My circuit beaker keeps tripping on my dishwasher, garbage disposal, and light above sink. I changed the breaker and light switches and it still won't turn on help?
By Ann from Greenville, SC
You should really buy a continuity tester.Just a starting point.
1. Make sure power is off at each item with a volt meter before working on them.
2. Disconnect each appliance completely from the circuit.
3. Then check first for continuity from the black wire to the green wire/frame of the appliance. If you have continuity to ground from the black of an appliance that's your puppy.
If you don't no how to use a tester, I would say this job is not for you and you should call a pro.
I rent a 3 bedroom house with, all together, 7 rooms. When I'm using the AC in one room I can't used it a other room. If I use it, I lose power for the whole house. When I check the breaker panel, there are 6-7 breaker switches in there, but only 1 breaker switch keeps on switching off the whole house. Does that mean the whole house is wired to the 1 switch, is that safe?
Although this is the landlord's responsibility, you are the one living in the house. Call the landlord, and insist that he call an electrician. If he doesn't get one there in a day or two, get one in yourself. Document all this, so that if there is work that needs to be done, and your landlord doesn't get it done, and you end up paying for it, you will have documents to prove all this, and you may be able to get reimbursed from small claims court or a provincial or state housing regulator - whatever may be in place wherever you live. Of course, if moving is an option, you may want to just move, but that may not be something that you can do on the spur of the moment.
An air conditioner uses a lot of power, but one breaker shouldn't shut off all the power in a house, unless it is a main breaker. I used to have such a thing -- a switch that shut off all the power in my house trailer. However, it is hard to know what you have in your house. It sounds like a job for an electrician, asap.
We have a 15 amp breaker that keeps tripping. This is something that just started happening. This is what feeds off that breaker: livingroom lights, 2 TVs, kitchen lights, fridge, washer, dryer, master bedroom, guest bathroom, laundryroom lights, all porch lights, and a new gas heater with an electronic ignition and fan. This is a 1977 doublewide mobile home. What could suddenly cause this to happen and is it dangerous?
By Kim from Silver Springs, NV
1) the circuit breaker has gone bad (they do that)
2) you have way, way too much on that breaker!
I would bet that the breaker trips when the heater comes on. The heater should be on its own breaker. I agree with everyone else, call the electrician now!
You bet your bippy that's dangerous! Unplug everything and get an electrician out there today to help you sort out what is overloading that particular breaker. My guess is that whomever installed the new gas heater didn't 'add' a new breaker for it exclusively.
I have a 7.5 Kw motor started by a control circuit with breaker. The breaker is tripping while I stop the motor. What is the cause for this?
There's an electrical problem of some sort that could be dangerous, that's why the breaker is tripping. Have the motor checked soon.
My breaker keeps tripping. My air conditioner is on a 15 amp circuit and it goes out every 6-19 minutes, and then I will have to reset. It also takes out the living room, kitchen, and bathroom lights. This is in a one bedroom apartment. I have unplugged everything in the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen except for the fridge, but it still goes out. What to do?
Actually contact your apartment manager and he should have maintenance check it out for you. Unless you own the apartment, instead of renting it is his responsibility.
I have girls and they keep tripping the 20 amp breaker. I made sure there is 12 gauge wire and there are only two receptacles on this circuit. But when the girls plug in both hair dryers and curling irons it blows the breaker. Will I have to run a dedicated line for each receptacle?
A hairdryer is nominally rated 1500watts; according to the NEC, the breaker has to be rated at least 80% greater than the load. Hence, 1500w divided by 120vac = 12.5 amps x 125% = 15.63 Amps (minimum rating for the circuit breaker) Now if you have TWO hairdryers (12.5A x 2 = 25 Amps) on the one 20A circuit breaker, you'll trip every time. If you don't, then you really have problems.
You could run #10 Romex and change out to a 30A circuit breaker but that will put the breaker at maximum capacity. It may make more sense to leave the #12awg, change the circuit breaker to a 25amp rating and run an identical separate circuit of the same. Otherwise you will keep having issues.
One circuit breaker is for the pool filter, it was working fine and now it keeps tripping. I unplugged the filter and it is still tripping?
What is wrong with it?
By Karen C.
