Without a circuit breaker, electricity would not be safe enough to use in our homes. It can detect when there is too much electricity running through a circuit, or if there is a short circuit, and cuts off the power before the circuit overheats. Without this important safety system, the risk of house fires, injury and even death would be too great.
When will a circuit breaker cut the power?
You’ve probably experienced the breaker trip. Maybe you were warming something up in the microwave and had the coffee maker going, but when you put down the bread in the toaster the entire circuit shut down. That is because those appliances were putting too much of a load on that circuit; more than it was designed to safely carry. When too much electrical current is running through a circuit, it can cause some dangerous problems. Wires could heat up, insulation around the wire can melt and once the insulation is gone, you would have a live wire loose in the wall. That is how electrical fires start. The breakers are there to cut the power before those bad things happen.
The electricity enters your home from the grid through a circuit breaker and from there, it is divided in many circuits that lead to different parts of your home. Each of these has its own breaker and each has its own specific load restrictions. That is why you can plug that toaster in on the other side of the kitchen or in a different room and everything will run just fine. Some circuits can carry more current than others. Learn how to determine the amperage of a circuit breaker.
More reasons why circuit breakers can shut off the power.
While the most common reason why breakers trip is because the circuit is overloaded, there are other reasons why your breaker might trip. Sometimes a faulty appliance can overheat and cause the circuit breaker to trip. If you think that is the case, try unplugging that appliance and device and see if it makes a difference. If it doesn’t, contact an electrician right away to investigate further.
A short circuit is another reason why circuit breakers trip. That is when a hot wire touches another hot wire inside one of your receptacles. This causes too much current, causing the wires to overheat. The safety feature of your electrical system is to shut down the circuit before a fire can start. If you smell burning or see any black or brown marks around your outlets and switches, you likely have a short circuit and should contact Wireworks Electrical Services right away.
Sometimes a ground fault can cause the circuit breaker to trip. This is when a hot wire touches the ground wire on the side of the metal receptacle box that is connected to the ground wire. Again, this can be detected by a burning smell and burn marks.
Electricians in Edmonton
If your circuit breaker is continually tripping, you should not ignore it. It means that you are overloading the circuit, have a short circuit or a ground fault issue. All these issues can cause a fire or seriously injure someone in your home.
Wireworks Electrical Services Ltd. is a full service electrical company that has been serving Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan and the Edmonton areas since 2008. They have over 20 years of experience in the electrical trade and their customer service, expertise and proficiency are second to none.
Contact them for an estimate for your renovation project or for electrical repair and service.