What to do When a Circuit Breaker Trips

By November 19, 2018Maintenance, Electrical

Tripping a circuit breaker is a relatively common problem. It’s probably just the result of vacuuming, using a blender and a toaster at the same time and you just have a busy morning routine, so there’s no need for alarm.

A circuit breaker will cut off an overloaded circuit to prevent damage to the system, turning it back on again isn’t too hard. Most of the time all it takes is a reset of the circuit breaker, however, sometimes the issue can be a bit more problematic.
What to do When a Circuit Breaker Trips

Tripping a circuit breaker is normally just the result of an overloaded circuit and probably isn’t a big deal, however, sometimes it can be a bit more complicated and it’s best just to call an electrician.


Why has my circuit broken?

• Overloaded circuit – An overloaded circuit is the most common cause of a broken circuit. The basic premise is that there is too much current flowing through the circuit and to prevent any damage or fires it simply shuts off. The solution here is to remove any extra appliances on the overloaded circuit that do not need to be there.

• Short circuits – This is a bit more of a problem. The cause is two hot or black wires or one hot and one neutral wire touching. There will be a burning smell or melted plastic covers, and the best fix is to call an electrician.

• Ground Fault – If it’s not one of the first two problems it’s likely you have a ground fault, which occurs when a hot or black wire touches the ground or the metal case of the box. This case will also require an electrician.

How do I reset the Circuit Breaker?

If you’ve only overloaded your circuit, there will be no need to call an electrician and you should be able to handle the problem yourself. Just follow these steps.

Turn off all the lights and appliances in the room that has lost power. This is important because if you reset the circuit while it’s still overloaded, it will likely blow all over again.

Go to your electrical panel, which is usually found under a hatch outdoors, in a basement or in a utility room. Make sure you have dry hands and turn off the master switch off to be safe, this will cut the power to all the circuits, so that if there is a problem with the switchboard you won’t get an electric shock.

The next step is to find the breaker on the board that has moved to the off position or is sitting halfway between the two. Flick it all the way ‘off’ then to ‘on’. Finally, reset the master switch.

Start by testing the circuit with a couple of appliances. If the circuit breaks again it may be a more serious problem and it’s probably best to call an electrician.

If you have any doubts with your electric circuit it’s always the best bet to call a professional to take a look.

With over 9 years experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing fast and efficient service of the highest quality. If you have any questions regarding electricity in your house or are looking for a quote for electrical installations, repairs, or general maintenance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with HunterCON today.

Leave a Reply