Iron Keep Tripping Your Breaker? 5 Causes, With Fixes


You plug your iron in and within no time it trips your circuit breaker. And what’s worse is that this is the third time it has tripped today! If you’re not sure what you can do to fix your iron, find 5 steps that will help in this article.

Here’s why your iron keeps tripping your breaker:

Failed heating elementReplace the element
Internal water leakReplace the iron
Overloaded circuitUnplug some items from the circuit
Old ironReplace the iron
Extension cord overloadLimit the number of extension cords you use in the home

In some instances, it is possible to fix an iron that keeps tripping your breaker. But in others, the only solution is to replace your iron. To find out where you stand with yours, take a look at the extended instructions below.

5 Reasons Your Iron Trips and How to Fix It

Gathering the strength to get the ironing done is not easy. But that pile of laundry has been staring at you menacingly for over a week and it only seems to be getting bigger by the day. So, it’s time for you to brace yourself and tackle it.

But what can you do if every time you plug the iron in, it trips your breaker? Take a look at the 5 causes and solutions that are coming up in this article. They will help you see why irons tend to trip a circuit breaker and what you can do to stop that from happening.

Reason #1 Failed Heating Element

Let’s jump straight in with the first reason why your iron is tripping. This is commonly the culprit of the heating element in the iron. This element has the important job of warming the water in the iron’s tank.

Over time, your heating element could start to malfunction and become unresponsive. This could happen if it loses its electrical properties. The thermal safety mechanism that powers the element could trip your circuit breaker. It does this to stop any further damage from happening.

So what should you do if your heating element fails? The only solution here is to *replace the element or to replace the iron altogether. Depending on the make and model of the iron, it might be simpler for you to do the latter.

Ok, but what if you’ve struck lucky and found the parts you need and want to replace the heating element yourself? Then take a look at the steps below. They will walk you through everything you’ll need to do and the tools you should gather.

You Will Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement power cord (optional)
  • Wrench
  • Replacement heating element (thermostat)
  1. Disconnect the iron from the power outlet and allow it to cool before you attempt to touch it
  2. Remove the cover panel using a screwdriver
  3. Inspect the power cord under the cover panel. If it is worn, replace it.
  4. Remove the nuts and screws that hold the heating element to the iron plate. You will need a wrench and a screwdriver to do this.
  5. Remove the old heating element and replace it with a new one
  6. Fix the new heating element to the iron plate using the nuts and screws
  7. Return the cover panel to its place using a screwdriver
  8. Plug the iron in and test it out

*NOTE: During the course of this article, we will focus on what you should do when your iron trips your breaker. You should note, that this is an electrical issue. You should discontinue the use of the iron until you are sure what the problem is and have fixed it.

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Reason #2 Internal Water Leak

Does your steam iron make your circuit breaker trip? Then you should stop using the iron immediately. It is not uncommon for steam irons to develop an internal water leak from the tank. When this happens, it causes the iron to trip your circuit breaker.

What can you do to fix this problem? Unfortunately, not a lot. Repairing a leaking tank is a fiddly job and finding the parts to do so is not straightforward. You should replace the iron.

If your iron has an internal leak then there’s a good chance that you’ve had it for a little while now. But if the iron is relatively new, you should contact the manufacturer. They will see if you can get a repair or replacement under the warranty.

filling an iron with water
The iron’s water tank could be leaking internally

Reason #3 Overloaded Circuit

It is all too easy to overload a circuit in the home. This is especially true when it comes to older houses. Most of us keep our ironing board in a cupboard or in a spare bedroom. In the majority of bedrooms, all of the room’s outlets are on one circuit. So, if you have other electrical items connected in the room, it won’t be long until one of them causes a trip.

What can you do to prevent this from happening? Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Try ironing in another room that has multiple circuits for each outlet
  • Unplug some of the electrical appliances in the room you’re in. Then use the iron.
iron plugged into the wall
Unplug some of the electrical appliances in the room

Reason #4 Old Iron

Is your old iron making your circuit breaker trip? Older electrical appliances are more likely to do this for a couple of reasons. Here are just two of them:

  • They use more electricity
  • They are more likely to overheat and trip a circuit breaker

So what’s your best solution? The most cost-effective thing to do here is to replace the iron. Finding replacement parts for an old iron is almost impossible. And even if you do find the parts, the chances are they won’t last long. Buying a new iron is cheaper and faster.

Reason #5 Extension Cord Overload

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about using an extension cord at home. Neither is there any reason why you shouldn’t use an extension cord while ironing. What you do need to be careful of though, is how many extension cords you use around the house.

The more extension cords you use around the home, the higher your electricity use. Your electrics can only take so much. So, plugging your iron into an extension could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back causing the breakers to trip.

So what should you keep in mind? Here are some tips:

  • Limit the number of extension cords you use around the house
  • When plugging your iron in, do not overload the circuit
  • If there are other high-consumption electrical items in the socket, plug some of them out. Do this before you begin ironing.


You turn your iron on and within an instant, the circuit breaker trips and the iron turns off. You’re left in the dark and are no closer to getting your ironing finished in time for a relaxing afternoon.

In this article, you’ve seen 5 reasons why irons trip. You’ve also seen what you should do about it if this happens to you. This has no doubt helped you to solve your iron’s problem. And, if it cannot be fixed, it has likely put you on the road to treating yourself to a replacement.

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Have a great day!


Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more