How to treat a ever-tripping circuit breaker?

Rog Oliver
by Rog Oliver

Circuit breaker question: I have a 20 amp breaker that keeps tripping. Can I replace it with a stronger one? Or...?

  5 answers
  • Gk Gk on Feb 05, 2019

    There is a reason that the breaker keeps tripping. You need to figure that out first! Something is wrong somewhere. The breaker tripping is a safety feature.

  • Ann Ann on Feb 05, 2019

    Gk is so right-you will have to test various areas to find the 'culprit'-something in an area is causing the trip so get a friend to be near breaker box and you 'off-on' electrical items -anything you 'plug in'

  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on Feb 05, 2019

    The most common cause of a circuit breaker tripping is an overloaded circuit...too many things plugged into one circuit. To correct this issue you’ll need to unplug something on that circuit. Definitely do not put in a larger amperage breaker as this can cause a fire.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Feb 05, 2019

    Something on that breaker is tripping it by using more amps in addition to the other things on the breaker. Is there something that you added just before the breaker getting tripped? Hubby is an electromechanical engineer by education. He says that about 15 years is the max life for a breaker, it is possible that it needs to be replaced. 20 amps is already a heavy duty breaker and you can't go higher because of the makeup of the wiring that will take only so many amps without overheating the wires and causing a safety issue. Either the circuit breaker is old and weak, or you are drawing too many amps for the breaker by adding something that requires more amperage than is available with what was already using the breaker, like adding a high draw item like a deep fat fryer.

    • Rog Oliver Rog Oliver on Feb 05, 2019

      Thanks for going into detail, Nancy. I've decided to just buy a new 20-amp breaker.

  • Shreenath Shreenath on Jul 21, 2021

    Here is a decent place to find a suitable circuit breaker, also pay attention to the curve type or class such as A, B,C, D. B and C are usually for residential applications.