During the cold winter days, when people crave to get warmth, space heaters function as perfect rescuers. These appliances make you feel warm and comfortable indoors. But one common problem that many people face when using a space heater is the space heater keeps tripping breaker.
If you are facing the same problem, you shouldn’t ignore this. There can be several reasons for this. For example, the circuit may be overloaded, there is a fault in the breaker or the space heater, or the extension board might be unable to bear the load of the space heater.
Whatever the reason is, if you successfully identify it and do the necessary corrections, you can prevent the tripping of your breaker due to the space heater. This article is all about the reasons and solutions on how to keep space heater from tripping breaker. So, you can go through this till the end to get the appropriate solution for your issue.
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Common Reasons Why a Space Heater Trips Breaker
Many households report that they face the breaker tripping problem when using space heaters. So, it is essential to understand the potential reasons in order to find the possible solutions for the same. The following are some of the top reasons for this issue.
You can read them and understand why your space heater is tripping the breaker. You can fix this problem on your own or seek help from an electrician.
#1 The Circuit Is Overloaded
Probably this is one of the most common reasons for breaker tripping caused by space heaters or other electrical appliances. An electrical circuit is considered overloaded when many devices are connected to it, and too much current is pulled from it than its actual capacity.
This can overheat the circuit and lead to a fire. So, to keep your other appliances and you safe from the possible danger, the breaker automatically trips. Here one thing to understand is that every circuit has a limited capacity, and it can support only a certain number of appliances.
Depending on the amount of current drawn by different appliances and the size of wires used in the circuit, the capacity of the electrical circuit can be determined. Therefore, you should connect appliances to the circuit depending on its capacity and shouldn’t overload the circuit by connecting too many appliances.
#2 The Space Heater Is Damaged
Sometimes the issue can be with the heater, which can trip the breaker for safety. To check this, you can turn off the heater and turn it on with its lowest temperature setting. If the space heater trips breaker, you can understand that there is a problem with the heater itself.
You can ensure a heating element is damaged if the heater doesn’t turn off or show an overheating issue. To confirm the issue, you can allow the heater to cool for some time and turn it on again. If the heater has a fault, its internal wires will be heated up and lose their efficiency.
Since one heating element is faulty, the other one will be overloaded and draw more current from the circuit. As a result, one side of the panel box will be overloaded, causing the breaker to trip.
Some other signs of a faulty heater include heating of the cord and melting of the socket. These are the indications that the space heater is losing its efficiency. So, you should get a new heater to solve this problem. If you want, you can call an expert to perform the necessary checks before you decide what to do next.
#3 Problem With the Extension Cord
Space heaters are high-power appliances, and their wattage rating varies between 400 watts to 1500 watts. Most space heaters are 1500 watts and are not suitable for use with normal extension cords. If you use an ordinary extension cord to use the space heater in your preferred location, it will overheat the wiring of the extension cord and draw more current.
This can trip the breaker for safety. If the extension cord is a small one, it can get melted and cause a fire. On the other side, long extension cords can increase resistance to current flow through the heater and cause an overload, tripping the breaker. So, the safest way to power a space heater is from the wall socket.
#4 Problem With the Breaker
If you notice that the heater is running fine, the wires are perfect, and there is no overload in the circuit, but the space heater keeps tripping breaker, the issue might be with the breaker. Although it is not very common, it is not impossible as well. The breaker can get loose and become less efficient with time.
Also, a breaker can get damaged due to switching on and off multiple times, circuit overloads & overheats, damage of internal components, etc. If the breaker is faulty, it will trip even if there are no problems with the space heater or cord. To know this, you can run the space heater in another room and see if the breaker trips.
You can also check if the issue continues by using another appliance instead of the space heater. Once you confirm that the space heater is faulty, you should replace it to start using your appliances safely. You can do it yourself if you know how to do it. Otherwise, you can call an electrician to help you with this.
Possible Solutions to Keep a Space Heater from Tripping Breaker
Several reasons are there why a space heater keeps tripping breaker. So, you have to perform the possible fixes once you understand the reason for the breaker tripping issue in your home. Here are some possible solutions that you can try depending on the actual reason for the issue.
#1 Avoid Overloading Electrical Circuits
As discussed above, overloading the circuit is a major reason for breaker tripping. So, your aim should be to decrease loads on the circuit as much as possible. First of all, you shouldn’t run too many high-power appliances in one circuit because it can increase the load for the circuit.
Also, keep an eye on the number of devices connected to the circuit and unplug the ones that are not running. Even if the device is not running, the current will be flowing through it. So, it will be better to unplug the appliance from the circuit for safety.
#2 Check The Wiring of The Space Heater
You should conduct a regular checkup of your space heater, wiring, and parts and ensure that everything is fine. If there is any damage or wear and tear, you should fix them before using the heater again. The wirings of the heater shouldn’t have any damages to keep the appliance safe from potential hazards.
Damaged wiring can melt the fuse to protect other parts of the heater and other appliances in the circuit. This indicates that the heater is faulty, and it should be repaired or replaced. You should never run a space heater that has damaged parts because it has the potential to trip the breaker.
#3 Use A Dedicated Outlet for Heater
In order to solve the breaker tripping issue by the space heater, you will have to first understand where the actual problem is in the heater or the circuit. If the issue is in the heater, you can repair or replace it.
If there is a problem with the circuit, you can add a dedicated outlet for your space heater from where you can run the heater safely. This way, you can prevent breaker tripping by the space heater and maintain warmth in your room.
#4 Try Running the Heater at Lowest Setting
A space heater trips breaker if there is an overload or the heater is faulty. But sometimes, running the heater at a lower setting can solve the issue. You can check your space heater settings and choose the lower heating option to solve this issue. When you run the heater at a lower heating setting, it may solve the tripping issue.
Tripping breaker by a space heater is a warning sign that states that there is a problem with the circuit, heater, breaker, or wiring of the heater. So, you should focus on solving this issue instead of running the heater in the same circuit again and again. If you are wondering how to keep space heater from tripping breaker, here are some tips that you can follow to make this happen.
Tips For Using a Space Heater Safely
- Use your space heater at a lower heat setting so that the chances of tripping the breaker will be reduced.
- Don’t use two heating devices in one circuit simultaneously.
- Most extension cords are not designed for heavy loads, so you shouldn’t connect too many devices to one extension cord.
- Turn off the heater immediately if the wires heat up or the heater overheats.
- Maintain distance between the space heater and other electrical devices and flammable items in your home.
- Why Does a Circuit Breaker Trip?
One of the most common reasons for the tripping of a breaker is too much current flow through it. When more current flows through the breaker than its capacity, it trips to keep your appliances and the circuit safe from potential dangers. Otherwise, it can lead to overheating and fire hazards.
- My Wiring and Wall Socket Get Hot When I Turn on My Space Heater. What Is the Reason?
The heating of the wall socket and wires indicate that there is a fault in the wiring. You can call an expert to review your circuit and help you solve this problem.
- Is It Safe to Keep Running a Space Heater All Night?
No, it is not a good idea to keep the heater running when you sleep. High-power appliances like space heaters should be operated carefully to ensure safety.