When your home is giving you electrical issues, you need to address them right away. Electrical problems can be hazardous because they can lead to shorts and cause fires. One indication that there's a serious problem with your home's electrical system is if you are resetting a breaker repeatedly. Here are a few things to consider as you narrow down the source of the issue.
Are You Resetting The Breaker Right?
While it may sound elementary, you do need to be sure that you reset the breaker correctly. Whether you're flipping and resetting the wrong one or you aren't flipping it completely, either issue can cause continued problems. Make sure you push the breaker switch all the way off, then flip it completely back to on.
Is There A Circuit Overloaded?
If you find that the circuit breaker tips and refuses to reset right away, but resets after time, that means that the circuit is overloading and overheating. It resets after it cools down but then trips again shortly after the reset.
In most cases, it means that you have far too many things plugged into the power outlets in your home. It can also be caused by an appliance that's malfunctioning. Consider what's on the circuit that you are struggling with. Unplug everything that's on that circuit. Reset the breaker, then plug things in one by one until it happens again, at which point you can identify the culprit.
Is There A Short Circuit?
If your circuit breaker keeps tripping immediately after reset, that may be the indication of a short circuit in the wiring. This is usually caused by a wire that carries current coming in contact with a neutral one. The flipped breaker is a safety feature that helps to prevent an electrical fire. Since short circuits can cause electrical fires and overheated fixtures, it's important that you address the problem immediately. You'll want to leave that breaker turned off until a residential electrician can look at and repair it.
Is The Breaker Faulty?
If none of these things solve the problem, there is the potential that the breaker itself is faulty. In that case, the only way to solve the problem would be to have an electrician replace the breaker to restore normal function.
While he or she is at it, they can also test the wiring on the circuit to be sure that there are no problems within the wiring causing the breaker to fail; otherwise, you will run into the same exact problem later.
For more information, contact a local electrical company like Central Electric Inc.