it’s time to rule out an overloaded circuit. In the case of an overloaded circuit, this means that there are more amps flowing through than it’s capable of handling. Turn off and unplug anything plugged into that circuit, like computers, lights, and anything else.
Now that the circuit is clear, it’s time to reset it. Flip the breaker, and when you do, you should hear a definite *click* sound. If you don’t, and the breaker flops back and forth between on and off, you likely have a bad breaker.
In that case, you want to call us; replacing circuit breakers is a job that should be reserved for the professionals. If the breaker works, but trips immediately, there is still too much on the circuit, so you’ll want to move some electrical components to another circuit breaker.
Do you have questions about your circuit breakers? Or do you need help replacing one? Let us know! Our technicians would love to help!