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Covenant Heating and Cooling Blog

Why Are My Circuits Constantly Tripping?


It can be so frustrating: you try to turn something on and it acts like it has no power even though it’s plugged in. Or you’re trying to vacuum when suddenly the vacuum cleaner dies. You have to go to the electrical panel and reset the circuit breaker… again. How often has this been happening?

It’s normal for a circuit to be tripped on occasion. But when it happens a lot, you shouldn’t ignore it. Constantly tripping circuits can be an indicator of a variety of electrical problems. What could be going on? We’ll explain all about it.

How Your Electrical Panel Works

Just as a major highway wouldn’t allow traffic to flow if everyone was trying to drive in the same lane, your home’s electricity wouldn’t flow without separate circuits. Keeping things separate means power can be allotted to different parts of the home. 

Ideally, this means everything will have power. But when a problem occurs, the circuit for that part of the home will be tripped. This is a safety mechanism and can prevent electrical fires. But what would cause it to happen over and over again?

An Overloaded Circuit

If this consistently happens to the same circuit, cutting power to the same part of the house, try putting less demand on that circuit. Move appliances to other areas if you can. Turn other things off before starting up the vacuum. 

You can try unplugging everything and then plugging in and starting up appliances one at a time to see how many the circuit can handle. If the circuit trips, unplug everything, reset it, and try again in a different order in case a particular appliance is the true culprit..

A Short in an Appliance

If there’s just one appliance that causes this issue whenever you try to use it, it may have a short. This is an issue caused by two electrical wires coming into contact with each other although they should be kept separate. In this case, what you need is appliance repair or, if the appliance in question is an avocado-green blender from the 1970s, perhaps just appliance replacement.

A Ground Fault

If electricity leaves the circuit and goes to the ground, the circuit breaker will trip. This is most likely to happen because of water getting into the circuit somewhere, such as an outlet. If this is the problem, you may need to replace regular outlets with GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets, which are always recommended for places like the kitchen and bathroom where water is a bigger concern.

An Outdated Electrical Panel

In some cases, the electrical panel itself simply needs to be replaced. If it has been decades since this has been done, if the energy needs of your home and family are much greater than they were when the panel was installed, or if multiple circuits throughout the home trip regularly, replacement is in order. 

If the panel has a burning smell, crackling sound, or visible scorch marks, you need an electrician immediately. In this case, don’t keep trying to reset the circuit breakers.

When you need an electrician for your electrical panel in Nashville, TN, we’ve got you covered.

Covenant Heating and Cooling is your trusted resource for generator installation, maintenance, and repair in Nashville, TN. We are “Dedicated to the Promise of Serving You!” Contact us today.

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