If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give much thought to your circuit breakers until you lose electrical power. However, it’s the circuit breakers that protect a house or building from having an electrical overload, which can not only damage appliances but cause a fire. There are several factors that can cause circuit breakers to trip. Here are some of the main causes for circuit breakers tripping and information on when you should call a licensed electrician..
– Toptronic Energy Electrical.
A GFI (ground-fault interrupter) or EARTH LEAKAGE breaker, also known as a GFCI/ Earth Leakage, is designed to protect people from electrical shock in locations where they use appliances or tools. GFI’s/ earth Leakage’s as opposed to circuit breakers (located in a centralized panel) trip at the outlet and typically have reset buttons on the outlet plate. Many GFI’s / earth Leakage’s even have LEDs to indicate power status so you know if there has been a power interruption without having to test.
In the South Africa areas, GFI / Earth Leakage failures are extremely common due to low quality components used by local home builders. In most cases home or business owners will experience a power loss that only affects the single GFI/ earth Leakage outlets, and the problem will continue to worsen until any power usage trips the circuit. At this point the GFI / Earth Leakage outlet needs to be replaced and should only be done so by a licensed electrician.
Other causes of GFI / Earth Leakage failures including improper wiring or inefficient appliances that are shorting or pulling too much power due to load or electric motor failure. In all cases, a licensed electrician should be commissioned to troubleshoot and manage the electrical repairs.
Often, circuit breakers trip because of electrical shorts, which can be caused by defective wiring due to exposure to the elements or damage from rodents or other pests. Identifying and locating an electrical short can be difficult, but you should never ignore the problem. In most cases, repairs involve locating and replacing the damaged wiring or electrical components, and is not something that will ‘self correct’ or be reliably repaired with a simple fix.
The technicians at Toptronic Energy Electrical have extensive training and the proper tooling to quickly and accurately identify shorts and perform the proper repairs without major interruption to structural surroundings or adjacent electrical circuits.
A ground fault, which is much like an electrical short, is the result of a “hot” wire contacting a ground wire. It can also occur when a live wire touches the grounded part of a device, an appliance or part of a junction box. Ground faults involve large amounts of electrical current that are propelled through a circuit breaker or fuse. This leads to a fuse blowing or circuit breaker tripping. The process of repairing ground faults is much like that with electrical shorts, and should always involved a properly licensed and trained electrician.
Tripped circuit breakers are common and typically only require resetting the breaker. To do this, you must first locate the service panel most often located in garages or basements and then by determining which circuit is affected. A tripped breaker is usually evident when a switch position is between the on and off position. After moving the breaker first to the off then on position, see if power has been restored. If the power is still off, or if the breaker continues to trip .… chances are there has been an equipment failure and in the absence of identifying an appliance as a cause you should give us a call to troubleshoot further.
Never ignore a circuit breaker that trips. And if you have one that persists, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Toptronic Energy Electrical, we’ve earned the reputation for providing fast, high quality service. Our family-run business serves both home and business owners in Western Cape – Cape Town and surrounding suburbs.