A tripped circuit breaker is a nuisance at best and a complete disruption at worst, especially if it won't reset. Circuit breakers trip because of a problem with the electrical circuit, so a circuit breaker that won't reset should not be dismissed or taken lightly. There are a few common reasons why you might not get your breaker to reset and understanding what those are can help you address the problem as soon as possible.
Is The Circuit Overloaded?
With the increase in consumer use of electronic and technology devices, homes with older wiring infrastructures may lack the circuit capacity needed for the power draw of all of those devices. If you worry that the circuit is overloaded, try unplugging some things from that circuit before you reset the breaker. Then, be moderate about what you plug into the circuit until you can have an electrician address it.
Is There A Short Circuit?
If the breaker trips as a result of a short circuit, the wiring damage must be repaired before you can reset the breaker and have it remain that way. If you have any reason to suspect that the problem could be a short circuit, leave the breaker off and reach out to an electrician as soon as possible. He or she can test the wiring, find the short and repair it. This protects against electrical arcing and other damage that could result without proper attention.
Is There A Problem With The Ground?
A problem with the ground can allow electrical current to escape your circuit and discharge into the ground. When this happens, a circuit breaker will trip and refuse to reset until the ground is corrected. It is safest to have an electrician address ground issues so that you do not risk electrical injury, electrical fire, or other serious wiring damage.
Is The Breaker Old?
Finally, sometimes a tripped breaker that won't reset has nothing to do with the wiring in your house at all. A breaker that is old and worn out will not reset properly. Your local electrician can assess the breaker and replace it if it is outdated, worn, and malfunctioning. Replacing an old breaker is important to protect your home's electrical circuits.
These are just a few of the many issues that can lead to a circuit breaker refusing to reset. Reach out to a local electrician if a breaker keeps tripping in your home.