Microwaves are essential appliances that have revolutionized the kitchen. They give me the comfort of fixing and warming my food in seconds before heading out for work.
I have a busy work schedule, and spending the shortest time possible in the kitchen is very important.
However, microwaves might sometimes keep tripping your circuit breaker. This can be annoying and cause a lot of inconveniences for you, especially when you need to warm that food fast and head out to a meeting.
So, why does my microwave keep tripping the breaker?
The microwave keeps tripping the breaker due to an electrical circuit overload. The circuit can only handle a specific amount of electrical current, and anything in excess leads to overload. Anytime the microwave pulls a lot of electricity that exceeds the electrical current the circuit can handle, the breaker trips.
This piece will explain in detail why your microwave keeps tripping the breaker, the possible causes, and how to fix them. Continue reading to get more insights.
What Does Tripping a Breaker Mean?
Tripping a breaker means the circuit’s internal sensor is switching off power due to overheating from excess electric currents that might lead to damage.
Tripping happens when breakers detect irregularities and a different current flow. The breaker turns itself off, and the circuit will switch to an off position.
If a breaker trips, you’ll find one circuit is not in the same position as the others. You can simply switch it back to its original position, but if the breaker trips again, there must be a problem.
Personal Experience: Why Does My Microwave Keep Tripping the Breaker?
Microwaves continuously trip the breaker when excess electrical current is pulled, causing circuit overload.
So, how exactly does circuit overload happen, and how does it relate to tripping the breaker?
Circuit overload happens when excess electrical current is pulled due to the plugging of many appliances in the same circuit or if the microwave is having a problem. Microwaves pull a lot of electrical currents, and sharing their circuit with other appliances leads to overload.
The amount of electric current microwaves draw from the circuit is about 12 to 15 amps. Circuits are generally rated for 20 amps meaning microwaves need a standalone circuit. If you concurrently run the microwave with other appliances, circuit overloading will happen, and the breaker will trip.
Possible Causes Why Microwaves Keep Tripping the Breaker
1. Your Microwave is Faulty
You could have a dedicated circuit, but your microwave keeps tripping the breaker. If this is happening, even if your microwave has a dedicated circuit, it means there could be something wrong with your microwave.
You can test if your microwave is faulty by plugging it in an area set for a higher amp circuit, such as the garage or any place you’re sure has a dedicated circuit. Switch the microwave on, and if the breaker trips, your microwave is definitely faulty.
2. The Door Safety Latch is Malfunctioning
Another reason a microwave keeps tripping the breaker is when its door safety latch is faulty. The microwave safety latch has several switches and door latch hooks. If faulty, the microwave won’t function well, which could lead to a fuse blowing or a breaker tripping.
3. The Turntable Motor is Wet
Having a wet turntable motor is another reason that can make the microwave trip the breaker. The moisture from the food could leak, and if not cleaned immediately after use, it could seep into the motor causing electric problems.
4. The Capacitor has a Problem
A defective capacitor will make the microwave produce a lot of sounds that could blow a fuse or trip the breaker.
5. Electrical Supply Problems
Electrical supply problems could be another reason your microwave trips the circuit breaker. Melted or damaged sockets and wires lead to poor electric supply.
How to Fix Microwave Tripping Circuit Breaker
1. Have a Dedicated Circuit for Your Microwave
You can check for a “microwave” label on the circuits in your breaker box to know if you have a dedicated circuit for your microwave. If you don’t see the label, your microwave does not have a dedicated circuit, and you should correct it immediately.
My circuit only had a “kitchen” label meaning my microwave was sharing a circuit with other kitchen appliances, and the breaker couldn’t stop tripping. Since I started running my microwave on a dedicated circuit, I have never experienced my breaker tripping.
2. Repair the Microwave to Make Sure it is not Faulty
Various parts of the microwave could be faulty, making the breaker trip. You can consider repairing the microwave, but I would personally replace it if it is old to avoid future repairs.
If the breaker doesn’t trip when the microwave is plugged into a higher amp circuit, it’s okay, and you only need a dedicated circuit.
3. Inspect the Door Safety Latch for Any Fault
You can use a multimeter tool to know if the microwave door latch is the cause of the circuit breaker trip. You should locate the faulty microswitches of the door latch and replace them.
4. Inspect the Turntable Motor
If the turntable is having problems, you will need to replace it. Test to see if it is faulty with a multimeter, but I always prevent this by cleaning it immediately to remove moisture.
5. Check the Capacitor for Any Fault
A faulty capacitor will need a replacement. You should test if it has an issue, but you need to be very careful since the capacitor store a lot of voltages that can put you at risk of electrocution; hence it’s better if you get a qualified electrician to do it.
Table showing Possible Causes and Fixes of Microwave Tripping the Breaker
|Fixes of Microwave Tripping the Breaker
|Circuit breaker overloading
|Have a dedicated circuit for the microwave
|Repair or replace the microwave
|Broken door safety latch
|Replace the defective part
|Turntable motor is wet
|Clean turntable immediately after use
|Replace the capacitor
|Electric supply problem
|Repair or replace the electric sockets
Can an Old Microwave Cause the Breaker to Trip?
Yes, like any other electronic device, an old microwave can easily develop certain problems that might make the breaker trip.
Old microwaves need regular repair and maintenance for them to function effectively. Some repairs might be expensive, and replacing the microwave could be cost-effective.
What happens if you Trip a Breaker too Many Times?
A breaker can trip up to 10000 times; hence there is no cause for alarm even if it trips many times.
The biggest concern is why the tripping happens. I tense a lot and take immediate action if I realize the tripping is because of circuit overload or a short circuit. Continuous tripping might make the breaker vulnerable to wear and tear or cause damage to the appliance.
Faqs on Why Does My Microwave Keep Tripping the Breaker
1. Should I be worried if my breaker keeps tripping?
Yes, there is a need to worry if your breaker keeps tripping since this happens when there is a problem.
An overloaded circuit, short circuit, or ground fault are some of the reasons breakers trip, and they might lead to serious electrical issues like blows out or fires.
2. Why does my Ge microwave keep tripping the breaker?
GE microwave will trip a circuit breaker if other appliances in the same circuit lead to circuit overload.
3. Why does the Frigidaire microwave keep tripping the breaker?
Frigidaire microwave will keep tripping the breaker if the electrical circuit f the microwave is overloaded or has developed some problems.
Some problems in the Frigidaire microwave that can make them trip a breaker are door interlock switch malfunction, a bad fuse, defective capacitors, or electric supply problems.
I hope you’re now well informed on why your microwave keeps tripping the breaker and the actions you can take to solve the problem.
This knowledge is important in helping you have a well-functioning microwave that will not trip your breaker.