Most people don’t think about circuit breakers until the power unexpectedly goes out. It’s worth looking into circuit breaker problems anytime you have electrical issues, though. From flickering lights to unexpected shutdowns, there are many issues that may need to be addressed at the breaker panel or in your home’s wiring.
Circuit Breaker Problems That Need Attention
Breakers Keep Tripping
From toaster ovens to laundry machines, you may notice small or large appliances tend to trip the breaker. Breaker trip to protect the rest of the electrical system from overloading and getting damaged.
First try moving some appliances away from crowded outlets. If the breaker keeps tripping, you may have circuit breaker problems that need to be addressed — such as loose receptacles, miswiring, or damaged wiring.
The Breaker Doesn’t Control the Right Outlets
Troubleshooting an electrical problem can be a mind-boggling conundrum if you can’t figure out which circuit breaker connects to which electrical outlets. Or you may notice that something stays powered on when you turn off the circuit breaker it’s connected to. Perhaps the breakers are simply marked wrong, but the electrical system may also be miswired.
You may have dangerous (or at least irritating) circuit breaker problems if miswiring prevents you from controlling the power in certain rooms or areas of the house. Before you shock yourself or damage a device plugged into a miswired outlet, ask an electrician to investigate and fix any wiring issues.
Flickering Lights, Unreliable Power
Frayed wires, loose outlets, and bad appliances are usually to blame for flickering light and power. However, it may be a sign of circuit breaker problems, especially if it affects multiple areas of the home or all the devices in one room.
Buzzing Electrical Panel
If you hear a humming noise from your electrical panel, the system may be overloaded or struggling with bad wiring. Circuit breaker problems may be preventing the breakers from tripping, and that buzzing sound could be a sign of dangerous conditions that could spark and catch fire. Call for an electrician to inspect the panel and electrical system.
Troubleshooting, DIY, and Professional Repairs
Most fixes for electrical problems should be performed by a licensed electrician. However, you can learn about how your electrical system works and diagnose certain issues. The best DIY action you can take is to label your circuit panel and have a wiring map on hand. That helps identify potential overloading and helps an electrician sort out circuit breaker problems more quickly.
You can test for circuit breaker problems causing tripping or overloading: unplug everything, turn the breaker off and back on, and plug in appliances one by one to see if the circuit can handle a lesser load. If problems persist, you know you need a professional’s help.
If your home’s electricity does not function like you think it should, there’s a good chance you need an electrician to come fix something. If buzzing, flickering, or tripping power has you in the dark, give us a call to solve your circuit breaker problems.