Although breakers can go bad, it isn't very common. Chances are good that there is something else on the circuit that you don't know about that is causing the problem. Look for something else that isn't working when the breaker is tripped, check receptacles with a good lamp to see if you can find ones that don't work.
The breaker to our living room and patio has tripped twice at night. Once my husband just flipped it back on and it was fine. The next night it happened again and will not flip back on. The things on the breaker are just standard things (TV, 2 lamps, an overhead light and fan, as well as, the overhead lights and fans on patio).
We can't figure out why it won't flip back on or why it is tripping at night when everything is off. Any ideas? Oh, and this is a new construction home. We have been in it 1 1/2 years.
Usually you will find it on the outside part of the things you mentioned. A bug or spider in the fixture. Turn the breaker off and clean all the fixtures outside including the plug ins. Moisture sometimes causes the wires to corrode, usually something simple like that if it hasn't been doing it before. I do my own and there is no risk as long as the breaker is off.
I just moved into a brand new apartment, we are the first tenants to live here. In my bedroom I have a 47 inch TV, Xbox, surround sound system, alarm clock, cable box, laptop, desktop computer, and monitor (for the desktop), a total of 8 things plugged in.
My 20 amp breaker would pop all the time, so I unplugged everything except my Xbox, cable box, TV, and my surround sound. It still tripped the breaker. So I thought it might be the surge protector I have so I got another one and it still tripped. Now I have used two surge protectors and two separate outlets and it still trips all the time.
I currently have only three things plugged into two different surge protectors on two different outlets and it pops a lot less often, but I shouldn't have to do this. The breaker should easily be able to handle everything. I had an electrician come and check it out and they said everything was fine and it was probably something I had plugged in, but with my Xbox, TV, and surround it doesn't trip. If I add anything else no matter what, alarm clock, laptop charger, anything it trips. It's really getting old. Any suggestions? The breaker only runs the outlets, nothing else, no lights or anything.
By Tyler H.
In order to decide how big of an electrical service is needed in your home, one has to do a little math homework. Calculating how much power both you and your electrical appliances use is necessary to calculate this number. I'm often asked how to figure this load. It really is pretty simple if you know what to look for and how to add up the loads.
The first thing to know is that circuits should only be loaded at 80% of the total circuit load. To help you understand the concept, if you have a 15-amp circuit, the safe operating amperage would be no greater than 12 amps. The total wattage would be 1,800 watts, meaning the safe wattage usage would be 1,440 watts.
If you have a 20-amp circuit, the safe operating amperage would be no greater than 16 amps. The total wattage would be 2,400 watts, meaning the safe wattage usage would be 1,920 watts.
On a 30-amp circuit, the safe operating amperage would be no greater than 24 amps. The total wattage would be 3,600 watts, meaning the safe wattage usage would be 2,880 watts.
To determine the wattage, you take the voltage times the amperage. Check the tags on all of your appliances for the required amperage rating. Add all of the lighting load by adding the total wattage of the light bulbs in your home. Look at the light bulbs and read the wattage that is printed on them.
Your home will likely also have 240-volt appliances like water heaters, air conditioners, electric dryers and electric ranges. These too will have an amperage rating label and the wattage can be calculated. The voltage, 240 volts, times the amperage, say 30 amps, will equal the wattage requirements.
My trailer house has a breaker box in my trailer for different parts of my trailer, but it keeps tripping the breaker box on the outside pole that my trailer is plugged into. If I have the dryer and AC on it trips. If I have the microwave and washer on it trips and I have to go outside to reset the switch. Help.
By tootiel from Menominee, MI
Those appliances are pulling to much power. You or the owner of the trailer park need an electrician to up the ampage to the outside pole or to the house.
I just moved into a 1950s house. All the electric seemed to be working fine until carpet was installed yesterday. The circuit breaker flipped and flips again immediately after each attempt to turn it back on. There is no power being drawn on the circuit. It is only feeding overhead lights and outlets with nothing plugged in.
If this started after carpet was installed, I'd say somewhere a wire got nicked. It is time to have an electrician come check it out. I am speaking as a fire fighter here, who has heard similar stories that later resulted in a fire
I live in senior housing, 55 and older. I have an assigned post for my vehicle. When I plug it in the breaker trips. So I move to another plugin and that works for a couple days, then when I plug in again it pops the breaker again. Maintenance keeps telling me it's my car, but if I go to a friend's and plug in there are no problems. I just have problems at the senior housing. Why does this happen?
