Is my breaker box malfunctioning?

Circuit breakers fail for a whole variety of reasons. Sometimes its due to overloaded circuits, short circuits or breakers that simply weren’t maintained and rested properly. But at the end of the day – it comes down to the fact that your circuit breaker box is there to protect you, your home and your family from electrical malfunctions and fires – so it’s vital that you know how and why your breaker box might be failing. 

Today, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can identify whether or not your breaker box is faulty and some of the things you can do to address the issue. What’s important is that if there isn’t something that isn’t working, you need to contact an electrician immediately. Here’s what to look for. Let’s jump right in!

ID the circuit your breaker is supposed to be protecting

When you first notice a problem with a particular breaker – try to determine which circuit the breaker is protecting. Look at both the label next to the breaker and the diagram on the door of the box. These two things should match up. If they don’t – try resetting the breakers manually and make sure your box is labeled correctly. This is simply an exercise in both organization and safety and in the event something is wrong, you’ll want this to be squared away by the time an electrician arrives. 

Unplug your devices from the circuit. 

Once you’ve figured out which circuit is controlled by the tripped breaker, make sure the breaker is off and make sure any and all devices that are plugged into that breaker are unplugged as they’re at the risk of a power surge. 

Reset the breaker

Once all the appliances are unplugged, reset the breaker by switching it back to the ‘on’ position. If you don’t hear the big click, the breaker switch itself could be damaged or broken. If the breaker doesn’t trip again immediately, then you can bet that the original cause was likely an overloaded circuit. Move some plugs over and then reset the breaker again. If the breaker trips again – then the problem is probably a short circuit or faulty breaker. 

If you’re finding yourself doing this frequently – as in more than once or twice a month, then it’s time to call in a professional as you’ll need some sort of repair. This is a common issue that sneaks up on home owners frequently – largely due to our placing high demands on our breaker boxes due to the dependency we have on electronic devices. 

If you’re looking for assistance with your breaker box, then give us a call and we’re happy to provide you with a free consultation. Until then – good luck!