Randomly Tripping Circuit Breakers

What Could be Happening to Cause Various Circuit Breakers to Trip in your Home

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: Hi, Good website and informative videos! I found you on youtube and now I will bookmark this site. I have an electrical question regarding my house and I am hoping you can help me with it. My house is about 3 years old and it keeps throwing different breakers about once every two weeks. Oddly, it has so far done it with minimal electrical devices being used (early in the morning with nothing major in use). Here is what I have done so far:

1. I took the circuit breaker box off and safely made sure each connection in the panel was secure and tightened. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

2. There is a light in the garage that flickers sometimes but I took it apart and even climbed in the attic and I see nothing wrong with the entire line down to the power source.

3. I took a volt meter and tested several plugs and outlets and noted that the voltage was about 120V in each one.

4. If you could send me some tips on what else I can do to fix this issue, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

Answer: D.G., Everything you’ve do so far to try and troubleshoot the problem made sense. However, sometimes you really need to call in a pro for this type of problem. I would highly suggest calling an electrician to come out and inspect your home’s wiring.

In regards to circuit breakers they are meant to trip for three basic reasons: short circuits, ground faults, and overloaded circuits.

There could be a number of issues causing your problems, including wiring mistakes during the installation of the electrical, improper connections, inferior materials, or possibly the appliances that you are using.

If your home has arc fault circuit breakers installed for example, they can easily be tripped by vacuum cleaners or other appliances that have motors in them. Albeit you said you weren’t running minimal appliances when the failures were occurring. Arc fault circuit breakers are notorious for tripping under the smallest of arcing conditions, even via a running vacuum cleaner.

Randomly Tripping Circuit Breakers in Circuit Panel

Another possibility that could be causing the random tripping of circuit breakers is an electrical appliance that is shorting out.

Again, I would highly suggest calling in an electrician to take a look at your situation. Lastly, I’d also make sure there is a grounding rod that ties into your main electrical panel.

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