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What To Do When You Trip a Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers can be a hassle when they trip unexpectedly, but they are a crucial safety feature inside the home. As such, when the breaker does trip, it’s important to figure out the cause in order to get things back up and running again. Typically, the cause will fall into one out of four standard categories, which include: overload; short circuiting; ground fault; or appliance fault. Short circuiting and ground faults rank among the most serious of the causes. Once the cause has been pinpointed, homeowners can work to restore their power and ensure the safety of their home.

Key Takeaways:

  • Overload occurs when one circuit is burdened with too many appliances or gadgets at one time
  • Short circuiting is one of the more serious causes, and it occurs when a neutral and a hot wire cross each other’s paths
  • When an appliance is malfunctioning, this can also create overheating that is severe enough to trip the breaker

“Whenever you trip a circuit breaker, it’s important to investigate the cause — especially if it happens more than once on the same circuit.”

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