Noticed that your circuit breaker tripped? Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world! However, you must act accordingly to find the cause of the trip, and immediately plan to resolve the issue and prevent further tripping. Not sure where to begin? That’s why you have the experts at Salt Light & Electric by your side!

Central Texas homeowners should always be aware of the causes leading to a tripped circuit breaker. By learning what causes a circuit breaker to trip, you’ll be able to prevent the event from reoccurring in your home. We have put together a handy guide detailing these causes below.

Ground Fault

  • Ground faults happen when electrical currents travel through the ground wire instead of the intended path, and are caused by water, poor insulation, conductive dust, or even inclement weather.
  • Your circuit breaker trips whenever a ground fault is identified, but this tripping can be avoided by using ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs for short.
  • GFCI outlets protect against ground faults by shutting off the power to itself when a ground fault is detected, helping to avoid your circuit breaker tripping – as well as shock.

Overloaded Circuit

  • An overloaded circuit happens when too much power is taken from one circuit and is a prime cause of your circuit breaker tripping.
  • An overloaded circuit can happen for a variety of reasons including overloading an outlet with too many appliances.
  • Major appliances running off the same circuit can easily cause an overload and trip your breaker, but even smaller appliances can produce an overload if simultaneously connected to one outlet.
  • Even if appliances are turned off but on the same circuit, electrical overloads may still happen depending on the circuit’s threshold.
  • Too many extension cords connected to an outlet can cause an overloaded circuit, as power is not evenly distributed when multiple cords are used at once.

Short Circuit

  • Short circuits can be caused by loose or exposed wiring, as when the wire meets a conductive object, the electricity goes through the path of least resistance occurs.
  • Improper insulation can cause short circuits due to little barrier between neutral and live wires to touch.
  • Short circuits can also happen through the use of damaged or outdated appliances.

Outdated Electrical System

  • These three major causes are most common when your electrical system has not seen an upgrade in several years.
  • Old wire can become damaged, frayed, and loose, leading to an uneven circuit in your electrical system and can cause a circuit breaker to trip.
  • Outlets with loose connections, damaged boxes, or smaller voltage can cause your circuit breaker to trip.
  • Two-prongs outlets possess no ground wire and cannot channel voltage correctly when intrusive currents are present. Unfortunately, two-prong outlets used to be the norm in older homes.

After learning about why your circuit breaker may have tripped, you’ll want to contact trusted electrical professionals to ensure the situation never happens again. Salt Light & Electric is the leading electrical company in the Central Texas area, as our electrical services are expansive and include any wiringoutlet, or breaker request you have. Give us a call at (512) 956-7842 to assess your tripped circuit breaker problem – or any other pressing electrical issue.