Circuit Breakers – All About Circuit Breakers
Circuit Breakers – All About Circuit Breakers
What is a Circuit Breaker?
Circuit Breakers are an electrical switch that is designed to automatically switch-off in case of an electrical fault. Electrical Fault’s can be caused for many reasons including an overload on the circuit or a short located on the circuit somewhere. It’s basic function is to detect a fault and interrupt the flow of current. Unlike a fuse which operates once and then once it blows it must be replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset and switched back on to resume normal operation. If your circuit breaker continually trips (switch’s off) after you switch it on, please consult your local sunshine coast electricians, Circuit Alert Electrical via our Contact Page or give us a call on 0466 507 029.
Where are Circuit Breakers located?
Circuit Breakers are found in your homes power box/meter box/distribution board/switch board either located outside your home in indoors, if indoors usually located in the garage or basement. These can vary in size though most residential homes will have a similar sized enclosure over there distribution board for added security.
What Causes a Circuit Breaker to trip?
While there are many reasons for circuit breakers to trip, the two main factors is either the circuit has been overloaded which means there are too many appliances drawing too much power from the one circuit. The second is when there is a short circuit which can be caused by broken wires, split wires, incorrect wiring or when the protective shielding which covers electrical wires either melts away or is pinched causing two wires to touch each other. You can go through a process of elimination to find which cause is causing the fault by following the instructions below.
- Ensure the affected circuit breaker is in the off position
- Unplug all appliances on that particular circuit
- Switch the circuit breaker back on
(If it trips automatically again straight away, consult Circuit Alert Electrical immediately as there could be a potentially fatal issue regarding your homes internal wiring)
**If your circuit breaker stays in the “ON” Position, move to step 4.
- If your circuit breaker stayed in the “ON” Position your issue could be related to either a faulty appliance, or an overloaded circuit
(Generally, its an overloaded circuit)
**To test your appliances for short circuits, you can do this with either an electrical multi-meter or you can unplug everything from one circuit and plug each one in separately.
If your circuit breaker trips you may have a faulty appliance, seize use of the appliance and consult Circuit Alert Electrical who can Test & Tag your appliances for electrical safety.
Common Appliances that cause Circuit Breakers to trip?
Heaters, air-conditioning units, dish washers, coffee makers, microwaves, toasters and vacuum cleaners are all usual suspects of circuit breaker trips due to an overload of current. Be careful when using any damaged or old appliances as they consume more electricity than newer items and can overload your circuit. Damaged Appliances should never be used as they are unsafe regardless.
What can i do to keep my circuit breakers from tripping?
- Maintain your appliances properly and take care of them. Most appliances do have a shelf life so be weary of this, its not good practice to pass a microwave down the family line from generation to generation, Dont do this.
- You should avoid using more than one large appliance in one power outlet to avoid overloading your circuit. Fridges, freezers, air conditioners, heaters, washing machines & clothes dryer’s should all have dedicated power outlets.
- Check the condition of your electrical cords in your home. Damaged cords can cause short circuits. Dont jam extensions leads in doorways or under furniture, this can pinch the protective coating inside the cord causing short circuits.
- Dont plug extension leads into power boards and into more extension leads, this is asking for trouble. The safest outcome is you overload your circuit breaker, the worst outcome is the extension cables have way too much current going through them and they heat up causing house fires. Don’t Do This. It’s bad practice and highly unsafe. Call Circuit Alert Electrical on 0466 507 029 and get dedicated power outlets installed where you need them.
If you have a circuit breaker that continually trips, find the cause of the problem. NEVER replace your 10Amp Circuit Breakers with 15Amp Breakers. For all you know your internal wiring could be rated at 10Amps in which case your wiring will heat up and start a fire before your circuit breaker even thinks about tripping.
Always consult your a Qualified electrician to repair faulty Circuit Breakers.
This post was brought to you by your local Sunshine Coast Electricians, Circuit Alert Electrical. For all your electrical needs.