Why Does My Breaker Keep Tripping With Nothing Plugged In?

A breaker that keeps tripping with nothing plugged in is caused by a ground fault, short circuit, overheating appliance, or overloaded circuit. Understanding this problem is vital in maintaining the safety and efficiency of any electrical system.

If the issue persists, it’s best to get help from professional electricians, as they are the best at diagnosing and resolving these problems.

This post will discuss the common causes of a tripping circuit breaker and the steps to fix it.

4 of the Most Common Causes of Circuit Breaker Tripping

The 4 most common causes of circuit breaker tripping are a ground fault, a short circuit, an overheating appliance, and an overloaded circuit. Take a closer look at each one below.

Ground Fault

A ground fault occurs when an unintended electrical path connects a power source to a grounded surface. This situation can arise if live wire touches a metal wall box or a ground wire.

Short Circuit

A short circuit is one of the most serious electrical faults and a common cause for circuit breakers to trip. It happens when a live wire comes into contact with a neutral wire, creating a low-resistance path that allows a surge of current to flow.

Overheating Appliance

When an appliance overheats, it can cause the circuit breaker to trip. This often happens with older or faulty appliances that draw more current than they’re designed to handle.

Overloaded Circuit

An overloaded circuit is a prevalent reason for tripping breakers that result in a power outage. This situation arises when too many appliances or devices operate simultaneously on the same circuit.

Why Does My circuit Breaker Keep Tripping With Nothing Plugged In

5 Important Steps to Fix a Breaker That Keeps Tripping

The 5 important steps to fix a breaker that keeps tripping are to unplug all appliances, reset the circuit breaker, reconnect appliances gradually, identify the problematic appliance, and contact a licenced electrician.

Step 1: Unplug All Appliances

Begin by unplugging every appliance connected to the affected circuit. This eliminates the immediate load and prepares the circuit for a safe reset.

Step 2: Reset the Circuit Breaker

Locate your circuit breaker box and flip the tripped breaker firmly to the OFF position, then back to ON. Doing so lets you reset the breaker and re-establish the electrical connection.

Step 3: Reconnect Appliances Gradually

Start plugging in the appliances one at a time, allowing a few minutes between each. Monitoring the breaker’s response helps identify if the overload was the issue.

Why Is My Breaker Keep Tripping With Nothing Plugged In

Step 4: Identify the Problematic Appliance

If the breaker trips again, the last appliance you plugged in could be the culprit. Disconnect it and test the circuit again to confirm.

Step 5: Contact a Licenced Electrician

Should the issue persist or if you’re uncertain about any step, it’s wise to call a licenced electrician. Professional assistance ensures safety and a proper resolution of the electrical problem.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Circuit Breaker?

The cost to replace a circuit breaker is around $200 to $300. This amount varies based on factors like amp size, type of breaker, and installation complexity.