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What causes The Electrical Circuit Breaker to Trip.

The circuit breaker in our homes are designed to give us protection. Most home owners never bother to check if their circuit breakers are in good working condition. I am also guilty of it and like many others, we took it for granted.

When a circuit breaker trips, it means that an electrical leakage is detected. This is to prevent us from getting electrocuted when using an appliance. You may need to check and pay more attention to appliances or equipment that are made of, or encased with a metal body, eg. electric kettle, a refrigerator or an oven.

Lightning strikes or loose connections in electrical appliances, starters or fuses can cause circuit overload. Electrical connections can loosened over time. Once these terminals becomes loose, the contact points will get heated up due to improper contact with each other. In extreme cases, it gets so hot that it will melt and the loose terminals will start to burn. When that happens, the duty of the circuit breaker is to trip and cut of the electrical supply automatically.

What Can You Do When The Circuit Breaker Trips.

In the electrical distribution board/compartment of a home, you will have a main circuit breaker and the individual circuit breakers. The main circuit breaker as the name suggest takes care of the whole wiring installation set up of a house.

The individual circuit breakers located inside the distribution board, controls individual circuits that supplies electricity to the switched socket outlets and lights in the house. When one of the individual circuit breaker trips, it means that a fault within that electrical circuit is detected. The other circuits are not effected by this fault. For example, when you turn on the electric kettle and one of the individual circuit breaker trips, that means your electric kettle might be faulty and has caused an electrical leak. The circuit breaker trips as a preventive measure.

There are 2 possibilities.

1. The circuit breaker might be faulty.

2. The kettle is faulty.

To check if the electric kettle is faulty and not the circuit breaker, switch off and remove the plug from the switched socket outlet. Try switching back the circuit breaker on. If the circuit breaker is in working condition, then you should be able to switch it back on without glitches. If you can’t, then the circuit break is faulty and needs to be replaced.

Now that you can switch the circuit breaker back on, plug in and switch on the electrical kettle. If the circuit breaker trips again, you now know that its time to hit the malls.

For assistance on your electrical installation, do drop me an email.

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