How to tell if a circuit breaker is bad
How to tell if a circuit breaker is bad

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How to tell if a circuit breaker is bad

If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, that’s a red flag and an indication your circuit breaker is bad. 

But there are other signs you may need to call a local electrician to see if you need your circuit breaker repaired or replaced.
We’ll go over some common signs that point to an issue and what they mean. 

Circuit breaker keeps tripping

If your circuit breaker keeps tripping every time you try to turn on an electrical appliance, one of the most common issues is that your breaker is outdated and can no longer handle the load you put on it. 

You could potentially just add a circuit, but if your electrical panel is older than 50 years old it’s best to just replace them.

However, even if it is a newer panel, if your circuit breaker keeps tripping you need to get it looked at by an electrician. 

They will also need to check the entire circuit to make sure there’s no damage.

Circuit breaker is smoking

This is what we at Bonnivier Electric call a code red. 

If your circuit breaker is smoking or has a burning smell, you need to shut off your power and call a licensed electrician immediately.

In this instance, it is likely that your electrical panel has become overheated and is not tripping like it should. What you’re probably smelling is the wires getting too hot because of a short somewhere and your panel has not broken the circuit. 

It’s an old electrical panel

As we said earlier, if your circuit breaker is older than 50 years it’s probably time to get them replaced.

In fact, even if you aren’t seeing any issues yet it’s probably a good idea to at least have your panel looked at if it’s that old.

Not sure of the age of your panel? If it happens to be a Federal Pacific panel, those are very well known for not tripping when they should and starting house fires. 

Burn marks around circuit breaker or outlets

This might sound obvious but if there are burn marks around your panel, electrical outlets, or even the electrical appliances themselves, you have another code red on your hands.

Burn marks are a telltale sign of a melted wire and a circuit overload because of a faulty circuit breaker. 

This also means you are at risk of your home or business burning down.

You need to unplug all appliances that are connected to outlets within the circuit in question and call an electrician.  

Springfield home and business owners trust Bonnivier Electric

Bonnivier Electric co-owner Levi Bonnivier is a licensed Master Electrician with over 15 years of experience. 

He’s best known as a commercial electrician for Springfield businesses, but Bonnivier does, in fact, serve as a residential electrician too! 

You’ll appreciate the level of service we provide as we believe in bringing the same long-term relationship and reliability to both business owners and residential customers.

If you have issues with your circuit breaker or have any other electrical needs, you can fill out the form below or give us a call at 417-430-1516. (tel:4174301516)

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