Bad Circuit Breaker Warning Signs
Every electrical component in your home runs through your circuit breaker. From appliances to light fixtures, computers, gaming devices and coffee machines, none of these can run without a properly working breaker box. However, just like any other component in your household, your circuit breaker can go bad due to a variety of reasons beyond your control. If you happen to catch some of these indicators early through regular maintenance inspections, sometimes it can be repaired fairly easily. However, the signs below indicating a bad circuit breaker may warrant a full replacement by a professional, licensed electrician.
6 Sure Signs you Have a Bad Circuit Breaker
Breaker Trips Frequently: A breaker box that frequently trip can be a sign of several electrical issues within your home. While it may be an indication that the component has gone bad, it can also mean you need to add an additional circuit to handle the electrical load, or you have wiring that needs replacement. An electrician will be able to inspect the breaker box and diagnose the specific issue.
Age: Although manufactured to last for a decade or more, aging and outdated circuit breakers will need to be replaced for safety and energy efficiency reasons. An electrician should regularly inspect your component every few years to identify signs of aging before it fails.
Visible Damage/Rust: Physical damage to the electrical panel breaker such as burn marks are an immediate cause for concern and must be addressed by an emergency electrician right away. Scorch marks on the breaker box, outlets or electrical appliances mean a wire has melted and your home is susceptible to an electrical fire.
Burning Smell: If you don’t see the burn marks right away, you may smell electrical burning from the breaker box. The odor indicates your wiring and insulation are overheating and the breaker is not protecting your home from electrical short circuits.
Hot to the Touch: Your breaker box may not be so bad that it is burning and causing physical damage, but if it is very hot this is the first step to complete failure. For the safety of your home and family it is best to turn off the power to the house and call a 24hr electrician right away.
Doesn’t Stay in “Reset” Mode: If you’ve been resetting your circuit breaker consistently for several months you may notice it won’t stay on for a long period of time. That is a clear indication that your circuit breaker is failing and needs to be inspected by a licensed electrician.