What would cause a circuit breaker to trip without a load connected to it? I did a repo inspection last week, and found the breaker for the Kitchen GFCI circuit tripped. I reset it but it tripped soon thereafter. I was thinking that possibly the GFCI device was bad and causing the breaker to trip. I got a call from the buyer (she was at the house trying to clean the carpet) and she said that there was no power at any of the bedroom or family room outlets (there was power in these places during the original inspection). I returned to the property only to find three tripped breakers. None of these circuits had any kind of load on them. The breakers would trip sometimes when reset. My question is: are the breakers bad and tripping randomly, or is there a problem with the wiring somehow. Thanks for all replies…
I have never seen this before, and I am curious to hear what some of the resident experts will say. My advice is to have an electrician check it out.
I always recommend that a licensed electrical contractor evaluate and correct all observed conditions.
One thing I forgot to mention, the breakers are only 2 years old.
Are the tripped bedroom breakers AFCI breakers Tab?
Standard breakers… I’m thinking they might be part of a bad bunch of breakers the manufacturer produced.
I wired a friends thermostat yesterday and when he turned on the new unit the breaker tripped. No load. Checked all circuits. No shorts.
Turned off the sub-panel breaker, re-set the HVAC breaker in the sub-panel, turned on the main breaker and everything worked fine.
Told him to get the breaker changed.
I have no clue why it kept tripping.
Ok…Question 1 you asked
If the breaker is a GFCI or AFCI it could trip without a load on it simply because it has a problem with the wiring. If it is a standard breaker it could have a fault on it from another source…a screw thru it and something grounded and it simply faults out…who knows…
On that one it is important to call THAT out and have it looked at by an electrician simply because of the varibles…and IF it is indeed bad which can happen it wont do it’s job reliably.
Your second statement I will address
Ok…breakers should only TRIP when they are supposed to when on the circuit as a general concept…so without getting into ALOT of detail this alone should warrant a full evaluation by an electrician…
Could they be defective…yep…could their be a problem in the wiring…yep…breakers usually dont trip for just any reason…
Also keep in mind she was vacuuming right…could have an issue with the vacuum…the one that would not reset still had the vacuum in it…and others did not…so they reset…you see where I am going with it…
Defer and have it looked at…and remind them you can’t inspect things you can’t see…electricity can’t be smelled or heard ( generally…lol ) until problems happen…she should understand that and it should not be a big problem to solve.
While not suggesting that Home Inspectors do it, the easiest way to tell if the breaker is bad is to swap a tripping breaker for another in the panel that has not been tripping. Then, if it trips again…
I just replaced a T&B 200 amp residential panel. The top 4 circuit breakers had burned up at the bus connection.
The plot thickens!!