How Do You Know If You Have A Bad Breaker?

How Do You Know If You Have A Bad Breaker?

main fuse box with many circuit breakers

Within every home is a main fuse box which contains many circuit breakers. Effectively, each circuit breaker represents a circuit in your home, with the breaker being an automated switch. If you were to take a closer look, you will find at least one circuit breaker for lightning as well as one for sockets in each room.

The Purpose of Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are safety switches that trip when an unsafe level of electrical current flows through the circuit. A tripped circuit breaker is essentially the switch being turned to off position, thus breaking the circuit and shutting down the supply of electricity. This prevents overheating and the loss of insulation from all components in the circuit.

Once a circuit breaker has been tripped, you would have to manually reset it in order to get electricity flowing through its corresponding circuit. While you should not be alarmed when a circuit breaker trips as it is a safety precaution, repeated tripping can be indicative of bigger issues with your circuit.

Direct Signs of a Defective Breaker

Circuit breakers help to protect your home from overheating accidents and electrical fires. As such, their importance to your home’s safety cannot be understated. Yet, like any asset, they are vulnerable to wear and tear over time. This limits their functionality and may allow for major electrical injuries to your family.

To find out if your breaker is defective, we recommend first conducting a visual check of it.

Burning Smells from the Electrical Panel

overheated circuit breaker that needs an electrician to service it

Are there smells of burnt rubber or smoke coming from your electrical panel? If so that means that your wires and insulation have overheated and are on the verge of enabling a overloaded circuit. Your circuit breaker would also at this point be liable to catch fire.

Should you find such smells, do not wait any longer, immediately shut down the main power to your home and call for electrician services. This is considered to be an electrical emergency and it requires professional expertise in order to be rectified.

Your Circuit Breakers Trip Repeatedly

As covered before, a tripping circuit breaker should not alarm you. However repeated tripping may be due to a problem within the circuit or with the circuit breaker itself. We recommend that you have your circuit breaker tested and inspected should you find it repeatedly tripping.

Physical Damage

Do you see scotch marks around your circuit breaker? If so, a melted wire is likely the culprit, which in turn requires immediate attention. A melted wire is one step away from a full-on electrical fire breaking out and damaging your entire home.

Your Breaker is Incapable of Resetting

circuit breaker unable to reset and flip back to original position

Should you be unable to flip your breaker back into the “on” position after it trips, then your breaker has likely malfunctioned. You should seek professional help to repair the circuit breaker and to check if its wear and tear was due to problems within your circuit.

Indirect Signs of a Defective Circuit Breaker

In addition to checking your breaker, you should also inspect all components of its electrical circuit. A defective circuit breaker also enables a series of other electrical malfunctions. These problems should be looked out for and inspected as soon as they are spotted.

Flickering Lights

Do you find that your home lights’ intensity rapidly raising and lowering like that of a haunted house? If so, then you have a set of flickering lights. For many homeowners, flickering lights are a source of irritation, but one that they are able to put up with once gotten used to.

flickering lights that needs electrical servicing

While flickering lights are more commonly due to a defective light bulb, there is a chance that flickering lights are caused by a defective circuit breaker. As such, rather than ignoring it, you should spend time and effort to investigate. To do so, you could try switching the light bulb around other lights in your home. If the flickering does not follow suit, then the problem likely lies in the circuit breaker and the circuit.

Poor Appliance Performance

Inconsistent performance from your electrical appliances, especially those that consume larger amounts of power, could be indicative of a defective circuit breaker. Not unlike flickering lights, common examples of poor appliance performance include:

  • An oven that bakes unevenly or which is incapable of reaching the specified temperature.
  • A dryer that shuts off mid cycle before restarting on its own

If possible, you can repeat the same test from the light bulb by switching the power sockets of the inconsistent appliance. However, should this be unfeasible due to their weight or bulkiness, then alternative inspection methods would have to be used.

We would recommend getting in touch with an professional electricians to conduct a thorough check on your circuit breaker. If the fault is found, you would have saved yourself from having to purchase a replacement appliance.

Visible Electrical Damage

When your circuit breaker fails to control the amount of electrical current in your circuit, minor burns may be suffered by your appliances. Commonly, in cases of electrical damage, you would find burnt marks and even smoke emerging from your appliances. Your appliances may also stop functioning due to overheating.

Any burnt marks or smoke from your appliances or power sockets should be treated with utmost urgency. This is because an electrical fire could be imminent, which has the ability to cause major damage to your home. Upon finding these symptoms, you should get in touch with an electrical services company immediately to inspect and repair your circuit breaker & wiring.

Engage Our Yi Ling Service Team To Assist You

With over 30 years of experience, Yi Leng Service is a specialist in electrical works, cable solutions, TV brackets, and mounting. Our experience has proven to be an invaluable asset in our expertise and services provided to clients in all aspects of installation, maintenance, and repair works.

At Yi Leng Service, all our services are carried out by licensed & skilled electricians that will do a reliable job that comes with warranty. Feel free to contact us for reliable electrician services.

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