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Why is my Circuit Breaker Hot?


Circuit Breaker and Electrical Panel
Circuit Breaker and Electrical Panel

Why is my circuit breaker hot? It is normal for a circuit breaker to feel warm to the touch, because electricity produces heat. However, if your circuit breakers feels more than just warm, and hot to the touch, then it is likely that your circuit breaker needs to be replaced.


Breakers are designed to only be used at 80% of it's capacity. If a circuit breaker is being run at over 80% capacity, it is not only exceeding the safety warning for that breaker, but you are overloading the circuit. It is important to not ignore a malfunctioning circuit breaker that feels hot to the touch. A faulty breaker can be dangerous and not product your home from overloading the circuit. If you are experiencing this problem, call or text SHEWORKS Electrical 602-920-4257 to have a professional electrician come out and assess the issue.


Even though your circuit breaker might not be tripping, this doesn't mean that there isn't a problem. There are multiple reasons that can be causing your circuit breaker to become overloaded.


What Can Cause an Overheated Circuit Breaker?


  • Loose Connections: Electrical resistance increases when there are loose connections, so a loose circuit breaker can make the circuit breaker hot to the touch. If the circuit breaker wasn't properly secured in the panel, or if the breaker is a brand that isn't compatible for the electrical panel, then the connection can be poor. Sometimes this is hard to notice, but if you notice that the circuit breaker that is hot is a different brand from the other circuit breakers, you likely have a breaker that isn't compatible with the electrical panel.

  • Current Limit: If the circuit breaker is exceeding that 80% capacity, it is designed to shut off/trip. However, a malfunctioning circuit breaker might not always trip.

  • Bad Circuit Breaker: If the circuit that this breaker is on is creating issues such as flickering lights, appliances not able to run at full capacity, then you might have a bad breaker. When this happens, you will want the breaker replaced.


Schedule a service with SHEWORKS Electrical by visiting www.sheworkselectrical.com or call/text 602-920-4257.

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