Expert Electrical

Appliances That Can Trip Your Circuit Breaker

Dec 16, 2021 | Residential Electricity

Have you ever turned a device on in your home only to have the circuit breaker trip seconds later? Due to the abundance of appliances that can trip your circuit breaker, this occurrence is more common than you may think. Tripped circuit breakers are especially common for older homes with old electrical panels and circuit breakers, as these units may be near the end of their usable life and require replacement by a professional. As leading providers of commercial and residential electrical services, the team at Expert Electric knows how inconvenient a tripped breaker can be. We have compiled a list of appliances that typically trip breakers to help homeowners understand why this occurs.

Learn about some important winter electrical safety tips.

Four of the Most Common Causes for Tripped Circuit Breakers

The following devices and appliances are among the most common causes of tripped circuit breakers in a home:

Appliances That Can Trip Your Circuit Breaker

1. Hair Dryers, Flat Irons, and Curling Irons

Hair Dryers, flat irons, and curling irons are essential for many individuals’ daily grooming routines. However, these devices generate a substantial amount of heat rapidly, which in turn requires a significant amount of electrical power. This intense power draw can pose critical issues, especially in bathrooms with standard ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. GFCIs are designed to protect against electrical shock by breaking the circuit if an imbalance is detected, which can be a common occurrence with the high energy consumption of hair styling tools.

When a GFCI outlet trips, it may cut power to the individual outlet and affect multiple outlets on the same circuit, potentially disrupting other electrical devices. To prevent such incidents and maintain a consistent power supply, it’s advisable to unplug any devices that are not in use. Additionally, being mindful of the overall power consumption on the circuit can help minimize the likelihood of tripping the GFCI. By understanding and managing the electrical demands of high-heat styling tools, you can ensure safer and more reliable power usage in your bathroom or any area equipped with GFCI outlets.

2. Fans and Portable Air Conditioners

During the hot summer months, homeowners often rely on a combination of tower fans and ceiling fans to maintain a comfortable living environment. While utilizing these fans can effectively beat the heat, it’s essential to consider the electrical load they impose on your home’s circuitry. Operating multiple fans simultaneously across different rooms increases the cumulative power draw, which can strain your electrical system and potentially lead to tripped circuit breakers.

To mitigate this risk, a good practice is to use fans only in occupied rooms strategically. This not only helps in managing the electrical load more efficiently but also contributes to energy conservation. By limiting fan usage to areas where cooling is immediately needed, you can significantly reduce the unnecessary power consumption that often goes unnoticed yet impacts your energy bills and the electrical system’s health.

Remember, while fans are a more energy-efficient cooling option compared to air conditioners, their impact on your home’s electrical system is not negligible when used in high numbers. Monitoring and adjusting their usage can help prevent electrical overloads, ensuring your system remains stable and reliable throughout the warm season.

3. Old Refrigerators

While refrigerators have undergone substantial advancements in energy efficiency over the past two decades, many households continue to operate models that exceed 20 years of age. These older units are constructed to endure well beyond a decade and tend to consume a significantly higher amount of electricity compared to their modern counterparts. This discrepancy in power consumption becomes even more pronounced during hot weather conditions, as older refrigerators exert extra effort to maintain cool temperatures internally, thereby elevating their energy usage.

The continuous operation of such outdated appliances can lead to recurrent issues, such as causing the housircuit breaker to trip frequently and a clear indication that the refrigerator is drawing more power than the electrical system can safely handle. If your home is equipped with a refrigerator that has surpassed the two-decade mark and you’re facing persistent electrical interruptions, it’s a strong signal that the appliance is not only less energy-efficient but could also be nearing the end of its functional lifespan. Upgrading to a newer, energy-efficient model can reduce your home’s energy consumption, lower your electricity bills, and diminish the risk of electrical complications, making it a prudent investment for the long term.

Appliances That Can Trip Your Circuit Breaker

4. Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum cleaners are notorious for their high power consumption, which can pose a challenge to your home’s electrical system, especially if the circuit is shared with other power-hungry devices. When a vacuum cleaner is in use, it draws a substantial amount of electricity, which can lead to overloaded circuits and, consequently, tripped circuit breakers. This is a common issue that many homeowners face, underscoring the need for mindful electrical usage and circuit management.

To diagnose whether the issue is with the vacuum cleaner or the electrical system, it’s advisable to test the vacuum in different outlets around your home, spanning multiple circuits. If the vacuum consistently trips only one particular breaker, the issue may not be with the vacuum itself but with the breaker or the circuit it’s connected to. This could indicate that the particular circuit is either overloaded or that there’s a potential fault in the breaker, the wiring, or the outlet.

In such cases, it’s crucial to delve deeper into the issue to prevent potential hazards. Consulting with a professional electrician can provide insight into whether your circuit can handle the load or if there are underlying issues that need addressing. Such proactive steps ensure not only the longevity and efficiency of your vacuum cleaner but also the safety and reliability of your home’s electrical infrastructure.

To learn more about our residential electrical services or to inquire about replacing circuit breakers in your home, get in touch with the team at Expert Electric. We can be reached by phone at 604-681-8338 or through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.