Why Does My Circuit Breaker Trip When My Space Heater Is In Use?

As colder weather approaches, some people are using space heaters to help ensure that their house is heated adequately through the winter months. However, those who use space heaters frequently may run into a problem in which they notice that the space heater causes a circuit breaker trip. Although this occurrence can provide a lot of confusion to people who don't have a clear understanding of their building's electrical system, in reality it is a safety feature designed for fire prevention. There are a few simple steps that can be taken to eliminate this issue, allowing for trouble-free space heater usage.

Breaker Functionality and Safety

Space heating units use more electricity than the average appliance, since they use resistance to generate heat. Breaker tripping is designed to prevent electrical shorts, which can happen if too many things are plugged into one electrical outlet or on a single circuit.

Initial Steps To Prevent A Heater From Causing A Circuit Breaker Trip

Check the documentation included with your heater to determine the amount of wattage needed while the space heater is operational. Then, compare that number with the maximum wattage that your breaker and any applicable fuses can bear.

The majority of space heating units on the market use 1,500 watts of electricity, and generate 5,000 BTU's per hour. Keep in mind that units using 1,500 watts or more will need to be on a dedicated circuit. Homes often have 15 or 20 amp outlets, but the energy needs of a space heater are usually much greater than that. Furthermore, circuits are often the same throughout several rooms in a house. Add the energy requirements of a space heater to all the other electrically powered devices within a room and you'll frequently find a circuit that is very close to becoming overloaded. This consequently causes the breaker to trip.

Reasons To Seek Professional Advice

For those who want to resolve circuit trip incidences quickly, the best course of action is to hire a professional to offer personalized advice. For those in Atlanta, for instance, Atlanta electricians can review your current electrical configurations and make any necessary alterations in a way that is easy on the budget and an effective solution to your home heating needs. Your Atlanta electrician will provide service that prevents you from having to deal with a constantly tripping situation, enabling you to prepare for the winter months in comfort and safety.

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