Best Answer

A circuit breaker can go bad from being tripped too many times. Many people don't understand that the tripping of a circuit breaker indicates a problem that needs to be corrected. They usually just reset the circuit breaker, leading to a very common second (or third, or fourth) trip. Circuit breakers tripping are for the prevention of fire due to excessive heat in the circuit. They're not supposed to be tripped repeatedly. This can wear the breaker out. Believe it or not, I've also seen circuit breakers fail to re-energize after being turned off. I speculate this was actually caused by the breaker never having been cycled (it was a main breaker), and the time elapsed since it was installed. Electrical equipment doesn't last forever. It's the same as anything else.

User Avatar

Wiki User

โˆ™ 2008-08-23 21:04:39
This answer is:
User Avatar
More answers
User Avatar


Lvl 1
โˆ™ 2020-09-13 13:40:03

I don’t know

User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: What makes a circuit breaker go bad?
Write your answer...
Related questions

Can circuit breaker be bad even getting little electricity?

Anything can go bad. A breaker is a mechanical device and can fail for many different reasons.

1997 Lincoln town car lights flicker you replaced light switch lights still still go out must be a relay or circuit breaker where is the circuit breaker located?

Bad ground.

How do I repair a Passenger side window that won't operate and the motor is still good on a 97 maxima?

if the the motor is good you need to check the circuit breaker because the circuit breaker might be the problem. window doesnt go bad my dude the motor goes bad check it again

Could a bad circuit breaker light switch or plug outlet cause the bedroom light to flicker when turned on?

Yes a bad circuit breaker and a bad light switch can cause a light to flicker when its turned on. It could also be caused by loose wiring going or coming from that paticular circuit. it also could be something in the fixture itself causing. Checking for loose connections is your cheapest and first route to go.

A circuit breaker is connected in what in a circuit?

Series. You want all the current from the source to go through it.

Why do the headlights of a 1991 ford explorer go off and on when turned on?

The headlight circuit is protected by a self-resetting circuit breaker. Something in the circuit is drawing too much power and the breaker is cycling on and off.

Is fuse a part of a circuit?

When there is a fuse, yes it is part of a circuit. The fuse is a cheap, replaceable circuit breaker to avoid damage to the circuit components.

Do you have a 15 0r 20 amp circuit?

Go to your distribution panel and shut off the breaker that you think is the circuit in question. If the circuit becomes de-energized then the breaker you just turned off feeds that circuit. Look on the handle of the breaker and the number you see is the amperage of that circuit. <<>> Determination of a 15 or 20 Ampere circuit is normally indicated by a combination of a 20A breaker and a 20A dedicated outlet. A 15A circuit normally has multiple outlets; not typical in a 20A circuit.

Can you put 2 20 amp circuits on one 20 amp breaker?

the answer is no period. You will only make this circuit breaker trip more often. you will need to install another 20 amp circuit or install what is called a piggy back circuit breaker. you can may find this at Lowes or Home Depot or better yet take a circuit breaker out of the electrical panel and go to a electrical distributor.

My circuit breaker keeps popping I have replace the 2-prong outlet with a 4-outlets and why is it still popping?

A breaker trips when there is too much current. If you unplug everything on the circuit and the breaker still trips then you have a wiring problem or a bad breaker. From your description it is not possible to be certain if the problem started when you installed new outlet or previously. You have to describe your problem in better detail to get a good answer. When you have a circuit that trips the corresponding breaker, you need to go through each outlet on the circuit and rule it out as the problem. This can be done by pulling each outlet, from the wall and systematically remove wires from outlets while power is off and determining when problem goes away.

What makes food go bad?

What makes food go bad

Do arc fault breakers go bad?

Generally no. The purpose of an arc fault breaker is to kill a circuit if water or any other type of element were to intrude the branch to prevent an arc fault blast. They can go bad over wear and tear over time and if not used properly or if the neutral becomes to short to reach the neutral bar or if an arc fault blast occurs the breaker will go bad ofcourse.

How do you find out why a GFI won't reset if it tripped several times due to Christmas lights and rain but they are now unplugged and when the reset button is pushed it immediately trips?

