Waffle Iron Keeps Tripping Your Breaker? Here’s Why
Does your waffle iron keep tripping your breaker? There’s a chance the problem is unrelated to your appliance. Here’s why.
So, you just plugged in your waffle iron as you always do, and pop! Why is it suddenly tripping your breaker? There’s a considerably high chance it has nothing to do with your appliance.
As you know, circuit breakers are the safe keeper of your home’s electrical layout. When they detect a potentially destructive power surge, they automatically trigger a response to prevent further damage. This normally happens when there’s a blackout or a short circuit.
If your waffle iron is suddenly causing this to happen, something about the way you use your it, or its power sources, might have changed. But what? The only way to know for sure is to rule out potential causes and fix them as you go.
Below, you’ll find a list including the most common causes behind this occurrence and what you can do to address them as soon as possible. The main goal here is to fix your waffle iron, but also to keep you safe in the process.
Gear up. It’s time to get to work!
- A bad outlet
- A bad breaker
- A pinched cord (short circuit)
- Loose components
More often than not, we focus solely on what might be wrong with the appliance itself, that we forget to look into the external factors that could be contributing to the issue. I want to help you cover all bases.
Finding the cause behind your waffle iron tripping your breaker should not be complicated or time-consuming. Chances are, all you need to do is make some changes in your electric load distribution. Relax!
A bad outlet is bad news
Some wear and tear around your house is to be expected as the years go by. But when it’s your outlets that are showing signs of degradation, problems can arise quickly.
There’s a possibility that your waffle iron is fine, but the outlet it’s drawing power from, is not. Moreover, even if the wall outlet is operating normally, sudden changes in the electrical load you put it under should also be factored in.
For example, using multi-contact docks to power your phone, your waffle iron, your hairdryer and your microwave at the same time, could be putting a lot of stress on your wall outlet. Try to avoid this as much as possible,
Solution: Test a different outlet.
Unplug your waffle iron and take it to a different section of the house. If you plug it in and there’s no breaker tripping, you’ve found the culprit.
On the other hand, if you’ve been using a single outlet to power several appliances at once, it would be a good idea to disconnect them and dedicate it specifically to the waffle iron.
If you’re up for a challenge, test your wall outlet to confirm or discard the possibility of failure. Just remember, safety first.
Your circuit breaker could be failing
Troubleshooting and DIY’s are all about isolating possible causes and analyzing them, so it’s not crazy to think that the issue could stem from something other than the waffle iron in question.
While this is the least likely explanation to your problem (especially if no other appliance in your home causes the breaker to trip), it’s still a possibility and should not be ruled out.
Solution: Be on the lookout for other events.
If plugging in your hairdryer in the master bedroom or using the TV in the living room cause your breaker to trip, the issue might be unrelated to your waffle iron, and could even be a bigger electrical issue inside your home or circuit breaker.
A short circuit might be to blame
Having a short circuit happen from pinching a cord might sound like something straight out of “Home Alone”, but it’s actually much more common than you think.
In fact, in some cases, it doesn’t even need to be pinched. Simple things, like keeping it hardly pressed against a wall or tangled, can contribute to damaging it.
The best way to tell is by looking out for smoke coming from or around the power cord. If one day you were using your waffle iron, and the cord was somehow pinched while operating, you should have seen a spark, followed by smoke and a burning smell.
This happens when the electricity flowing through the cord is abruptly interrupted by any kind of damage to it.
I had this happen to me with a laptop’s screen. Not fun. At all.
Solution: If you have a spare power cord lying around, try to carefully test it.
- Unplug your waffle iron and let it cool down
- Remove the suspicious power cord and connect the new one
- Plug the appliance to a wall outlet
Now, I know not everyone has spare cables in their home, so, if this is your case, finding a replacement should be simple enough. Just do a quick Google search on your appliance’s make and model, and you should find one for less than $20 at any online marketplace.
Use a soldering iron to fix any loose wires
It’s quite possible that your problem could be caused by something inside your waffle iron that’s not properly placed or not securely attached to where it should be. This can happen for a number of reasons, ranging from poor transportation, to accidental drops.
When a cable or component inside your appliance is loose, it can randomly come into contact with other components or wires, causing a malfunction and short circuits from time to time.
The good news, is that this issue is easily fixed, the bad news, is that to do so, you’ll have to open your waffle iron.
Solution: This is optional, but if you have a soldering iron and know how to use it, bringing it out now would be a good idea. Also, if you happen to have your waffle iron’s diagram handy, even better.
- Unplug your waffle iron and let it cool down completely
- Locate the screws holding the case together and unscrew them
- Expose the appliance’s guts
- Look for any loose wires
- Check your diagram and solder the loose wires where they belong
- Put everything back together and carefully test it
Do not leave your waffle iron unsupervised for long
Leaving your waffle iron unattended can be catastrophic.
Over the years, appliance manufacturers have done their best to implement as many safety features and countermeasures into their products as possible to protect their customers. Some of these include thermal fuses, thermostats, among many others.
And while they work great to reduce the risk of overheating and fire, they’re not perfect.
Letting your waffle iron on for extended periods while unattended is strongly advised against. Doing this can not only melt its internal components and the plastic casing, but also cause short circuits and trip your breaker.
Not to mention that it will reduce your appliance’s life span dramatically.
Solution: It depends on how advanced and extensive the damage is. Normally, waffle irons don’t give too much trouble when the overheating problem is recent, but as time goes by and this issue persists, the consequences can be dire.
If your appliance is already tripping your breaker, chances are it’s too far gone, and you’ll probably need to replace it.
The best way to analyze the damage is, of course, to check it from the inside. Should you decide this is the way you want to go, simply follow the steps from the previous point to access your waffle iron’s guts.
Once you’re in there, look for your thermal fuse and heating element and test them for conductivity with a multimeter.
It’s very likely that either one, or both, are faulty, which would explain the high temperatures. You have some decision-making to do.
If your appliance is old, it’s best to scrap it and get a deal on a new one, as trying to repair it will probably cost you more than replacing it. Moreover, even if you call a technician to fix it, there’s no guarantee that it will ever operate the way it used to before it was damaged.
Having your waffle iron keep tripping your breaker is frustrating, dangerous, and time-consuming. And the worst part is, that trying to diagnose the issue can be confusing.
Whatever the case, there’s no denying that something’s not operating the way it should. Luckily, there are many ways to address this.
Remember to always go from general to specific and to never discard any contributing factors, as obvious as they may be. Some people spend large amounts of money on repairs and spare parts, only to find that the issue was coming from somewhere else. Do not be that person!
Troubleshooting and DIY’s are games of patience, rushing will only work against you. Please keep safety as a priority at all times, and call a professional if you feel doubtful.
Thank you for reading. I hope you found this article useful. Want to keep learning? Why not read through our other knowledge resources below?