How to Identify a Bad Circuit Breaker

by | Jun 27, 2018 | Wiring

If you live in an older home or have continuous issues with tripping circuit breakers, you may have an issue with your circuit breaker system and need the help of a professional electrician.

Circuit breakers don’t last forever. They may eventually need to be replaced to prevent electrical fires. In fact, it’s estimated that over 14,000 fires a year are caused by electrical failure or malfunction.

Do you know how to identify a bad circuit breaker? Check out these five signs of a bad breaker.

1. You Have an Old Circuit Box

If you live in an old house that has an old circuit box, you should replace it. The more modern electrical systems have panels instead of a fuse box. The electrical panel has multiple circuit breakers.

Circuits will trip when the line between the appliance and electric panel gets overloaded. Tripping can prevent overheating and fire.

If you have an older home with an older system, the circuit may not trip when it gets overloaded. This can spell disaster for your home.

2. There’s Not Enough Power for a New Appliance

If you don’t have enough power for a new appliance, you may need to replace your system. Older panels may not be strong enough to supply all the power that you need for today’s appliances.

Today’s homes have a 200 amp circuit panel (or more), while older homes only have 100 amp. If your panel can’t keep up with your appliances, then you should have an electrician pay a visit.

Even if you have energy saving appliances, an older system still may not be able to keep up.

3. The Breaker Keeps Tripping

Do your breakers keep tripping? If your electrical needs are more than what your current system can handle, the breaker will trip.

If you are consistently resetting the breaker, you should seek the guidance of a professional electrician.

4. Lights Flicker When Using Appliances

Do the lights flicker or dim when you turn on appliances? If the answer is yes, you may be experiencing another one of the bad circuit breaker symptoms. If your appliances need more energy than is available, it will make the lights flicker when you use appliances like the microwave, dishwasher, or blender.

5. Breakers Don’t Reset

Another one of the circuit breaker failure symptoms you may notice is your breaker doesn’t reset. You turn on the microwave and the circuit breaker trips. You reset the breaker and you’re back in business, right?

If the breaker doesn’t reset as it should, you may be dealing with a bad circuit breaker that needs to be inspected.

You Need to Know How to Identify a Bad Circuit Breaker

Do circuit breakers go bad? Yes. And this can potentially be a danger to you and your family.

It’s important that you know how to identify a bad circuit breaker. If you run into any of these issues, you should contact a professional electrician to come in and check your circuit box.

If you are Illinois and want the best electric service, contact us today and we will help you troubleshoot your electrical problem.