Circuit breakers are designed to stop the flow of electricity whenever there is too much power running through a circuit. Circuit breakers will trip off under any of the following three circumstances:
- Short circuit
- A circuit becomes overloaded
- The circuit breaker is damaged or broken
A circuit can be shorted when two electrical wires come into contact with one another. If you have a fuse box, this will cause a fuse to blow.
The best way to troubleshoot a short circuit is to think about what you were doing immediately before the breaker flipped. For example, if you had just plugged something in or turned something on, that appliance is the likely cause of your short circuit.
If you frequently flip a breaker whenever you turn on your vacuum, for example, try flipping the breaker back on once the vacuum is unplugged. If this fixes your problem, then you should most likely replace your vacuum.
If there is no apparent appliance causing your short, however, you should take the time to call your local electrician so that they can figure out what is causing your electrical issues.
Excessive amounts of electricity flowing through a circuit can cause a circuit to become overloaded. As a result, the corresponding circuit breaker will flip off, ceasing all flow of electricity to that circuit. Fixing this problem is simple. You need to lower the demand on that circuit by unplugging some of the devices that are plugged into it. If you need to have these devices plugged in often, you may consider having an electrician add another circuit to help handle the extra load.
Damaged or Broken Circuit Breaker
In some cases, your circuit breaker may simply be old or worn down and need to be replaced. Although an experienced homeowner may be able to do this themselves, you should consult with a qualified electrician.