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What are signs of a bad Circuit breaker?

Electricity is seen as an essential item to most homeowners, but it is also a dangerous item that needs to be treated with respect.

Thanks to modern safety standards, including circuit breakers, it is easy to forget the danger electricity poses. Various circuit breaker testers are available to take care of the safety of electrical systems and basic maintenance procedures.  

Replacing a circuit breaker is a job for a level 2 electrician. Fortunately, it is not an expensive job. If your electrics are doing any of the following it is possible you have a bad circuit breaker and you should get professional assistance.

Flickering Lights

These can be annoying or amusing, but, in reality, they are a sign that there is something wrong with the circuit.

This could be the wiring at the light bulb or switch, but it could also be the circuit breaker. You need to get it checked.

Reduced Performance

If you’ve ever experienced issues with your electrical appliance you may think you have a ghost, but you’ve probably got a bad circuit breaker.

It could be something as simple as your washing machine turning off mid-cycle, or your oven failing to heat up properly, as it is flickering on and off.

One appliance issue has the potential to be a problem with the appliance. If it happens to more than one appliance it’s probably your circuit breaker.

Regular Bulb Replacement

Light bulbs should last for hundreds or even thousands of light hours. If you’ve started replacing yours every few weeks then they are burning out.

This may be because they are overrated for the fixture. But, it is more likely that you have an issue with your circuit breaker.

You need to get this sorted quickly as a failing circuit breaker or bad wiring can increase the risk of a fire.

Not only will this damage your home, but it will also lower its property value.

Burning Smell

If you’ve noticed an electrical burning smell you’ll need to get professional help identifying its origin and getting the issue resolved. One of the most common causes is a faulty circuit breaker, but you’ll need t have this verified and your wiring checked before you change your breaker.

Signs Of Damage

A bad circuit breaker can cause an irregular power flow to sockets. This means plugs can overheat and your sockets will often develop scorch marks. The most likely cause is electrical wires melting and shorting, the breaker is failing to shut off the power.

In short, the circuit breaker and the socket, as well as the wiring will need to be looked at.

Tripping Breakers

If your breakers are constantly tripping you are either overloading the circuits, have a bad appliance, or an issue with your circuit breakers.

The alternative is that the breaker trips but you can’t get it to stay in the on position, every time you try it clicks back off. You should unplug everything on the circuit to confirm it’s a problem with the breaker and not an appliance. As with anything electrical, the sooner you get it checked the better. Leaving bad electrical unrepaired will increase the likelihood of fire and the loss of all your possessions.

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