There’s nothing worse than losing power. Whether you’re in the middle of a great TV episode or cooking a meal, suddenly losing power can be frustrating, confusing and sometimes dangerous. Oftentimes, your loss of power is weather-related, but if it’s due to a circuit breaker, follow these simple steps to solve the problem.

Safety First

First and foremost, remember that you are dealing with electricity. Poking around in wiring could be extremely dangerous. If you are having issues with fuses, circuit breakers or electrical wiring you should contact a professional electrician. An experienced electrician can safely identify and correct the problem.

Why Does a Circuit Breaker Trip?

While it’s certainly inconvenient to lose power when you least expect it, having a tripped circuit breaker means that your safety net worked. A circuit breaker typically trips from one of these causes:

  1. A short circuit
  2. An overload

Look at both possibilities and see if you can easily determine which is the cause for your tripping circuit breaker. If you can’t easily tell, call a professional electrician.

In Search of a Short Circuit

The more dangerous option is short circuiting. This happens when two wires touch that shouldn’t. Your breaker is protecting you from a sudden surge in electricity that could be harmful. Short circuits are typically caused by appliances, so follows these steps to find the right appliance:

  1. Unplug all appliances
  2. Plug in one appliance at a time
  3. Turn it on
  4. If an appliance causes the breaker to trip, that appliance has a short and should be repaired
  5. If a light switch or specific outlet causes the breaker to trip, call an electrician immediately to fix the problem

Looking for Overloads

Overloads are far easier to spot and resolve. An overload happens when too many outlets are on a single circuit breaker. If you have lots of electronics, appliances and lights that all go out with the same breaker, contact an electrician to separate the circuit into more than one breaker.

Losing power may not seem like a good thing. However, a tripped breaker means your electrical system is doing its job and protecting you from extreme electrical surges. With a few simple steps, and a call to an electrician, you’ll have a safe, useful electrical system for your entire home.