My circuit breaker keeps tripping with nothing plugged in. What could be the cause?
You are not alone, Many people have experienced power tripping. A tripping breaker can be a sign of circuit overload, overcurrents, short circuits, or other minor problems.
If one of your breakers keeps tripping with or without load, unplug the device and reset your breaker.
The chances of it reoccurring are low, but if it does, worry not, because the solution is here.
Reasons your circuit breaker keeps tripping with nothing plugged in
Each time your lights trip, you suspect circuit overload. But if it keeps tripping immediately without load, check for the following faults.
A short circuit is one of the factors that can trip OFF your circuit breaker. It occurs when a hot wire and neutral bridges.
The contact causes the flow of high currents through the circuit, generating more heat than what the circuit can contain. When such happens, the breaker trips off to avert wire burning and damage to electrical appliances.
Short circuits may occur for several reasons, such as faulty wiring and a weak connection.
Troubleshooting a short circuit requires the use of your sensory organ (the nose and your eyes) to trace the area with a burning smell usually left in the affected area and also correct the fault.
I suggest you look for a qualified electrician for the repair, as doing it yourself may cause electric shock.
Most of the circuit breakers are thermal, and thermal circuit breakers trip on over current.
When there is a high current, it hits the bi-metallic metal of the breaker until it becomes hot, and trips off.
Their causes include ground faults, overload, faulty arcs, faulty wiring, short circuits, fuse, and others.
Consult an electrician for troubleshooting whenever you have over current.
Ground faults and earth faults mean the same thing and are like short circuits. It occurs when a hot wire comes into contact with the earth; the contact pushes more current to the circuit than it can handle, causing your circuit breaker to trip off.
Contact your electrician if you have a ground fault, to avoid complications that may arise from doing it yourself.
Faulty circuit breaker
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Reasons your GFCI breaker keeps tripping with nothing plugged in
GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupters. If your GFCI keeps tripping, know that you have a ground fault.
Normally, travelling light supposed to follow its path. But if for any reason, it follows a different path to the ground, a ground fault will occur.
A ground fault occurs when there is contact between live wires and water, or wet materials. Causing currents to flow through the water.
Ground faults can lead to electrocution in buildings without ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
But if you have the interrupter, it will shut off the light without delay. And that causes your GFCI to be tripping.
My light went out but the circuit breaker not tripped, why?
Some circuit breakers work like that; they are called trip-free circuit breakers. Trip-free circuit breakers shut off the lights even when the switch is ON.
They work best on circuits that do not withstand overcurrents. If you experience a free trip, call your electrician for troubleshooting.
How do you know if a circuit breaker has tripped?
If your lights have gone off in a certain part of the house rather than the entire building, you suspect a tripped breaker.
You can also find out by looking at the breaker’s switch to see if it is ON or OFF. Although some types of circuit breakers (the trip free) remain ON when there is no light, however, using either of the two methods can help you detect a tripped breaker.
How to reset a tripped circuit breaker
To reset a tripped breaker, turn it off and unplug all the appliances connected to it, and then ON it again. For safety reasons, we recommend that you stand by the side of the breaker’s panel should it spark a light while resetting.
You should wear goggles and also make use of torchlight to illuminate the area if there is no light.
After the reset, wait for some time before plugging back your appliances and make sure you do not overload the circuit.