Willington, Connecticut

Using Your Circuit Breakers: How to Trace Short Circuits & Overloads April 20, 2017

Willington, Tolland
Using Your Circuit Breakers: How to Trace Short Circuits & Overloads, Willington, Connecticut

Working with circuit breakers can be tricky, especially if you're not familiar with your property’s electrical system. The toughest aspect isn't the repair work that follows, but the initial search for the source of a short circuit or overload. Patnode Electric of Mansfield, CT, has been solving these problems and more for Connecticut residents since 1988, and they have some advice for those attempting to trace an electrical issue. 

circuit breakerWhen a hot wire comes in contact with a ground or neutral wire, a short circuit is born. The extra current that results will lead to tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses, and it’s easy to identify this common problem. However, thanks to the sheer volume of potential causes, narrowing down the source of the issue within your entire electrical system can be a challenge. 

The best way to solve this puzzle is to unplug all lights and appliances and turn off all switches throughout your home. Then, reset the circuit breaker. If it trips again when you turn it back on, there’s probably a short within the fuse box itself. If it doesn't trip, your next move will be to turn on switches and plug in lights and appliances one at a time, waiting to see which one will trip the breaker.

This process will allow you to narrow your search even further. If switches trip the breaker, for instance, you know the problem lies in the means of control, not the connected component. Similarly, pay attention to whether the circuit trips when you plug in an appliance or when the appliance is turned on; that way, you can determine if the source is the outlet or a defective appliance.

While it helps to be familiar with problem areas in your electrical system, circuit breakers and related components are hazardous. When in doubt, contact your local electrician for safe, professional assistance. Patnode Electric of Mansfield, CT, will be there whenever you need them. Call (860) 429-3574 to schedule an appointment, and visit them online for more information about the company.

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