What Is a Baked Breaker?

January 4, 2018 4:37 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

What happens when you plug in a hairdryer and flip it on, only to kill the power to your entire bathroom? It can be a bit startling at first, but there’s an easy solution—just head down to the basement and reset the breaker. You’ve likely just tripped it and accidently overloaded the circuit. If you unplug the electric toothbrush and shaver, you’ll be fine.

But what happens when you reset the breaker, only to have it immediately trip again? Now this is a situation that few people are equipped to handle. The fact is, you’re likely dealing with a “baked breaker.”

A baked breaker is essentially a breaker that’s fried. Too much electricity is flowing through the breaker and, as a result, it’s no longer functioning. It has automatically shut off to protect your home from a potential electrical fire. Your clear course of action now is to call an electrician in Louisa, VA and have them replace the breaker and remedy any underlying problems.

How Do You Tell If It’s Baked?

A baked breaker is pretty easy to discern. Not only will it refuse to flip into the “on” position, it’ll also likely have some other characteristics of failure that include:

  • A burnt or burning smell caused by the breaker being fried
  • Frayed wires or burnt wires leading to the failed breaker
  • The breaker is literally hot to the touch

In some severe cases, you might even stumble upon a breaker that’s actually smoking! This is extremely dangerous and needs to be remedied quickly. In severe cases, it’s important to kill your main breaker to stop any electricity from flowing to the remainder of your box and call an emergency electrician right away.

Why Do Breakers Fail?

Breakers can fail for a number of reasons. For starters, they might just be old. Like anything, breakers can wear out over time and become less effective decades on. Replacing an old breaker with a new one may be enough to resolve the problem entirely. In other cases, there’s a short in the circuit that’s causing the breaker to become overloaded too frequently. An electrician in Louisa, VA can find the short and fix it, to reduce the stress on the breaker. Finally, electrical damage or improper wiring can compromise a breaker, leading to failure.

Call an Electrician!

Baked breakers are nothing to fool around with. Breakers themselves are designed to protect your home from dangerous electrical currents. When a breaker is down, so is that degree of protection. Even worse, a baked breaker indicates that excess electrical power is already present, which means you’re immediately at risk.

Waste absolutely no time in calling an electrician if you find yourself with a baked breaker. At the first sign of trouble, be sure to inspect your breaker box. This will quickly alert you to a baked breaker. If the problem is serious, you can cut the main breaker then and there. Taking smart steps right away and getting a professional involved will help keep you and your home safe against any of the potential problems that follow a failed breaker.

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