The electrical system of your Folly Beach, South Carolina, home contains a system of circuits controlled by a circuit breaker. When something goes wrong, your breaker will trip, or shut off, to protect your home from an electrical fire.

Keep reading to learn about three possible reasons your circuit breaker is tripping.

Overloaded Circuit Trips Circuit Breaker

It’s likely that an overloaded circuit is causing your circuit breaker to trip. When a circuit tries to draw a greater electrical load than it’s intended to carry, it trips the breaker. In other words, if you’re using too many appliances, devices, or light fixtures at the same time, your breaker is likely to trip.

If your breaker trips frequently, it probably means you’re making excessive demands on the circuit and need to rearrange some appliances. It could also mean your home doesn’t have enough circuits and that it’s time for a service upgrade.

Short Circuit

Short circuits are another common reason behind breakers tripping, and they’re more dangerous than overloaded circuits. Short circuits occur when a hot wire comes into contact with a neutral wire in one of your electrical outlets. This causes a large amount of electrical current to flow through the circuit, generating more heat than the circuit can handle. In response, your breaker will trip to prevent a fire.

Short circuits will cause your breaker to trip immediately after resetting it and usually cause a burning smell. They’re also likely to leave brown or black discoloration marks around your breaker box.

Ground Fault

A ground fault occurs when a hot wire touches a ground wire or metal wall box. Ground faults are more dangerous than both overloaded and short circuits because they carry a risk of shock. Fortunately, they’re also relatively uncommon.

Circuit breaker tripping is often harmless, but it can sometimes indicate problems within your electrical system. If you’re not sure why your breaker keeps tripping or would like to have your electrical system evaluated, give Mister Sparky® of Charleston a call at (843) 418-0696.