According to statistics, over 51,000 electrical fires occur in U.S. homes annually, leading to more than 1400 injuries, 500 deaths, and property damage. One of the causes of electrical fires at home is bad breakers. A circuit breaker plays a crucial role in safeguarding your electrical circuit from damage in case of a short circuit or overload. However, just like any other device, It can malfunction.

In this blog, you’ll learn about some of the common signs to look out for a faulty circuit breaker. Knowing how to identify a bad breaker in your home helps you take the necessary steps to have it replaced or fixed.

Old Age

This applies to both the age of the house and the breaker. Based on a recent study, one-third of homes in the United States are at least 50 years old, and the frequency of fires in these old homes is pretty high. The electrical systems and components in most of these antiquated homes are outdated and considered not safe and are fire hazards.

Also, just like any other device, circuit breakers get worn out. Although they are designed to serve for many years, sometimes they can get damaged before that. If your breaker is worn out, you should consider replacing or upgrading it.

Burning Smell

Something is wrong if you have recently smelled a burning odor from your electrical panel. The insulations and wire overheat when the breaker malfunctions, leading to a burning smell. If you experience this smell, shut down the power in your home immediately and contact an electrician. If ignored, this can eventually cause a fire in your home.

Breaker Trips Frequently

Sometimes breakers trip due to circuit overload, short circuits, arc faults, or ground fault surges. If you notice the breaker shuts down when you turn on a switch in a particular area in your home, your breaker may be the problem, or your house needs an additional circuit. It is wise you call an electrician to the root of the problem and fix it.

Hot Touch

Sometimes insulations and wires in your home overheat because the breaker is faulty, causing a burning smell and making the breakers in your home hot. If upon touching your breaker, it’s hot, immediately contact an electrician for emergency services.

Power Surge

Massive spikes cause power surges in your home electrical system’s current. These power surges only last for seconds but can cause enormous damage to your plugged-in electrical appliances and outlets.

If you’ve experienced power surges of late, there is a high possibility your breakers may have been damaged. You should hire an electrician in Charleston, SC, to check if they are still good. The technician can also install electrical suppressors to limit damage to your appliances when power surges occur.

Flickering Lights

If you have experienced rapid and repeated changes in the brightness of the light in your house, your circuit breaker may be faulty. Flickering lights are a sign of bad breakers. Also, flickering lights can be caused by wiring at the switch or loose bulbs. It would be best if you have the lights checked out by an electrician.

Visible Damages to the Box or Outlets

Have you noticed any scorch marks outside your circuit or appliances? If yes, shut the power entirely and contact an electrician for emergency services. A lousy breaker overheating can leave visible marks on the breaker and panel. If not taken care of immediately, it can lead to fire since your electrical wire may have melted.

Regular Bulb Replacement

Have you been replacing the bulbs in your homes frequently? If that’s the case, there is a high possibility they are burning out. Bulbs are built to serve approximately a thousand hours. High home voltage, loose connections, short circuits, or excessive vibrations are the primary reasons your bulb may burn out fast. But sometimes, it could be a bad breaker.

Reduced Performance

Occasionally, faulty electrical breakers can cause issues with your other home appliances. For instance, homeowners in Charleston, SC, with washing machines may have experienced their device turning off automatically in the middle of a cycle while doing laundry.

Although several other reasons could cause this, you should not rule out bad breakers. If only one appliance in your home has the issue, then the problem could be the appliance itself, but if several machines are affected, you should have an electrician check the source of the problem.

Breaker Doesn’t Remain Reset

If you do not find any faulty appliances in your home and your breaker doesn’t remain reset, the circuit breaker could have failed. A pro can help you replace the breaker in a case like this.

Overloaded Circuits

If you constantly overload your breaker, it can be damaged. Not every breaker is used for heavy loads. There are different kinds of breakers built for varying levels of current loads. Various appliances use different current loads; therefore, you should ensure the devices uploaded on your breaker to see if everyone is connected to their correct load. If not, there is a high possibility your breaker could be faulty.

Short Circuits

A short circuit occurs when the electrical current in the electric circuit flows through a shorter pathway instead of the intended circuit. When this happens, the breaker protects the electric wiring and equipment by tripping. But in performing its job, the breaker may get damaged. The good news is that an electrician in Charleston, SC, may provide a solution for a bad breaker after checking it out.

Schedule an Appointment With Us Today!

Contact us at Mister Sparky of Charleston if you have seen any of the above signs with your home circuit breakers.

We are an electrical company with a team of professional and licensed electricians who offer reliable circuit breaker repair services. We also provide electrical inspections, GFCI outlets, surge protection, outdoor lighting, generator installation, and emergency electrical services. Get in touch with Mister Sparky of Charleston today!

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