When is it time to call an electrician? Renovations and construction are always fun for those who like to take the bull by the horns and enjoy building something with their own hands. There are many reasons we love these activities and yet there are times we are left scratching our heads wondering if we have just bitten off more than we can chew. So before we blow the place up it is wise to …
Why do circuit breakers trip? Circuit breakers are designed to provide a level of electrical safety for your home or business and are installed in your Circuit Breaker Box (Electrical Panel). Each circuit will have its own breaker where it’s sole purpose is to monitor the amount of electricity that is flowing. When there is a surge of electricity, or an overload, the circuit breaker will turn off to prevent potential risks and further damage …..
REASONS WHY YOU ARE TRIPPING YOUR BREAKERS
You have just renovated your kitchen. You feel like Gord Ramsay on fire when everything is working smoothly. Here’s the clincher. You have all these wonderful new stainless steel appliances and yet this upgrade has thrown the proverbial spatula in your ability to deliver a brunch masterpiece. Your sweet new appliances, while be it awesome, also require a great deal more power. For older homes that have not had their circuits and breaker box upgraded, means there is a chance that it is struggling to keep up with energy demand. This could be the reason why you are now overloading the circuits and tripping the breakers.
A circuit breaker will shut itself off to prevent further damage such as overheating or even an electrical fire. If you have aluminum wiring in your home this is even more of a concern for you. ( See ‘Aluminum Wiring Concerns in Older Homes’ ).
There are typically 3 reasons as to why a circuit breaker will trip or shut off:
1. Overloaded Circuit
Too many devices, gadgets or appliances being used at the same time on the same circuit that require a lot of energy to run.
Move the plugged-in items that were on the overloaded circuit to another all- purpose circuit to even out the electricity demand on that circuit.
Unplug or turn off some of the devices or appliances that are on the overloaded circuit to reduce the electrical demand.
2. Short Circuit
This a more dangerous situation and requires the attention of an electrician.
You smell a burning odor.
Occurs when a hot wire ( black ) touches another hot or even neutral wire ( white ) in one of the outlets that you are using.
Check your outlets and plugs looking for brown/black discoloration.
Can be caused by a loose or poor connection in the box or receptacle.
3. Ground Fault
Similar to a short circuit, a ground fault will occur when the black ‘hot’ wire touches the bare copper ground wire on the side of a metal outlet box that is connected to the ground wire.
Should also have the attention of an electrician to confirm if there are other factors at play.
Always consult with a qualified and reputable electrical company if something doesn’t seem quite right. Wireworks Electrical Services Ltd. can assist you with the upgrade of your circuit breakers and breaker box.
Aluminum Wiring Concerns in Older Homes Around the early 1950’s until late 1970’s many homes were constructed and wired with aluminum wiring versus today’s homes that are wired with copper. Taking into account that copper wire is a better conductor than aluminum, in order for aluminum wire to carry the same current as copper in a safe manner is must be larger in size. It is fairly easy to identify …