Electric Repair: How to Reset Tripped Circuit Breakers

What Causes A Tripped Circuit Breakers In Murrieta Homes?

Electric Repair: How to Reset Tripped Circuit BreakersLocating tripped circuit breakers is relatively easy – Homeowners can simply look at each of the breaker handles and if there is one that is not in line with the rest, it is most likely the reason that a plug is not working. Tripped circuit breakers are quite common, and most of us have to deal with them at some point or another. Tripped circuit breakers are sometimes difficult to locate, as they do not go to the full off position, but to a mid position.

Tripped circuit breakers are usually caused by a temporary circuit overload or a short circuit in a device that is plugged into the circuit. In many cases, a tripped circuit breakers are caused by a simple overload of the circuits, when you plug too many lights or appliances into a single outlet. Increased electrical load buzzing sounds, overheated plugs, flickering lights, sparks from plugs, and tripped circuit breakers are all signs of overloading.A common reason for tripped circuit breakers is overloaded circuits and frequently tripped circuit breakers is the greatest sign that your home might need an electrical upgrade.

Why Does My Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping?

Going outside to mess with your tripped circuit breaker over and over gets annoying after awhile. A circuit breaker “trips” or shuts off the electrical flow to protect the circuit from overheating and causing damage–even possibly an electrical fire. So, before you go and flip the switch on again, take a moment to determine what the root cause is of the tripping.

The three typical causes are:

  • Overloaded Circuit
  • Short Circuit
  • Ground Fault

Circuit Overload

The circuit overloading is the most common reason your circuit breaker is tripping. That means you’re running too many heavy power consuming devices at the same time on the same circuit. For example, if you have a 15 amp circuit with 20 amps worth of electricity running through that same circuit because your hair dryer, TV and air conditioner were all on at the same time, then the circuit breaker will trip to prevent overheating.

There are two solutions:

  • Redistribute the power-heavy devices on the overloaded circuit to another general purpose circuit.
  • Turn off some devices on the circuit to reduce the electrical load. Read more here.

Tripped circuit breakers are also not a reliable indicator of the cause, only an indicator that an electrical event has occurred that caused the circuit breaker to trip.

How circuit breaker trip unit works?

In addition to providing a means to open and close its contacts manually, a circuit breaker must automatically open its contacts when an overcurrent condition is sensed. The trip unit is the part of the circuit breaker that determines when the contacts will open automatically. In a thermal-magnetic circuit breaker, the trip unit includes elements designed to sense the heat resulting from an overload condition and the high current resulting from a short circuit. In addition, some thermal magnetic circuit breakers incorporate a “PUSH TO TRIP” button.

Trip Mechanism

The trip unit includes a trip mechanism that is held in place by the tripper bar. As long as the tripper bar holds the trip mechanism, the mechanism remains firmly locked in place. The operating mechanism is held in the “ON” position by the trip mechanism. When a trip is activated, the trip mechanism releases the operating mechanism, which opens the contacts

Manual Trip

Some molded case circuit breakers, especially larger breakers, can be manually tripped by pressing the “PUSH TO TRIP” button on the face of the circuit breaker. When the button is pressed the tripper bar rotates up and to the right. This allows the trip mechanism to “unlock” releasing the operating mechanism. See more here.

While this is partly about convenience, it is mostly about safety; blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers are red flags that something more serious could result if the situation is not dealt with.

How to Reset a Tripped Circuit Breaker

When a circuit breaker turns off or “trips” do you what to do? This tutorial explains how to easily reset a circuit breaker. If it trips again, you need to find out the root cause of the problem because something is overloading your circuit or creating a short circuit.

Go to the Electrical Service Panel
The first step is to go the electrical service panel which is usually located in the basement or garage or in the room with your furnace and hot water heater.

Find the Tripped Breaker
The next step is to identify the tripped circuit breaker.

The tripped breaker will not be fully in the “On” position but rather in the “Off” position or somewhere in between. There are four basic positions the tripped breaker may have.

  1. Center Position: This type of tripped breaker will have its handle in the center of the circuit breaker.
  2. Center Position Flag: Same as above except this type will also have a red flag appearing next to the toggle / handle indicating its tripped position.
  1. Full Off: This type of breaker will have the tripped breaker’s handle fully in the ‘Off” position, not halfway or center. Read full article here.

A Tripped Circuit Breakers Can Be Your Worst Enemy

Because tripped circuit breakers can be a common happening, especially in older homes, it is important to label each circuit in the panel box. Blown fuses, loose wiring and tripped circuit breakers are common culprits when the furnace or air conditioning simply does not start, and a maladjusted anticipator is one of the top reasons for a thermostat repeatedly starting and stopping. Flickering lights, frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers are all signs of an electrical system under strain.

Remember that power outage or tripped circuit breakers can be your worst enemy. We at RJL Contracting Inc. Electrician Murrieta can help you perform an upgrade on your current system if tripped circuit breakers have become a norm in your property. Therefore, for an improved electric power distribution system such as for residences and light commercial applications in which tripped circuit breakers can be reset remotely you may call us here: (951) 805-1262.

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