Have your circuit breakers been tripping lately? Notice a burning smell when running an appliance? Luckily, many circuit breaker problems have symptoms that will alert you to danger. Left unchecked, circuit problems can quickly lead to house fires and personal injuries.
If you suspect your home has circuit breaker problems, make sure you know the signs and risks. Your local electrician can diagnose the problem and offer a solution so you can get back to feeling safe in your home.most common circuit breaker issues:
Most Common Circuit Breaker Problems:
Bad wiring can cause circuit breaker problems ranging from flickering lights to complete system shutdowns. Miswiring also puts you at risk of shock while using appliances.
Examples of mis-wiring:
- loose wires
- wires that do not connect to anything
- wires with sloppy connections
- flickering lights
- flipping circuit breakers does not turn off power
The fix: If you have experience with electrical wiring and you see a visible issue, you can try to repair it yourself. However, the safest bet is to call a local electrician. If you see one issue, you likely have other circuit breaker problems. A professional can run tests and do a thorough inspection, then fix everything at once.
If your system cannot handle the demands of your home, you risk overloading the circuits. This is one of the more dangerous circuit breaker problems because overloading can abruptly lead to a home fire or serious injury.
Signs of overloaded circuits:
- frequently tripped breakers
- hot to the touch: breakers, panel, or outlets
- you need plenty of power strips and extension cords
- your home was built decades ago
The fix: Replace damaged breakers, panel boxes, wiring and other parts ASAP. A new electrical system with higher capacity may be advised. Additional outlets can also help ease the burden, especially in older homes built with fewer outlets. An experienced electrician can help decide the best course of action for overloaded circuit breaker problems.
When a hot wire makes contact with a neutral wire, the electrical charge bypasses its normal route and creates a dangerous flow of high current. That’s what we call a short circuit. It leads to melted and burned wires and appliance cords. These circuit breaker problems can also cause damage to your electronics and appliances.
Signs of a short circuit:
- frequently tripped breakers
- damaged circuit breakers
The fix: For safety, turn off and unplug your devices that run on the short circuit. Then the root cause of the short need to be identified and fixed, which can include bad wiring, sockets and more.
Many kinds of circuit breaker problems can result in an annoying humming or buzzing noise from the panel. Consider the buzzing noise to be a blessing in disguise, because it’s alerting you to a wiring problem or overload that will likely due more harm down the road.
The fix: Call your electrician right away, especially if the noise is accompanied by overheating at the breaker panel.
If you observe any of these problems, don’t delay in calling Spyrka Electric, Marin County’s trusted residential electrician for help.