Why Is Your Fuse Board Tripping?

Outlets are similar in that a single breaker can be responsible for several electrical outlets. For smaller houses, you might have all the outlets on a single breaker.

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Having a constantly tripping fuse box can be a nightmare, especially when you’re not sure why it’s happening. Each breaker in your fuse box is responsible for a specific part of your electrical network. While some breakers deal with single high-powered appliances (cooker hoods, cookers, electric showers, etc.), most are used for several things at once. For example, it’s common for all lighting in a house to be on the same circuit breaker. If one light is faulty, if it trips the breaker, it’ll take out all the lighting in the house.

The issue with this is that a single faulty appliance causing the breaker to trip will cut out the power to any other devices connected to an outlet on the same circuit.

While you can just reset the breaker if it trips and hope for the best, it’s not advisable. If you reset your breaker and it immediately trips again, you may need to call an electrician, as ignoring it will not fix the problem; you could be putting yourself at risk of an electrical fire, shock, or a multitude of other issues that can arise from faulty electrical systems.


Why Do Fuse Box Breakers Trip?

The purpose of the fuse board and the breakers & RCDs within is to protect people and properties from injury & damage because of faulty electrical systems. When electrical appliances or electrical wiring goes wrong, fires can start, cause minor explosions, and electrocute people.

The purpose of a breaker or RCD is to detect the sudden change in the electrical current when a short happens in the electrical system and cut the power immediately. In theory, you should be able to touch an exposed wire, and the RCD would trip and cut the power so quickly that you would be safe from the electrician.
Don’t try this! “Should” is the keyword there, and while a great deal of effort goes into making these systems foolproof, it’s best not to tempt fate! So, when your fuse board trips, it’s a sign that there is an electrical problem in your home, potentially one that could have caused you to harm had the fuse board not done its job.


How To Narrow Down the Problem

If you’ve followed what we said above, you might have found the inherent problem here; determining the cause of your tripping fuse board. If the breaker dedicated to your electric oven keeps tripping, you can safely assume that the problem is with the stove. At the very least, you’ll be able to narrow it down to that specific part of your electrical network. However, if the breaker tripping is responsible for several outlets in your home, working out which one is the problem can be trickier. This is where Stillorgan Electrical Services come in. We can send out our fully qualified electrician to test the whole electrical system and fault find until the culprit is found, but we understand you may want to do what you can first. Unfortunately, unless you have the tools and experience of a qualified electrician, you will be limited to an afternoon of plugging and unplugging every appliance in the house.




5 Reasons Your Appliance is Tripping Your Fuse Board


Damaged Plug or Cable

The most common cause of an appliance causing a breaker to trip is a faulty plug or cable. This can happen because the cable has been damaged somehow; this can occur if something heavy was dropped on the cable or if you have small pets that are allowed to roam the house. They may have been chewing the cable.

The plug could be damaged after being knocked or pulled violently from the wall. A common cause of this damage is someone tripping over the cable and violently pulling the plug from the socket.

If this is the case, the circuit is probably being shorted as the live and neutral wires come into contact. The breaker detects the change in voltage and trips, causing the power to cut off.

If the damage is inside the cable, it may be a little inconsistent as the cable could be acceptable in certain positions but short the circuit when moved.


Putting Excessive Load On a Circuit


Excessive load on a circuit


All electrical wires are rated for a certain amount of electricity, limiting how much load you can put on the cables. Unfortunately, going over the capacity of electrical wires tends to lead to things like electrical fires, so the breaker will trip before the limit is reached.


Faulty Appliance


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Appliances sometimes do go faulty. It could be due to physical damage, wear and tear, or the appliance was poorly made. You can identify whether it’s the appliance or not by plugging it into different outlets on different circuits on the electrical network. If the breakers for the corresponding outlets still trip, the appliance is likely the problem.


Faulty Outlet

Faulty Appliance

Sometimes your investigations may lead you to a certain appliance as the cause of the fuse box tripping, but it is the outlet that is the problem. The breaker is responsible for the whole circuit, this includes all the wiring and outlets between it and the appliances.

There are some obvious signs of a faulty outlet such as scorch marks around the socket, and a smell of burning or smoke. You can quickly test this by moving the appliance to a different socket on the same circuit. If the breaker stops tripping, the problem wasn’t with the appliance.


Water Shorting


Water conducts electricity; if water gets into an electrical appliance or outlet, it can cause the breakers to trip. If your appliance has been near a spillage, moisture inside could be shorting electrical components out.


The reasons for a fuse board tripping might be multiple but the solution is a simple one, call Stillorgan Electrical Services 


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