Your car shouldn't be tripping the breaker at your home if it's not tripping the breakers elsewhere. Do any of your neighbours have the same problem?
The maintenance guy could be dangerously wrong; I say dangerously because the electrical problem needs to be looked at and resolved before it causes a fire.
The draw from your car (and anyone else') is overloading a circuit not up to the work of recharging your vehicle. But if you are plugging into a circuit that is assigned to the purpose of recharging your vehicle, the complex is responsible for maintaining that outlet in a safe and satisfactory condition to accomplish the recharging. For the maintenance guy to say it's your vehicle sounds as though he doesn't want to be bothered.
You should check your agreement to see if you have any recourse to the services of a licensed electrician to check the electrical system you are plugging into, and to whom you can lodge a request for further investigation of the electrical system. Be sure that your vehicle is checked by the dealer or a licensed mechanic certified to work on your model to be sure it really isn't your car, first:)
I have a 5 bedroom house. I wanted to put a treadmill in one of the rooms, but everytime I plug it into one of the outlets in that room I lose power in that room plus a couple other rooms and have to pay a visit to the fuse box.
This happens with the treadmill and also a steamer that I purchased to steam my clothing. I have a TV and a cable box plugged into an outlet in that room, but those don't cause the outage.
By Blake B
You're overloading the circuit to that outlet. Check the wattage and amps of the item you're trying to use against the rating for that circuit (should be listed in your circuit box). Overloading circuits can cause a fire, placing you and yours in extreme danger, and possibly huge replacement costs out of your pocket-if the insurance company decides you overloaded your circuits they won't pay out in case of fire.
You may need to 'map' your circuits, it's not hard to do and helps you understand how much of a load your box can take. Learn how from this link, then read on that site for more home electrical information:
Please update this after you've sorted your problem.
We have a 3 bedroom house and my son's family started living with us. Before this we were only using 1 bedroom. Now there is a 110 volt window unit in every room, AT&T U-verse TV in every room, plus naturally the lights. The breaker started tripping (15 amp) so we bought a new one. The new one is tripping now. Help! What to do? Can we go up to a 20 amp breaker?
Do not put in a 20 amp breaker. Breakers are sized to protect the size of wire in a circuit. In general 15 amp breakers are used to protect 14 gauge wire, 20 amp 12 gauge. You most likely have 14 gauge wire and over sizing the breaker is dangerous and can lead to short circuits and fire. The answer is to use fewer appliances, especially a/c units or have more circuits put in, maybe even a dedicated line for each a/c unit.
I live overseas, and have a 220V circuit. Yesterday, when I came home and turned on the light at the bottom of the semi-outdoor stairwell, the main circuit breaker shut off. I turned it back on and it was fine and I shut the light off from the switch at the top.
I purchased the home I'm now in three years ago. One bedroom is tripping a circuit breaker (Arc Fault) in a deteriorating fashion where within a 24 hour period it is now unable to maintain service. Anything plugged in and turned on causes a fault; including fans, lights or a clock-radio. So far the only thing that does not cause a fault is the small LED circuit tester. I changed circuit breakers, but no joy. If a screw on an outlet were to become magnetized, could this be a source of the problem? Any ideas? No nails have been used on the walls recently.
Bill from San Antonio, TX
First thing is to make sure your not overloading the breaker. Do not put more than 12Amps on a 15Amp breaker or 80%. They are only rated for continuous duty at 80% unless you have 100% rated commercial breakers.
Next you need to remove the receptacle and inspect the wiring. The receptacle screws could be shorting against the box, or the insulation could be damaged from a poor installation and it's shorting. Make sure the wires are properly tucked in the box without the ground wire coming up and hitting the receptacle screws causing a short. Also make sure the strap holding the cable isn't too tight. This also would cause nuisance tripping. It's only meant to hold the wire from being ripped out during construction. Do not clamp down on the wire. The receptacle and ground wire in the box will hold the wire in place. Most beginners assume you need to clamp it down good so it doesn't move. This is false, just enough to hold it in place so it's not all loose, nothing more.
