Does Your Appliance Trip the Breaker?

The circuit breaker is designed to protect the electrical system in your home. If an appliance trips a breaker, it should be a rare event caused by a temporary overload. But, if the circuit breaker is tripped consistently by an appliance, this is a sure sign that something is wrong. Some possible causes include an electrical short, a ground fault problem, an overloaded circuit, or an overheating appliance. When a circuit breaker is tripping regularly, it’s trying to tell you or warn you about a potential for electrical shocks or even a fire.

4 Ways to Troubleshoot the Problem

1.   The Appliance is Overheating

If an appliance overheats, it can cause the circuit breaker to trip. In some cases, this is caused by a user error, such as an overloaded dryer. If you consider the main appliances that you have on the electrical circuit where you have problems, it’s easier to narrow down the cause. Perhaps you have been using one appliance more than the others recently, and that’s when the problem started. If you touch the appliance that you suspect is the source of the problem when it’s in use, does it feel very hot? If you’re using the appliances as intended by the manufacturer, there could be a separate cause. Perhaps a component has failed, there may be an electrical short, or a vent may be blocked. If you have an overheating appliance, contact a repair technician to identify the cause and fix the problem for you.

2.   The Circuit is Overloaded

If the circuit breaker panel is too small to manage the electrical load or if you don’t have sufficient dedicated home appliance circuits, this can cause overloading problems. To troubleshoot this problem, unplug everything on that circuit, which is anything that turns on and off when the breaker is flipped. They plug in the electronics and appliances one by one to identify the one that is tripping the breaker. If you notice any damage to external wires or wall outlets, stop this process and call a local electrician immediately. If you have identified an appliance that’s tripping the circuit breaker, contact a repair technician to fix the problem.

3.   Identifying a Ground Fault

This is a specific short circuit problem that occurs when a wire with current flowing through it comes into contact with a grounded part of an appliance, ground wire, or a switch box. This causes the circuit breaker and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets to trip as a safety feature. Some common causes of ground faults include wire damage, water leaks, and appliance damage. A ground fault is a serious warning that something is wrong because electricity is coming into contact with water and other conductive surfaces. At this point, you should contact a licensed electrician to identify the cause and fix it. If water damage has occurred, you may need a local plumber or water damage restoration specialist to deal with the problem. If an appliance is the source of the ground fault, contact a repair technician to fix it for you.

4.   An Electrical Short

A main electrical short circuit can be located in a switch, outlet, or inside an affected appliance. These are common reasons why an appliance may frequently be tripping a circuit breaker in your home. There are a few possible causes, including wiring damage, damaged or loose components, and hot and neutral wires touching and generating heat. If you’re experiencing these problems, contact a repair technician to identify and fix the problem.

If your appliance is not delivering the best performance, speak to a home appliance repair specialist, who can help you to restore maximum functionality to your appliance.