A circuit breaker is designed to protect your home from electrical fires by interrupting the flow of electricity when it detects a problem. But what happens when the circuit breaker itself is the problem? If you have a faulty circuit breaker, it’s important to understand the potential dangers and call an emergency electrician.
Risk of Overloading Your Electrical System
A faulty circuit breaker can put your entire electrical system at risk. When a circuit breaker trips, it cuts off the flow of electricity to prevent a potentially dangerous overload. However, if the breaker is faulty, it may not trip when it should, leading to an uncontrolled flow of electricity. This is why it is important to have a professional electrician check your circuit breakers regularly. If they find a breaker is not functioning properly, they can replace it with a new one before it causes any damage.
Risk of Electric Shock
Perhaps the most dangerous risk of a faulty circuit breaker is the risk of electric shock. If the breaker does not trip when it should, there is a chance that you or a family member could come into contact with an electrical current. This can lead to serious injuries or even death. That’s why it’s so important to have a professional electrician in Conway, SC, check your circuit breakers regularly. They can identify any problem areas and ensure that your home is safe from the risk of electric shock.
Damage Your Appliances
A circuit breaker helps to protect your appliances from damage by interrupting the flow of electricity when there is a problem. However, if the breaker is faulty, it may not trip when there is a problem, leading to damaged appliances. This damage can be expensive to repair and may require you to replace your appliance. Sometimes, this damage may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. However, it’s always best to avoid the need for repairs by having a professional electrician check your circuit breakers regularly.
Risk of Electrical Fires
A circuit breaker protects your home from electrical fires. It works by Interrupting the flow of electricity to an electrical circuit if there is an overload. This prevents the circuit from overheating and starting a fire. However, if your circuit breaker is faulty, it can fail to trip when there is an overload, which can lead to an electrical fire. If you suspect that your circuit breaker is faulty, you should contact a licensed electrician to have it replaced. In the meantime, you should avoid using any appliances or electronics on that circuit until it has been repaired.
Causes of Faulty Circuit Breaker
Here are the five most common causes of a faulty circuit breaker:
Just like any other mechanical device, circuit breakers can wear out from overuse. If you frequently trip your circuit breaker, it might be time to upgrade to a higher-capacity unit.
2) Loose Connection
If your circuit breaker panel is mounted on a wall, the screws holding it in place can become loose over time. This can also cause the breaker to become loose, resulting in unreliable contact between the breaker and the wires. Regularly check that all the screws on your panel are tight to avoid this problem.
3) Corroded Wires
The contact points inside the circuit breaker can become corroded due to oxidation. When this happens, electricity will have a harder time flowing through, causing the breaker to trip more often. You can prevent this by regularly cleaning the contact points with a lightly dampened cloth.
4) Internal Damage
Even if you take good care of your circuit breaker, it can still develop internal damage that causes it to trip more often than usual. Over time, the electrical components inside the breaker will degrade and might need to be replaced. If you notice that your circuit breaker is tripping more often than it used to, have an electrician look at it to see if it needs to be replaced.
5) Old Age
Eventually, all circuit breakers will reach the end of their lifespan and will need to be replaced. How long a circuit breaker lasts depends on its quality, but most breakers will last around 20-30 years. If your home is older than 30 years, chances are the original circuit breakers are still in place. While they may not have reached the end of their lifespan yet, they may not be able to handle today’s electrical demands as well as a newer model would. In this case, upgrading to a new breaker would be a good idea.
6) Incorrectly Sized Breaker
Finally, the breaker may be incorrectly sized for your home’s electrical system. If the breaker is too small, it won’t be able to protect the circuit properly and will cause the electrical current to overheat, potentially starting a fire. In addition, if the breaker is too large, it may not trip when there is an overload on the circuit, again leading to overheating and a potential fire. If you are unsure what size circuit breaker you need, consult with an electrician in Conway, SC, or the manufacturer of your electrical panel.
Don’t Let a Circuit Breaker Put Your Home at Risk
If you suspect your circuit breaker is faulty, it’s important to call an emergency electrician immediately. A circuit breaker is a vital part of your home’s electrical system, and a faulty one could put your home at risk of an electrical fire. While you may be tempted to try and repair the breaker yourself, leaving it to a professional with the knowledge and experience to do the job safely is best.
We Are the Electrical Experts to Call
If you need an electrician in Conway, SC, don’t hesitate to call us at Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach. We have the experience and expertise to repair or replace your circuit breaker safely, and we’ll make sure your home is up to code. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.