Electricity has become one of the many aspects of modern life that’s indispensable. We need it to cool our homes, run appliances, watch TV, and style our hair. So, when an outlet keeps tripping, it can be extremely disruptive. If your outlets keep shutting off, you need to address the root cause to prevent it from continuing to occur. What are the most common reasons for tripped outlets and what can you do about it?
6 Reasons Your Outlet Keeps Tripping & What to Do Next
In a nutshell, outlets trip to prevent fire hazards. While certain things may be obvious to you — such as not using wet hands to plug in an appliance — there are other more inconspicuous dangers.
Things You Can Fix on Your Own
1. Power surge
If you have too many electrical devices plugged into the same power strip, or if you have too many appliances running at once, the breaker will trip to protect the outlet from overheating.
What to do: Keep track of the gadgets and appliances you’re running when the trip occurs. Narrow down what’s the last device you’ve plugged in or started to run right before the trip. It doesn’t always have to be something large. A blow dryer can sometimes be enough. Once you find the culprit, plug it into a different outlet.
2. The cord came in contact with water
If you have GFCI outlets, know that they are designed to shut off when a cord or appliance comes in contact with moisture. This can range anywhere from a lot of humidity to a cord touching a puddle or spilled water.
What to do: Wiping up spilled water is a quick fix. But, so is making sure that there isn’t too much moisture in the area. Condensation or dirt that’s saturated with water may also cause issues, so clean the area thoroughly, even if you don’t necessarily think it looks wet.
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Things That Require an Electrician
While the items listed above could be done with patience and precaution, there are certain conditions that require a licensed electrician. Hiring an electrician ensures an accurate diagnosis and prevents life-threatening injuries.
3. Ground fault
This occurs when a hot wire makes contact with grounding wires. If this happens, you’ll notice a burning smell coming from your outlets.
4. Deteriorated wires
This could happen because wires are old or too many of them are pulled together. If there’s an electrical leak in wires that are too close, it’ll result in a tripped outlet.
5. Old appliances
Every appliance has a natural lifespan. Some may last a bit longer if you’ve provided them with good maintenance. However, older gadgets that are wearing out or are corroded may also cause the outlets to overheat.
6. Old outlet
Electrical outlets could last about 25 years without any issues. If you live in an older home, it may be time to replace them. If you have GFCI outlets, test them out first by pushing in the black test button. When you do, the red reset button should pop out. If it doesn’t do it automatically, you need to replace the outlet.
Climate Design Can Help
At Climate Design, we provide HVAC and electrical services all over Tampa Bay: Clearwater, Largo, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, St. Pete Beach, Eastlake, Tarpon Springs, Safety Harbor, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, and New Port Richey.
If you’re having electrical or HVAC issues, we can help!
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