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“How Can I Tell If My Circuit Breaker Has Gone Bad?”

Is a particular circuit breaker constantly tripping?

Is a particular circuit breaker constantly tripping?

You may think it’s gone bad, but circuit breakers trip to protect you from electrical issues short circuit, overloaded circuit) that could cause fires.

So first we want to rule out these common problems before jumping to the conclusion that the breaker is faulty.

In this article, we’ll briefly show you how to determine if the circuit breaker has actually gone bad or whether the problem is elsewhere.

Step 1: Identify what circuit the breaker is protecting

Go to your circuit breaker panel and look for one of these 2 things:

  • A label next to the breaker that’s tripping
  • A sheet on the circuit panel’s door

These will tell you what circuit this break is protecting.
Once you know that, you need to...

Step 2: Unplug all electrical devices on that circuit

You want to rule out the case of an overloaded circuit (a circuit that has more amps flowing through it than it can handle).

So unplug lamps, TV components, computer components and the like that are on that particular circuit.

Now you want to...

Step 3: Reset the circuit breaker

When you flip the breaker, you should hear a definite click.

If the switch flops back and forth and there is not definite “on” or “off” position, the breaker is probably bad.

If the circuit breaker does NOT trip immediately: Chances are you have an overloaded circuit, meaning that the circuit has more electricity flowing through it than it is rated for. To fix this, move some electrical components to a different circuit.

If the circuit breaker trips immediately: The problem is either a short circuit or a bad breaker.

If the latter happens, then you need to...

Get a professional electrician’s help

Want to quickly fix this annoying problem with your circuit breaker?

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