It happens to everyone:circuit breaker trips. Learn how to avoid this common electrical problem. If you have ever plugged in your hairdryer, toaster oven or space heater only to be engulfed in darkness, you know what it’s like when your electrical breaker trips.
Sometimes having an electrical breaker trip is a minor inconvenience, readily repaired with the flick of a switch. However, frequent breaker trips are more than an inconvenience; they are the fail-safe that lets you know you have a bigger problem.
Let’s start with an average electrical panel. When a breaker – one of the switches you see on the panel – “trips,” you will often hear a popping noise as the switch pushes itself to an “off” position.
Why a Circuit Breaker Trips
Circuit breakers come in different amp ratings, so some systems can handle more than others. If you live in an older home or apartment that has few outlets, your system may have a lower amp rating, which will make breakers trip more easily.
Most important, when a breaker trips, it is keeping your electrical system from a literal meltdown, which can cause a fire.
- Tips to Avoid Breaker Trips
- Unplug electrical appliances that are not in use. Electrical current still runs to the appliance even if it is not turned on.
- Be especially aware of how many appliances you have plugged in during very cold or hot weather. Air conditioners and space heaters, for example, are energy suckers. In the winter, you will more likely have more lamps burning.
- If you have few outlets, try to spread your biggest energy users around.
- Also, if you have few outlets, putting an extension plug or power strip will tax your system more. It is still only one outlet.
- Make sure none of your appliance cords are damaged, frayed or melted.
Read more about avoiding circuit breaker trips at Networx.com