Why Do Circuit Breakers Trip?
If you plug too many appliances into a circuit, the system senses that they require more power than the circuit can accommodate and the circuit breaker trips, shutting off power completely. It’s a safety measure designed to protect the wiring in the circuit, as too great a demand can cause the wires to overheat.
Each circuit has a limit of how much power it can handle. You will find that limit printed on each breaker. The number represents the ampere, or amps, which measure the rate or quantity of electrical flow. The number printed on the main breaker is the upper limit your house’s service can accommodate.
For example, a 15-amp circuit is a light-duty circuit that may power something like living room and bedroom lights and electrical outlets, and there are usually several outlets on one circuit. A 30- or 50-amp circuit is for appliances that use a lot of energy, such as an electric clothes dryer or an electric range. These kinds of appliances are usually the only thing hooked up to the circuit—called a dedicated circuit—and their wiring will have a larger diameter.