Is Rain Tripping Your Circuit Breakers?

If your circuit breaker continually trips, it may be time to look out the window. If your circuit breaker trips when heavy rain occurs, but tends to be fine while it's sunny and dry, it's likely your electrical system is coming into contact with water. If not taken care of soon, it could become a serious problem or hazard. Electricity and water should never mix—especially in or around your home.

Finding the Issue

As electricity enters your home through wiring, circuit breakers serve as a means of defense from overloads. If too many amps are brought into a circuit, serious damage could occur. A circuit breaker constantly monitors the flow of electricity, acting like a reusable fuse. If the amperage of electricity exceeds the circuit's rated amount, the breaker trips stopping the flow of electricity. This means they're a necessary piece to keeping your home lit up, your stored food cold, your clothes washed, and your family entertained.

But with spring's heavy rains, we often hear our customers complain of frequent circuit trips. To solve the issue, we often ask several questions:

Do your exterior outlets have covers?

All exterior electrical outlets should have an outlet cover or be protected by an outlet box. If this is not the case with your home, rain can make its way into your exterior outlets, causing a short and tripping your breaker. Your exterior outlets should also have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). A GFCI outlet protects you from electrocution. It contains a small circuit breaker that trips when it detects a short circuit.

If your outlet covers need to be replaced or inspected for damage, give Bradley Mechanical a call.

Do you use extension cords to power outside lights?

Are you running extension cords in your yard to power exterior lights or other electronics? If so, check them for damage. When extension cords are left outside over time, they can become frayed or cracked. Water from a sprinkler or rainstorm can make its way in, causing a short and making the circuit breaker trip.

We recommend you never use interior extension cords outside – even when it isn't rainy or wet. They are not made to be watertight or to withstand outdoor elements. Extension cords should only be for temporary use. If you need a permanent solution, consider having Bradley Mechanical's team of electricians run a new electrical line to where it is needed.

Check your exterior light fixtures.

Many homes are decorated with outdoor light fixtures. Often located in yards or landscaping, these lights can be broken by animals, people and outdoor elements. Especially in the springtime, heavy rain, windstorms, hail and other natural events can wreak havoc on your outdoor light fixtures. If the housing or casing for the light is compromised and the wiring is exposed, it can certainly cause a circuit breaker to trip if it comes in contact with water.

Is your roof leaking?

Leaks in your roof can also be the reason your circuit breaker trips whenever there is a heavy rain. Water in your attic is never a good thing, as it's often where most of your home's wiring is located. Rain in an attic can also cause other issues, like mold and mildew buildup. Check for obvious signs of moisture, like a moldy scent or visible mold, as well as wet insulation.

Is your breaker box damaged?

Often installed in the basement of homes, electric breaker boxes can be exposed to rainwater during storms if there's a leak nearby. Take a close look at your breaker panel and see if there are any obvious signs of a leak or water damage.

If your GFCI trips during a rainstorm and you find water nearby or suspect water is causing the problem, give the electricians at Bradley Mechanical a call. We'll walk you through a few steps to keep you and your family safe and get the power back on.

Professional Solutions

If rain has severely or permanently damaged your electrical system, it's time to let the pros step in. Electrical repairs should always be performed by certified electricians. Especially when water is involved. Keep you and your family safe by calling Bradley Mechanical if you suspect a water issue with your circuit breaker. Our master electricians are ready to help troubleshoot whatever electrical problems you may have in your home.

Whether it be replacing faulty wiring, adding new light fixtures or upgrading your circuit panels, our trusted team members can get it done right.

Keep the lights on with Bradley Mechanical.

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Seasonal & Weather Related TopicsTo Keep Your Family Comfortable