Most people only notice circuit breaker problems when they affect day-to-day life. You turn on the microwave, and the kitchen lights go dark. A particular circuit breaker trips all the time, and you keep resetting it because nothing else seems to be wrong.
Everything needs to be wired correctly at the breaker panel for your home electrical system to work safely. Get electrical repairs for circuit breaker problems immediately, and you might just prevent a house fire or damage to your high-dollar appliances!
Troubleshooting Circuit Breaker Problems
Breaker Feels Loose or Doesn’t Click
When resetting a breaker, you should feel and hear a solid click when flipping it into the off position and again back into the on position. If the breaker just flips back and forth easily and you can neither hear or nor feel anything click, the breaker itself should probably be replaced.
Can’t Tell Which Breaker Does What
Circuit breaker problems are very difficult to diagnose and fix if your panel isn’t labeled accurately or has jumbled wires. If your breaker panel looks like it’s been fixed by a dozen different amateurs and electricians, get an electrical inspection.
An electrician will check the wire sizes and types of breakers and get things clean and organized. This helps catch circuit breaker problems before a fire or shock injury occurs while also making repairs and alterations simpler and safer.
Breaker Trips for No Reason
One of the most common circuit breaker problems, you may feel that your breaker trips when running an ordinary electrical load (say, some overhead lights and a small appliance). Assume the breaker is doing its job, and don’t keep flipping it back on!
Although it’s possible to have circuit breaker problems at the breaker itself, the culprit might also be:
- Frayed wires
- Short circuit
- Wrong size wires for the breaker
- Wrong size breaker for the appliances it serves
- Double tapped or double lugged breakers with two circuits attached
- Improperly spliced wires somewhere down the line
- Previous owner made bad DIY electrical repairs
Sparks, Shocks, Crackle and Pop
Stand near your electrical panel and listen for hissing or buzzing. You can probably ignore a faint hum, but anything louder can indicate faulty wires or circuit breaker problems.
Look for signs of arcing or sparking at the panel or near any outlets and switches in the home that have been behaving poorly. These include hot wall outlets, a smell of burnt metal, or scorched or melted outlets and breakers. Look for rust on the circuit breaker panel, too.
Don’t worry too much, because you probably do not need to rewire the whole house. However, don’t just replace a damaged breaker yourself. An electrician should look at the extent of the circuit breaker problems; if the breaker got burned, the wires could be damaged too.
Fixing Circuit Breaker Problems
While these tips can help you know what to expect, only a licensed electrician who has seen your breaker panel can accurately diagnose circuit breaker problems.
Our Sebastopol electricians find the underlying factors like old aluminum wiring or undersized wire gages.
Contact us for circuit breaker repairs in Marin County or Sonoma County to make sure your home or office has safe and reliable power.