How Do You Know if a Circuit Breaker Is Bad?

December 02, 2020
How Do You Know if a Circuit Breaker Is Bad?

How Do You Know if a Circuit Breaker Is Bad?

Your house’s electrical circuit breaker is a valuable line of defense when it comes to protecting all electronics and appliances in your home. For example, the system protects your home from electrical faults and fires. Unfortunately, the breaker can fail due to several reasons.
To ensure your circuit breaker can be relied upon at all times, here are some troubling signs indicating issues with your circuit breaker. Be on the lookout for these signs and act fast when any of them surface.

Circuit Breaker is Failing All the Time

If your circuit breaker trips every time you plug in an electrical appliance, it may be best to contact a local electrician for a proper look into the issue.
A typical circuit breaker is designed to trip when the circuit gets overloaded.  For instance, running too many electrical appliances on a circuit at the same time might cause a breaker to trip.
One way to resolve this is to reduce the electrical load on the circuit and then reset the breaker. To reset a circuit breaker, you need to first unplug all appliances connected through the said circuit. Next, go ahead to turn off the breaker. After that, flip the breaker switch back on. If you don’t hear and feel a “click” sound when you flipped the switch, the breaker is more likely to be bad. Contact a local electrician for help.
If the breaker works after resetting it but only for a while, the issue could be due to a problem with the breaker. Contact an electrician for help.

Electrical Panel Smelling Funny

If you perceive a burning odor and hear a buzzing sound from your breaker box, act fast by contacting an electrician for help. The condition indicates that wires and insulation in the panel have become overheated. It could also be that the breaker itself is melting due to an electric overload.
If quick action is not taken, the situation can start a home fire. Before you even call an electrician, unplug all electrical equipment and turn off the main power supply to your house immediately.

Circuit Breaker is too Hot

It’s okay for a circuit breaker box to be warm. It, however, should never overheat. Place your hand on the breaker to see if it feels just as warm as a running electronic or appliance. If the box is too hot to the touch, this could be a sign of a problem with the breaker or wiring issue. It’s hard to tell the exact cause of the condition until a trained electrician looks into the issue.

Marks and Damage

Did you notice burned parts around your circuit breaker? Is there ragged wiring? Never forget that physical damage and marks could indicate a problem with the breaker itself or something else. Once again, you should call an electrician immediately for proper inspection and fix.
A bad or faulty circuit breaker can ruin all the electrical equipment in your home. Therefore, endeavor to contact a qualified electrician in your area the moment you notice any of the above signs indicating problems with your circuit breaker.

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