All seems well until suddenly; all your power goes out. You may have tripped a circuit breaker. A homeowner’s stress levels can skyrocket if they have electrical problems. It’s unclear what is wrong, but suddenly, you cannot access the power in your home.
What is the cause of my Circuit Breaker trip? A circuit connected to your circuit breaker exceeds its safe parameters. These can be identified as a sudden loss in power to specific appliances (those that use a dedicated circuit like a refrigerator or microwave) or a loss restricted to a particular area of your home.
1) Circuit overloading: This is the most common reason why a breaker trip occurs. This means that you may have too many items on your breaker. The manufacturer sets the safe limit of power a breaker can supply to your appliances or home. The breaker will trip if this limit is exceeded. This happens most frequently when you attempt to install a machine in an area where the electrical system is incapable of supporting it or if you plug a high-powered appliance such as a space heater into a room without safe amperage.
2) Short-Circuiting When a hot or active wire meets another hot wire (for instance, a 120 hot touching another 120 hot). This is when you’ll see or smell blackening around your outlet. It will not interact with an outlet if there is a short circuit. Don’t leave the breaker untripped and contact an electrician immediately.
3) Ground fault A fault occurs when you try to “ground” your wires. It is very similar to a short-circuit, if not identical. The difference lies in the interaction. Ground faults occur when hot wire contacts your grounding wire, and the outlet’s safe “grounding” becomes unsafe and dangerous. This needs to be handled in the same manner as a short circuit. Call an expert.
4) Appliance Failure A damaged, faulty or incompatible appliance that draws more power than it should cause overloading. It’s a good idea for all machines to get checked when a breaker trips. If they are heating up more than usual, it may not be the outlet or the breaker that is the problem but a particular appliance.
5) Lightning strikes nearby electric cables or your home. This can either kill all your breakers or affect a few. The problem usually can resolve itself within a few hours, but it’s worth calling in electrical help if power is lost.