Circuit Breakers: Troubleshooting and What You Should Know

Circuit Breakers: Troubleshooting and What You Should Know

  • December 6, 2016

In a world with growing numbers of household appliances and devices, there’s an unsung hero in every home, quietly doing its job to protect the occupants and their electronics: the humble circuit breaker. The occasionally tripped circuit is no cause for worry, but ongoing troubles with a circuit breaker warrant closer attention. Everyone should know the warning signs of electrical problems.

Resetting a Circuit Breaker

A tripped circuit is easily reset by going the panel and flipping the switch that has moved away from the “on” position. The most common cause is an overload from plugging in too many items. If the breaker flips again, you may need to unplug devices that are pulling too much power through a single circuit. This is a common problem in older homes that weren’t wired for power-hungry electronics.

Identifying a Short Circuit

The circuit breaker can also flip if it detects a dangerous short circuit. You might notice a burned smell or see black marks on an outlet where something is plugged in. Check the device’s cord for exposed wires. If the appliance cord is intact, then you’ll need an electrician to check the home wiring. Do not reset the circuit until you are sure that any wiring issues have been resolved. The circuit breaker has done its job to protect you and your home from a potential electrical fire.

Other Electrical Issues

Flickering power that doesn’t trip the breaker could be a problem with a device or its cord. On the other hand, older homes that have ongoing issues with tripped breakers or flickering lights may require updated wiring or additional breakers. Electrical work should be done by a pro and properly inspected.

In many cases, calling a certified electrician is the best choice for safety and peace of mind. To learn more about the professional services available from Webb’s, visit our electrical services page or call (903) 200-4584.