Two of the most common rooms to experience electrical problems in are the kitchen and the bathroom. This is simply because these two rooms tend to use appliances that require a high amount of electricity to operate. Below are five common issues that can cause your bathroom circuit breaker to trip regularly as well as some advice for DIY or professional solutions to remedy the problem.
You Are Using a Modern Hairdryer In an Older System
Over the past few decades, bathroom appliances, such as hairdryers and curling irons, have become much more powerful. Hairdryers in the 1970s only drew around 6 amps of power, whereas modern hairdryers can pull 15 or more amps. If you have an older electrical system, it may be outfitted with a smaller circuit breaker that simply cannot handle the operation of your modern hairdryer. You can either opt for a hairdryer with a lower wattage, or you can consult an electrician about installing a more powerful circuit in your bathroom. You can also have a special outlet installed that allows only that outlet to lose power when it is overloaded and will allow you to quickly reset it from your bathroom.
You Are Using Multiple High-Wattage Appliances At the Same Time
Even with a modern electrical system, you may not be able to use multiple high-wattage appliances in your bathroom at the same time. You may find that if your flat iron is warming up, you cannot use your hair dryer. The easiest solution is to finish with one appliance before starting with the next. However, if you often find yourself rushed in the morning, you may have to install two separate circuits in your bathroom to accommodate multiple appliances.
Your Bathroom Is Not On Its Own Circuit
Often, bathrooms share a wall with a kitchen or laundry room. You may find that occasionally the electrical circuits for those two rooms were combined, meaning when you are running your dishwasher or your washing machine, your circuit breaker will trip if you start a fan or hairdryer in your bathroom. Although you can try to balance the usage of your appliances, it can be difficult to make sure everyone in your home follows an appliance schedule, so you should consider having your bathroom put on its own circuit.
There Is Water In Your Outlets
Water and electricity do not mix well and, unfortunately, the bathroom is a wet room in most houses. If your bathroom does not have proper ventilation, moisture can get into outlets and make them short when an appliance is plugged in. To prevent this, make sure you have proper ventilation such as a bathroom fan. Additionally, you may consider installing outlet covers over your bathroom outlets to protect them while you shower. This is especially important if you have outlets anywhere near your shower or tub where they may be splashed.
You Have a Short Circuit or Ground Fault
Finally, if you have old or poorly installed wiring, you may be experiencing a short circuit or a ground fault. These occur when the live wires touch each other or touch the grounding system and should only be fixed by a professional. You can tell you have a short because your outlets may heat up, there may be smoke or sparks, and there may be discoloration around your outlets.
If you cannot figure out the reason why your circuit breaker keeps tripping, it is a good idea to call a professional electrician from a company like McDonald Electric to asses your current electricity usage and determine if there are any problems in your electrical system that need repairs.