What Causes An Electrical Circuit To Stop Working? Answered

Here is all information about What Causes An Electrical Circuit To Stop Working? A circuit breaker usually malfunctions due to short circuits, circuit overloads, spikes, power surges, grounded conduit systems, and more.

Nevertheless, it would help if you also considered the risk of the circuit breaker getting damaged and ceasing to function. In the following post, I’ll discuss how each variable influences circuit breakers. I’ll also suggest addressing these circuit breaker malfunction problems if they occur in your house or place of business.

What Causes An Electrical Circuit To Stop Working?

The power supply may drop in voltage, reset microcontrollers, or cause other components to behave erratically if it is not up to the task. Under no load, batteries can be measured and found to have the correct voltage, but once connected to the circuit, the voltage may drop to the point where the circuit is rendered worthless.

Causes An Electrical Circuit To Stop Working

All Possible Reasons For Electrical Circuit To Stop Working

What is hidden behind an outlet is a mystery to most individuals. As a result, when a plug stops working, homeowners frequently struggle to identify the issue. The majority of homeowners deal with broken outlets regularly. Fortunately, the majority of outlet problems can be fixed without hiring a pro. Roman Electric’s electrical specialists are available to assist.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

Your home’s circuit breakers regulate the electricity that is delivered to each room. The breaker will “trip” or cut off when too much electrical current is running through the circuits to prevent the circuits from overheating and suffering damage.

You should examine your circuit breaker panel if an outlet isn’t working. The tripped breaker will appear in the “on” or “off” state. After turning it off, flip it back on. By resetting the circuit, you can fix your outlet.

Blown Fuse

Your issue can be a blown fuse if a fuse box controls your electricity. Look inside your fuse box for any burned metal fragments or stained glass. After locating the blown fuse, unscrew it and swap it out for another one that is the same.

Tripped GFCI Outlet

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets that have tripped automatically turn off when they detect a short. GFCI outlets are utilized in restrooms and other wet locations, such as those near sinks, to prevent electrical shock.

They are distinguishable by the reset and ‘test’ buttons that are situated in between the two sockets. If a GFCI outlet isn’t working, but your circuit breaker isn’t tripped, the outlet may be tripped. All GFCI outlets in the space will be reset by pressing the reset button.

Burned Out Outlets

There are occasions when outlets actually go out. Your wiring may catch fire due to solid electrical currents, rendering an outlet inoperative. Any blackening on an outlet indicates a small fire, necessitating the replacement of the complete outlet. Burned-out outlets provide a significant fire risk and must be repaired immediately.

The Fifth Hot Outlet

Flipping a switch can be all that’s required to fix your outlet. A wall switch controls one plug (often the lowest) on a half-hot outlet. Flipping the room’s light switches will turn on any outlets that are just partially heated.

Loose Connecting Wires

This is the stage where you should involve a specialist. Your faulty outlet can be the result of loose wiring. To check your wiring, ensure the breaker is turned off. After that, take out the screws holding the outlet’s front plate to the wall. Pull the outlet out of the wall a few inches. Examine the cables that attach to the outlet. You must adjust any loose cables and tighten the screws holding them in place.

Faulty Outlets

Outlet malfunctions are possible, although rare. If you have tried everything else, the outlet might need to be replaced. Make sure to shut off the breaker if you want to replace it yourself. Then, using a screwdriver, carefully detach the wires after removing the outlet cover. Reverse this procedure to reconnect the new outlet.

Unsure of the cause of a non-working outlet? Give Roman Electric a call now! Because electricity can be harmful, if you don’t feel comfortable looking into a broken outlet on your own, contact a qualified expert like those at Roman Electric!

With years of expertise and knowledge, our team can guide neighbors through challenging electrical problems. We’d be happy to assist in ensuring that your home is protected from potentially dangerous electrical risks.

Types Of Circuits

  • Standard: The two varieties of superficial breakers are single-pole and double-pole. Both prevent overloading and short circuits of the current, keeping the wires from overheating. A single-pole breaker safeguards a single wire (120 volts, 15-20 amps). Two wires are protected by a double-pole breaker (120 to 240 volts, 15-200 amps).
  • GFCI Circuit Breakers protect the entire circuit, including all wiring and gadgets. This breaker panel offers complete ground fault protection. They must be used in basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, outdoor spaces, and other wet or moist locations.
  • AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter): By sensing an irregular path or electric jump in the flow from one circuit to another, this circuit breaker shuts off electricity before a spark may ignite a fire, homes or electrical systems with outdated, frayed wire best suit these breakers.
  • CAFCI (Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter): Besides guarding against a series arc, an arc fault breaker offers parallel arc protection. An increase in current along the same circuit, such as from one section of wire to another, is known as a series arc.

How Should You Identify These Problems?

These are a few effective methods I use to identify circuit breaker issues.

  • It would help to consider the scenario I mentioned above when dealing with short circuits and spikes. You may have this issue if the breaker won’t restart and keeps tripping. Because they exhibit the same symptoms as tripped breakers, short circuits are one of the most difficult ones to identify. I also enjoy listening to the distinctive clicking sound that the breaker makes when it is turned on to detect short circuits. If missing, there is a 50/50 chance of a short circuit issue or the breaker failing.
  • •In terms of ground defects, I’d put more faith in a professional electrician’s trained eye. I can’t emphasize this enough, especially if there is a problem with your conduit system. Try your best to have electricians regularly inspect and maintain them.
  • When diagnosing circuit overloads, you simply need to unplug the components you feel to be necessary to confirm that you are working within the appropriate capacity. The circuit breaker should function normally after being reset. If not, there can be some other problems.


To discover What Causes An Electrical Circuit To Stop Working? Consider the four reasons I listed below. Moreover, remember that you will need to replace any that fail without tripping immediately. Never hesitate to contact a qualified electrician if you want to validate your diagnosis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the primary purposes of a circuit breaker?

A circuit breaker is an electrical switch that guards against overloading, short-circuiting, and line jumping. The electricity is immediately cut off when it notices one of these issues. At the flip of a switch, it also restarts the flow of electricity.

Why is a circuit breaker required?

A circuit breaker recognizes an electrical fault, interrupts the flow of power, and safeguards the line, devices, place, or occupants from damaged lines, potential fire, or electrocution.

Should the circuit breaker be the same brand as the panel?

Never use a different brand circuit breaker in a different panel. Circuit breakers come from distinct brands. Nevertheless, circuit breakers might need to be fixed. Manufacturers advise sticking with breakers explicitly made for that brand’s panel when replacing or adding new ones.

Is a fuse or circuit breaker better?

Fuse boxes and circuit breakers do not provide safety features like GFCI and arc-fault reduction technologies that circuit breakers provide. It depends on how they are utilized, how much power is provided to the electrical system, and whether fuses and fuse boxes are safe or harmful. Certain fuse boxes, for instance, cannot accommodate the increased energy requirements of contemporary homes and all of their equipment.

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