If the outlet cover was held open by the lights it could be wet. A smal amount of water will cause a GFI to trip. A GFI is a device which makes certain that voltage is not draining away from the two wires, to some OTHER voltage drain, such as a human body or a wet circuit. if above not the answer go to your breaker box and find the breaker that controls that circuit. you will know when you have the right one when the breaker does nothing, not even trip it self. see what else is on that circuit {what else turns off when main breaker is tripped and unplug everything that is on that circuit then turn on the main breaker. try the reset with everything else off if it still trips then its the gfi itself. they go bad often on construction sites [my own personal experience] if it resets properly than one of the other things on that circuit is the culprit. replug or turn them on one at a time. the breaker will trip if its one of these. if not replace the breaker. pretty cheap at lowes or home depot. turn off main breaker when you replace it. lots of luck!!

Wiper fuse location on 1977 dodge power wagon?

The head lights and windshield wipers are protected by a circuit breaker (no fuse required) Sorry I have know idea where the circuit breaker is, never looked for it. It might be that you're wiper motor is bad. I have never herd of a breaker going bad. To test it run a hot right from you're battery to the input on the wiper motor. It maybe the switch I have had them go bad. You can't just put a toggle switch on it because it is a two speed motor it will not work.

Why is there no power but the breaker is on?

I have had a breaker go bad. I have had a wire burn out where a previous owner did electrical work but did not know what he was doing. (He put in #16 wire for a new outlet for an air conditioner and tied it into an existing circuit!) I have also had light switches and light sockets go bad. I have replaced wall sockets. It could be any number of problems. Get your tester and go to work. If you can't find it, call an electrician.

How do you reset your circuit breaker?

I'm assuming this is a typical breaker you would find in your home. Pull the breaker to the off position, then to the on position. When the breaker blows on overcurrent, it will go to somewhere between the off and on position and open the circuit. From this position, you cannot force it to close (on position) without first taking it completely to the off position.

What makes a circuit go out without tripping the breaker?

For the entire circuit to go out, the breaker has to trip. The breaker tripping is what causes the loss of power to everything pulling power from that circut. Any single power surge at any point along the circut can cause it. If you have experienced what you are questioning, I suggest you have an electrician take a look at your wiring. You may have serious issues. Breakers a designed to protect the wiring from getting too hot. It's a safety feature for your appliances, your home and those who live in it.

Why would a hot wire go directly from the breaker to the neutral bar?

If this is is exactly what you are seeing then the breaker will not be resettable. The breaker will instantaneously trip. If the identified conductor comes into the distribution panel from an external circuit then this is another scenario.

How does a circuit breaker work instead of a fuse?

Both work on the principal of overheating a circuit caused by an overload or short. When a circuit is overheated because of to many amps being used on the circuit or a short, a fuse has a thin wire which gets very hot an pops (separates) the circuit and everything turns off. A circuit breaker when overheated has a switch that trips disconnecting the circuit. Unlike the fuse, which is replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset.Note: Before you can use the circuit, the problem that caused the fuse to pop or the breaker to trip must be solved. You may have to go through many fuses before it is found. Start by unplugging a electrical devices on the circuit.

What is the standard to select circuit breaker?

Add up your amps to calculate your breaker size. Add up your loads (amps), divide by 0.8, and choose that size breaker. If that number does not correspond to a standard size breaker you go to the next higher standard size breaker.

Can I use 20 amp receptacle 12 gauge wire and a 15 amp breaker in a circuit?

Yes. The breaker can be smaller, but not larger than the circuit it is protecting. The situation you describe would normally be protected by a 20A breaker, but what you suggest is fine. You couldn't go the other direction and use a 30 A breaker because it wouldn't protect the lesser rated components.

Does power go to a turned on breaker?

Turning the breaker on allows the power to flow through to the outlets, lights, and appliances on that circuit, so yes power goes to and through a turned on breaker. If the breaker is off, but the main power is on, power still get to the breaker, usually from the bus bar that runs down the middle of the back of the breaker box.

Why does your electricity go out in one room?

Because you have blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker. This is caused by a) too much equipment plugged into a single circuit, or b) faulty equipment causing a short circuit.

Will a 20A 240V breaker be sufficient for a 240V 22A input welder or do you need to go to a 30A?

It would have to be a 30 amp breaker to use the full power of the welder. I'd say go with the 30A. The general rule is that your planned load should only be 80% of the circuit capacity. That means a 30A circuit should have a maximum load of of (30*0.8) = 24A. With the 30 amp breaker you must have at least #10 wires feeding the circuit.

What happens to the brightness of a bulb in a parallel circuit if you add more bulbs?

nothing, until you exceed the circuit capacity and pop the breaker or blow the fuse. then they all go out.

Study guides

Create a Study Guide