Circuit Breakers: What to Do When It’s Tripped

circuit breakers


You may not realize it, but circuit breakers are an essential part of making sure your home is up to modern-day safety standards and practices. A circuit breaker cuts power when electrical wiring in a building has too much current flowing through it until someone can resolve the issue.


Without circuit breakers, electricity in your home would pose dangers such as potential fires and more due to wiring and equipment issues.


Let’s say you’re enjoying a nice evening at home, and suddenly the lights go out in an area of your home. Your immediate response should be to check your circuit breaker. Do you see one breaker switched in the opposite direction of the others? You’ve tripped your circuit breaker. Here’s what you should do next:

  • Determine The Cause – Most tripped circuit breakers happen because of one of these:
    • A set of appliances are simultaneously drawing more power than one circuit can handle (circuit overload)
    • A hot wire touched a neutral wire causing overheating (short circuit)
    • A hot wire crossed a ground wire or grounded junction box (ground fault)
    • A faulty appliance short-circuited  and overheated your home’s circuit
  • Locate The Source – Consider what you were doing when the breaker was tripped. This can help you locate the source and determine next steps. A/C and furnaces can also overload so if you cannot trace the source back to an appliance, consider these as well. Scorch marks, sparking outlets, and burning odors are also signs to look for when trying to locate the source.
  • Upgrade Your Circuits – Give us a call to help you take the next steps or to have your system evaluated!