Is It Time to Fix Malfunctioning Circuit Breakers?

Is It Time to Fix Malfunctioning Circuit Breakers?

Circuit breakers are important safety devices in electrical systems. They cut the power off when too much current is flowing through electrical wiring and therefore prevent fires and other disasters. When they malfunction, the whole system is put in danger. Read on to find out more about fixing malfunctioning circuit breakers and how energy management systems can help companies stay on top of their electrical systems.

Is It Time to Fix Malfunctioning Circuit Breakers?

Businesses in virtually every industry are increasingly reliant on electricity. Although technological solutions make life simpler and more efficient, they can be dangerous. Fortunately, there are several safety mechanisms that prevent electrical fires and other disasters. The circuit breaker is one of the most important because it stops the flow of electricity when there is a problem.

Unlike fuses, circuit breakers don’t need to be replaced after they interrupt an overcurrent event. Instead, they can simply be reset. They often last for many years or even decades, but they have to be maintained to remain in good condition. If it’s been several years since your last electrical inspection or you’ve recently had issues with a breaker, give us a call at Legacy Electric. We’ll inspect your circuit to make sure it isn’t putting your business at risk.

The Circuit Breaker Is Tripping Too Often 

A circuit breaker’s job is to disable the electrical system when there is a problem. This is incredibly useful, but the breaker becomes a nuisance when it starts tripping too often and therefore disrupting your business. If you’ve had this problem recently, don’t just assume that your breaker is faulty. Instead, hire an experienced electrician to diagnose the issue.

Sometimes, circuit breakers trip for a reason. You might have a bad circuit, or your equipment might have started to malfunction. The professional will test your breaker as well as each piece of equipment to find out where the problem lies.

There Is Visible Damage 

Check your circuit breakers every few weeks to make sure they are still in good condition. If there is any visible damage on the panel, the breakers need to be assessed by a professional and either fixed or replaced.

Another telltale sign of a problem is a burning smell. This could indicate that the wires and insulation in your breaker are overheating. The same issue also makes the breakers feel hot to the touch. Don’t ignore this or continue using the electrical system. Call us immediately.

There Has Recently Been a Problem 

Always get your breakers looked at after a problem with the circuit like a power surge. This happens when significantly more electrical power flows through the system due to a lightning strike, an electrical overload, or faulty wiring. Power surges can also happen when the power gets turned back on after an outage.

Sometimes, the circuit breakers get damaged during a surge. You can prevent this by installing a surge suppressor, but this isn’t 100% effective. It’s best to get your breakers examined after every electrical problem. That way, you can be sure that they are still protecting your business and employees.

The Circuit Breaker Is No Longer Working 

If you don’t have your electrical system maintained regularly, you might not know when there is a problem with your circuit breakers. That’s why we recommend an annual maintenance appointment. Your electrician will use a digital multimeter to check that the breaker is still functional.

To reduce your risk, ask us about energy management systems. We can install smart devices that help you to monitor your electrical systems in real time. That way, you’ll be alerted as soon as there is a deviation from the norm. A good energy management system reduces your risk and gives you greater control over your circuits and equipment.

How Often Do Circuit Breakers Need to Be Tested and Maintained?

Most circuit breakers last for around ten to fifteen years, but some can remain functional for up to 40 years. Thus, they don’t need to be replaced regularly. However, it’s important to maintain breakers frequently because they are such an essential component of the electrical system. Occasionally, they can go bad due to a problem with the system or external damage.

Check your circuit breakers every few months to make sure they are still intact and that there is no visible damage. Routine trip testing needs to happen at least once every three to five years, and more frequently if you have a low-voltage circuit breaker. You might want to have your breakers tested every year if your electrical system is crucial to the function of your company.

When Should You Call a Professional? 

Under normal circumstances, you can combine circuit breaker maintenance with your regular service appointment. However, it’s important to contact professional electricians right away if you believe that there is an issue with your system.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to you if you’ve noticed that your breakers are tripping more frequently than before. We’ll inspect your entire circuit to rule out any issues with your other devices. Then, we’ll check the breakers and replace them if necessary.

Can Planned Preventative Maintenance Prevent Circuit Breaker Issues? 

We recommend that companies that rely on their electrical systems set up a comprehensive planned preventative maintenance schedule. This involves determining how often each piece of equipment needs to be serviced and booking regular appointments. Unlike reactive maintenance, PPM is performed on fully functional systems. The aim is to find problems before they start to affect the company.

Although it might seem like PPM is more expensive than reactive maintenance, this is rarely the case. Power outages cost businesses billions of dollars per year. They disrupt the entire company and can lead to dissatisfied customers. By planning your maintenance appointments in advance, you minimize business interruption and prolong the life of your electrical equipment, including the circuit breakers.

How Can Energy Management Systems Help? 

An energy management system is a framework that helps consumers to monitor and reduce their energy usage. It often involves features like real-time monitoring, a power quality analysis, smart controls, and advanced statistics to show businesses which systems aren’t running efficiently. Some companies are even starting to produce smart circuit breakers, which are connected to the cloud and offer users insight into the flow of electricity through the circuit.

The main goal of an energy management system is to reduce power consumption and therefore cut costs. However, it also makes the electrical system safer. If there is a power surge or another problem, the system picks up on it and alerts the energy manager. Therefore, malfunctioning circuit breakers and other components can be identified and replaced more quickly. This prevents accidents and makes the organization more efficient.

Malfunctioning circuit breakers are dangerous. That’s why we recommend that businesses have their breakers tested at least once every few years. Planned preventative maintenance can lower the risk of accidents and the overall running costs of the company. Reach out to us at Legacy Electric to find out more about energy management systems and maintenance schedules. We’ll be happy to help you keep your electrical system in good condition. 

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