If it still trips, replace the breaker. Some arc faults, GFCIs, or regular breakers can be faulty and always trip regardless of the circuit being good or bad. If after replacing the breaker it still trips assume that your wiring is damaged and shorting. Use a multimeter and ohm or continuity tester to check if your cables are shorted in the wall. If so it's time for some destruction and replacing of the wires. You could check the wires for a short before replacing the breaker to avoid the trouble and cost of the breaker. This is guaranteed to solve your problem. It cannot be anything else. If it still trips then your plugging something faulty in that keeps tripping the breaker. (01/09/2008)
I have a 15 amp Federal Pacific Stab-Lok circuit breaker that keeps tripping. In the house the lights flicker every once in a while. On the circuit I have mainly lights and an old GE upright freezer. When it does trip and when I switch it back sometimes I hear a spark like noise which eventually goes away.
I suspect the obvious which is probably the load my freezer requires and maybe the circuit breaker. Any ideas? Also, on this circuit the breaker is a 15 Amp and the wiring is at least 10/2 or 12/2. Would it be acceptable to replace the 15 Amp circuity breaker with a 20 Amp circuit breaker? Without even looking I'm assuming that the outlets are probably 15 Amp. The house I live in was built in 1969.
Gregory from Seattle, WA
To prove you have too much load on that circuit, turn every thing off that is wired to that breaker. Then turn on each receptacle with the freezer being the last item to be turned on. (02/24/2009)
By Leo the repair guy
By Red Neck
My circuit breaker keeps tripping without a load on it. I have a pool cover, a light, and sprinkler timer on the circuit. None of them run at the same time. Even if they do they still will not trip the circuit breaker. When you leave everything off it still trips the breaker, without anything on.
By twmackey from Spokane, WA
By Paula Jo C.
I have a 20 amp breaker with red test button. The only thing running off it is a microwave. The breaker has never tripped till about 2 weeks ago. Can the breaker just be worn out and if so would it just trip any time you put some power to it? Thanks.
By thurst from Champaign, IL
A breaker with a red test button is a GFI breaker. It trips not just when it's rating (20 A) is exceeded, but also when there is 40 Milli-Amp of current creeping to ground. That is 0.040 Amp. A baby will get very noisy, but not injured by 50 Milli-Amp. That is why GFIs are required for outdoor outlets and other areas where kids might play unsupervised.
If a brand new 15 Amp GFI breaker trips the same way as the illegal 20 Amp GFI breaker did, then you have current creeping to ground somewhere. If your home has metal siding, it would be a very good idea to get that checked out by an electrician immediately. Even though the GFI will prevent death by electrocution, somebody can get a very nasty shock. And, a creeping short to ground can easily set the place on fire. If the creeping short is in the microwave, touching it and the stove or sink at the same time can get you dancing like a magician quite instantly. Best get it checked out as soon as possible. Have fun. (06/22/2009)
My 15 amp circuit breaker keeps tripping. The only things that it operates are the garage door opener and the garage lights. I unplugged the garage door opener and turned off light and flipped back on, but it still trips.
When it does trip I can see an electric current or spark in the wire where it goes through the panel and out the bottom of the fuse box. Never any problems before, do you have any ideas? Thanks.
By Madcalf from Indianapolis, IN
As a member of this website, we want to save money, but do so wisely. Paying for an electrician to do the job correctly may be a little costly up front, but it may save us money in the long run by not having our home burn down because of faulty wiring. It may not cost as much as you think to call in a pro. Nockmoi (07/31/2009)
I have a 15 amp breaker that started tripping last night. I unplugged everything on that circuit and it still trips.
I have a breaker that is tripping every couple of days. It services 6 outlets on our family room.
I know I need to get an electrician, but think I need to isolate the problems a little first. Being a complete novice I hope someone out there can help.
I have a circuit breaker that just started tripping. My fridge was plugged into an outlet serviced by this breaker. I am wondering if the fridge may be the problem? Do I need an electrician?
The power went out in my bedroom. I checked the fuse box and breaker (arc fault breaker type braf 20) was tripped. It seems like the breaker was just sitting between on and off.
I would like to know why our circuit trips a lot. Is it because there is too much load on it?
My circuit breaker keeps tripping about every 30 minutes. It's never done it before; why is this?
My breaker trips, I replaced breaker and it worked for 5 days. The breaker trips now without being able to reset it, with all outlets unplugged and switches off.