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What To Do When A Circuit Breaker Trips?

When a circuit breaker trips there are certain steps a person should follow to make sure the area is safe. There are many reasons why the circuit breaker will trip, mostly from protecting people and appliances from electrical faults. It is important that circuit breakers work properly to help with electrical safety and effectively protect from short circuits. Here at The Local Electrician, our Emergency Electrician team is here to help any person at any time with circuit breaker trips and issues. 

The steps to follow when a circuit breaker trips are:

  • Locate where the circuit breaker box is inside or outside the house.
  • Identify which circuit has been tripped through looking which switch on the breaker has slipped to ‘off’.
  • Turn off appliances and lights which are connected to the circuit which has tripped.
  • Flip the circuit breaker switch back to the ‘on’ position to restore power to the circuit.
  • Test the electrical circuit to see if the appliances or lights trip, if they do then contact an electrician.
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What is a Circuit Breaker?

A circuit breaker is what detects any faults or overloads within electrical circuits. These devices will stop the electrical power of a circuit when they detect an overloaded circuit. This causes a tripped circuit meaning that the electrical flow through the circuit has stopped and the appliances and lights cannot be used. 

These are extremely important in protecting people, appliances and systems from electrical overloads and faults. They are often located in an electrical switchboard and contain safety switches or RCD switches. A fuse box is often installed into older homes, but both circuit breakers and fuse boxes protect from loose connections and electrical faults.

What Do I Do When the Circuit Breaker Trips?

It is important that when the circuit breaker trips to remain calm and be safe at all times. Even though the circuit breaker is safe it is extremely important to work safely and carefully during the process. Follow the below steps to know exactly what to do when the circuit breaker has tripped:

  1. Find where the circuit breaker is located if this is not already known. They are most likely located in large metal boxes or with the main electrical switchboard. The circuit breakers can be found in most areas on the side of the house or in utility areas, such as the laundry, basement or garage. When the circuit breaker has been located find where the switches are and how they operate.
  2. Identify which circuit breaker is tripped within the main panel. This is often easy to find as one switch is in a different position when compared to the other circuit breaker switches. It will most likely be in the off position while the other switches remain in the on position. Another sign that the circuit has been tripped is that a red or orange light is on. This light helps indicate to a person that the circuit breaker is tripped. 
  3. Turn off all the lights, appliances and powerpoint which are connected to the specific circuit which has tripped. These will most likely already not draw any electrical power as the circuit breaker has prevented any electricity to flow within the circuit. It is a safe practice to turn off all of these appliances and lights anyway to prevent further issues. 
  4. Flip the switch into the on position after all the lights and appliances have been turned off. Some circuit breakers might need the level to be pushed to the off position completely then back into the on position. The level will have some resistance which will also create a clicking sound to alert that the breaker is on. 
  5. The final step is to see that the appliances and lights work perfectly after the specific circuit has been tripped and reset. If any of the systems, lights or appliances trip or cause the circuit breaker to trip again then it is strongly recommended that an electrician is contacted to help.

What is an Electrical Overload Within a Circuit?

Each electrical system is designed to handle a specific amount of electrical energy or a certain electrical load. If the electrical system receives too much power which it can handle then the circuit breaker will stop the electrical current. An electrical overload can cause appliances, systems and lights to trip or cause serious issues such as sparks, hot wires and potential fires.

What Are Some Signs of Electrical Overloading?

The main signs to look out for that indicate a circuit is overloaded with electricity are:

  • The circuit breaker has tripped, causing the power to stop flowing to that circuit and the switch has flipped.
  • Lights dim more often, especially when multiple appliances are working at once.
  • Outlets and switches around the home create a buzzing noise.
  • Any power points, outlets or switches are warmer when touched, moreso when touching the plates.
  • Burning odours are emanating from outlets and switches.
  • Any item or appliance which is plugged into outlets are not working at their full potential or are lacking power. 

If these symptoms are common it is important to contact an emergency electrician as soon as possible. To prevent electrical shocks, appliances being ruined or electrical fires, overloaded circuit problems need to be addressed quickly.

Trusted Electricians Helping with Circuit Breaker Concerns

The Local Electrician offers emergency electricians to help people when their circuit breaker trips and problems arise. Our fully qualified electricians will find out exactly what is causing the breaker to frequently trip. We will utilise professional and advanced methods to resolve the tripping and safely restore power to the circuit. Each job is always properly completed, safety tests are performed and each circuit breaker is operated on skillfully.

Our team will operate with any circuit breaker in any property across Sydney, from the Hills District to South Sydney. We also offer locals our reliable Level 2 Electrician team where we carry out more dangerous, advanced and expert work.


For trusted electrical services with circuit breaker trips – contact The Local Electrician now on 0439 823 190!

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