Why Your Oven Keeps Tripping the Circuit Breaker: 3 Fixes
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or having a large group of friends over, it can be frustrating when your oven keeps tripping the circuit breaker. You reset the circuit, head back to the kitchen, turn the oven on again, yet it trips again. What are you going to do?!
There are many causes for your oven causing your circuit breaker to trip. Generally speaking, the problem lies within the circuit itself or the wiring. However, the source of the problem could also be the oven.
Below, we will talk a bit about what a circuit breaker is, why circuit breakers trip, and why your circuit breaker is tripping when you’re just trying to use your oven. If you’re ready, let’s learn a few things!
What Is a Circuit Breaker?
Circuit breakers are specifically designed to prevent electrical wires from overheating. However, like most things, circuits can only hold so much before they can’t handle anymore. When they generate power that exceeds their capacity, the breaker will switch itself off to avoid a potential fire hazard.
Keep in mind that just because a home appliance is on a separate power outlet doesn’t mean that it’s hooked up to a completely different circuit breaker. Several power outlets can be connected to the same circuit breaker.
Why Do Circuit Breakers Trip?
While we will soon get to the reasons why your oven potentially tripped your circuit breaker, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on why circuit breakers trip in the first place. This will help you understand a bit more about why your oven may be causing the circuit breaker to trip over and over.
#1: Circuit Overload
The circuit overloads when a device that’s plugged in requires additional electricity than the circuit is able to supply to the device. This could potentially occur if there are several devices being used by the same circuit breaker. The best remedy for this particular situation is to redistribute some of the load.
#2: Appliance Issues
If you think about it, this one refers to your problematic oven. When an appliance is drawing an excessive amount of electricity, often due to a malfunction or defect, it can result in the circuit tripping. It could just be from general wear and tear, or an internal component could be defective.
In either instance, it may be forcing the appliance to generate more power than usual in order to operate normally. In these instances, the appliance needs to be disconnected from the electrical supply and repaired.
#3: Short Circuiting
A circuit can short when the insulated section of the wire comes into physical contact with another wire. When this happens, there is a surge in amps within the circuit, causing the circuit breaker to trip. Short circuits like this can often occur if the household electrical wiring has deteriorated over the years, resulting in frays or cracks.
#4: Ground Fault
A ground fault will occur when the hot wire of the circuit breaker comes into physical contact with a metal component of some kind or another wire. This is very similar to that of a short circuit, except the difference is that the problem is outside of the actual wire instead of within the wire.
What’s Causing Your Oven to Trip the Circuit Breaker?
If a circuit breaker in your home is tripping, your oven may definitely be causing it. In the event that the oven is exceeding the amount of electrical power that the circuit is designed to handle, the breaker will likely trip.
That kind of increased consumption of power may be due to a malfunction in the oven or due to the fact that the oven you’re using has a higher power consumption rate than the circuit is designed to produce. Whatever the case may be, we’ll find out through some diagnostic testing.
#1: Circuit Overload
First, you’ll want to determine if the circuit is overloaded with power from the oven. In other words, you’re determining if there is an issue with the circuit itself as opposed to your oven. Unfortunately, this isn’t generally a task that is handled on your own. Instead, it’s a job that is left to a professional.
First and foremost, the technician will determine whether there are multiple appliances connected to the same circuit as your oven. If so, all appliances will be disconnected from the circuit other than the oven. The oven will then be turned on to see if the circuit is tripped again.
If the circuit doesn’t trip, then the other appliances will need to be rerouted to different circuits. If the circuit does trip, you may need to upgrade to a larger amp circuit breaker. However, because there is an excessive load of power, a fault in the circuit breaker as well as wiring issues should also be investigated.
#2: Oven Plug or Wiring Issue
Ideally, a technician should perform this test as well. He or she will use a tool to measure the current when the appliance is turned off. A normal reading is zero, but if it shows more than 0.3A, then there is a good chance there is damage to the wiring somewhere. Once the appliance has been unplugged, the power plug will also be examined for any signs of damage or soot buildup.
#3: Oven Problem
If you have reason to believe that there is an internal component that is causing the trouble, you can ensure that only the oven is connected to the circuit breaker. Once this is done, switch the oven on to a low temperature. If you notice that the circuit breaker doesn’t trip immediately, then there is no short in the fuse that the oven is plugged into. This is good news.
Next, increase the temperature of the oven slowly. If the circuit breaker ends up tripping as you are slowly increasing the temperature of the oven, the problem likely lies with the heating element.
Now, your oven probably has two separate heating elements. You’ll need to replace them one at a time, replace both of them, or have a professional determine which one is faulty before replacement.
There are other heating components in your oven that could potentially cause problems that you’ll need to check into if your heating elements turn out to be fine. These include the selector switch (which is designed to change the functions of the oven), thermostat, fan, and internal lamp.
However, more often than not, it’ll be your heating element. If not, just go through the other components one by one until you’ve determined which one it is. For instance, the thermometer is easy to test, as you simply use an oven-safe thermometer and place it in the oven to ensure it reads the same temperature as the temperature you have the oven set to.
The switches in the oven will appear burnt or broken if they are defective. In order to locate them, it is best to obtain a wiring diagram drawing of your oven. As for the fan, you can use a multimeter to test if it’s still in working order. If it gives an inaccurate reading, then you’ll know the fan motor needs to be replaced.
These are the three most common issues that cause problems with ovens and circuit breakers tripping. Ultimately, trial and error is the best way to determine the source of the issue that you’re experiencing, but hopefully, the above information helped you get to the root of your oven issue.
Ideally, though, a dedicated circuit for larger appliances, such as your oven, is best to avoid issues with your circuit breaker tripping unexpectedly. A professional can help you with this task if you are not handy with electrical systems, as electricity is never a laughing matter.
We hope you found valuable information in this guide. Please check out some of our other guides below!