Why Are My Circuit Breakers Tripping? 5 Common Causes

With all the challenges we face in the modern world, one thing you should be able to rely on is the electricity in your home. When the power mysteriously goes out, it can be tough to figure out what’s wrong. In this post, we’ll discuss a few common reasons that could cause your circuit breakers to trip.


A breaker “trips” or shuts off when one of the circuits linked to the circuit breaker exceeds a safe level of power. This is a safety feature and is typically the cause of an unexpected loss of power to specific appliances that have their own circuit (a refrigerator, microwave, etc.). If a specific room in your home loses power, that can also be an indicator.

Now that you know how to spot a breaker trip, here are some of the things that can cause them:

Probably the most common reason for a breaker trip is an overloaded circuit. That’s when there’s too much energy running through one circuit. To prevent a fire hazard from overheating, the breaker will trip. This can happen if you install a new appliance on the same circuit as another high-energy appliance but can also happen from overloaded power strips plugged into a single outlet.

When overheated wires come into contact with each other, you may notice a burning smell or even see black around a wall outlet. This is called short-circuiting, and it’s another cause of a breaker trip. Getting this repaired requires a licensed electrician like ours at The Bosworth Company.

When hot wires come into contact with a grounding wire, this is called a ground fault. When this happens, the “grounding” of the outlet becomes impossible and poses the risk of electric shock. The resulting electric surge causes the breakers to trip and should be handled by an electrician.

If an appliance fails, this can actually cause a trip-inducing power surge as well. This happens if the appliance is incompatible with the circuit it’s connected to. Anytime a breaker trips, you should check all the appliances connected to that breaker to see if they are hotter than usual.

Of course, the most known cause for a breaker trip is an electric storm. Midland and Odessa have seen a few lately, and they could pop up at any time. When that happens, a lightning strike near your home could provide so much power that all your breakers trip! This is what happens when the power goes out completely. You may wake up in the middle of the night with your stovetop/microwave clocks flashing!


Did you know The Bosworth Company has electricians? Our fully-certified professional electricians can answer questions or provide repairs for all your electrical needs. Make an appointment online or call us today at 432-570-5233. It’s Worth the Call. Always.