Why is my circuit breaker constantly tripping?

Circuit Breaker

Example of a circuit breaker in a common electrical panel.

You are home and suddenly your circuit breaker trips. You immediately go to the electrical panel to reset the circuit breaker only to have it trip again. You may reset it, go back to the appliance you were using, turn it back on and the breaker then trips again. It is clear that there is a problem and now you need to figure out what is causing the breaker to constantly trip. A circuit breaker is designed to trip in order to turn off power when you have an overloaded circuit, a short circuit or a ground fault.

The most common cause of a tripped circuit breaker is an overloaded circuit. This is when a circuit has more electrical load than it is supposed to have. An example of this could be that you have a TV, hair dryer and small heater connected to the same circuit and all are on at the same time. You may even have them plugged into different outlets. The breaker will trip to prevent the circuit from overheating.

Overloaded Circuit

The most common cause of a tripped circuit breaker is an overloaded circuit.

How to fix the problem

  • If the issue is an overloaded circuit, simply move one of the devices (hair dryer, iron, heater, etc.) to another circuit.
  • You can also just turn off one or more of the devices to reduce the load.

It is possible that if the suggestions above don’t fix your problem, you could have a more serious issue such as a short or ground fault. In the event that this happens, contact MetroPower and have one of our experienced electricians take a look at your problem.