4 Reasons Why Your Heater Can Trip Your Circuit Breaker

A reliable heater is essential for staying comfortable throughout the winter. Unfortunately, sometimes electric space heaters will trip your circuit breaker, leaving you temporarily without either heat or power. If you’ve noticed this happening in your home, find out what the problem could be and how to resolve it in the guide below.

How Heaters Trip Circuit Breakers

1. Dirty Air Filter
Heaters draw air from intake through a filter before conditioning it. This prevents contaminants from damaging the heater’s components while protecting the air quality in the room. As dirt and dust accumulate, the heater has to work harder to pull in air, drawing excessive power to do so and overloading the breaker. To prevent this, most modern space heaters have washable filters. Pull it out, remove the dirt, and replace it to avoid further outages.

2. Overloaded Circuits
Even heaters that are in good condition draw a lot of electricity, which is why it’s best if they’re kept on an individual circuit not shared with other appliances. When more than one power-intensive appliance is kept on a circuit with your heater, it can overload the capacity, causing the breaker to trip to prevent a short. Try moving appliances to other plugs or areas of your home to prevent this problem from occurring.

3. Short Circuits or Ground Faults
If your breaker trips as soon as you switch on your heater, the problem could be a short circuit or a ground fault caused by exposed wiring. Electrical wires are divided into three types: hot, neutral, and ground. The hot wire delivers current to an appliance, the neutral wire returns it, and the ground channels any sudden excess into the earth to prevent shocks and fires.

Short circuits occur when bare hot wires touch neutral wires, while ground faults result from hot wires coming into contact with ground wires or a ground metal element. The exposed wire will need to be located and repaired by a professional before the circuit can be used again.

4. Faulty Circuit Breaker
If no other problem can be identified in your electrical system, the cause might be a problem with the electrical panel itself. It could be miswired, or the load may be distributed unevenly. Beyond that, worn-out components may be in need of replacement. This problem should be investigated by an electrician for an accurate diagnosis.

Is your circuit breaker tripping every time you turn on your heater? Then turn to Patnode Electric in Willington, CT. Since 1988, this local business has built a reputation for providing quality electrical wiring and installation services to the residents of Mansfield, Glastonbury, Somers, and other nearby communities. Find out more about their quality services online or call (860) 429-3574 to schedule an appointment.

Scroll to top