Your electrical circuits should all start in a specially designed-circuit box. This will be several rows of circuit breakers. Each one is capable of carrying a specific amount of current. If the draw is higher than this the breaker will trip and shut the power down to the circuit.
It’s a safety mechanism to reduce the number of house fires that occur through bad wiring. Alongside overloaded circuits, issues with the wiring can cause a circuit breaker to trip. Again, it’s designed to protect you.
If you find a circuit breaker is tripping often you need to get a qualified Sydney electrician to take a look. There is a multitude of issues that could be causing the problem. A professional will identify and fix these issues for you.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to know the top 5 signs of a bad circuit breaker, it will help to ensure you call an electrician when you actually need one.
1. Tripping Breaker
When a breaker trips constantly it often means there is a fault in the wiring. This can be as simple as too many things plugged into one circuit.
However, it can also mean that pests have eaten your wiring and removed the protective sheath, allowing short circuits to occur.
Additionally, a breaker that constantly trips can simply have gone bad. It’s an electrical component and can fail due to overuse, age, or even poor-quality construction.
2. Burning Smell
Electrical burning is one of the most distinctive odors you’ll come across and it’s not one you want to experience. It happens when circuits are overheating. This can be a result of overloading, wiring damage, or an issue with your circuit breaker.
The circuit needs to be shut off promptly. If you leave it on and it continues to get warmer then you’re likely to experience an electrical fire. The source of the odor will tell you whether you’re dealing with a circuit breaker, socket, or wiring;
3. Visible Discoloration
When you look at your circuit breakers, they should all look the same. In most cases they are white and, although they fade slightly with age, they basically stay looking the same.
That makes it easy to spot discoloration on a breaker. If this happens there is an issue with that circuit, and it’s highly likely that it’s the breaker or the wiring by the breaker.
Circuit breakers age and start to fail, just as most electrical components do. If your breakers are old they may start to show signs of cracking. This suggests they need to be replaced sooner, rather than later.
Finally, take a good look at your circuit breakers. They live in a dedicated box and should be protected against most things. That’s why you need to be concerned if there is any sign of physical trauma on the breakers.
The damage will stop them from working properly. This means your home may not be as protected from fire as you thought. That’s never a good thing.