Why Is My Microwave Tripping the Breaker?


Microwave ovens revolutionized kitchens across America when they came on the market in the 1970s. Since then, these technological marvels have come a long way, with more features, compact sizing, and greater cooking power than ever before. With greater power comes greater power usage, but if your microwave is tripping the breaker in your home, it's a sign that the appliance is overloading the electrical circuit. The questions are, why, and what can be done to solve the problem?

microwave tripping

The highly trained, certified electricians at Hoffman Electrical & A/C have been solving issues with kitchen wiring and overloaded circuitry since 1989. If you live in Hillsborough or Pinellas County, give us a call at (866) 238-3243, or contact us online for an estimate. 

Reasons Why Your Microwave Is Tripping Your Breaker

When an appliance such as a microwave oven repeatedly trips the circuit breaker, it's overloading the electrical circuit, which is rated to handle a finite number of amps. Once the microwave exceeds that number, the breaker is tripped and the electrical flow is shut off. In order for this type of reaction to occur, there must be one of two issues at hand:

Determining the exact cause of a tripped breaker involves a few simple steps:

Check to see if the microwave has its own dedicated circuit 

A dedicated circuit is one that serves only one appliance, helping to protect your home and electronics. By having more than one major appliance on a circuit, you run the risk of overloading the circuit and tripping the breaker. Repeatedly tripping the breaker can cause it to deteriorate, and if it should fail to trip, the overloaded circuit may cause the wiring to overheat, placing your home at risk of an electrical fire.

A microwave oven needs its own 20-amp circuit in order to prevent an overload. If it has a dedicated circuit, the tripped breaker should be labeled with the word "microwave" — if not, it's likely a shared circuit. Regardless of whether your microwave oven is on a dedicated circuit, it's a good idea to move on to the next step to ensure the appliance is operating correctly.

Test the microwave to determine if it's defective

Plug the unit into an alternate outlet, in an area of your home where the breaker has a higher amperage, such as in a garage or workshop, or into an outlet with a guaranteed dedicated circuit. If the appliance trips the breaker, the problem lies with the microwave, and you'll need to either repair or replace it.

If the microwave oven doesn't trip the breaker, you'll need to have a dedicated circuit installed to prevent further issues. Call the experts at Hoffman Electrical & A/C for an estimate, or if you're uncertain whether or not your microwave oven has its own dedicated circuit. Give us a call at (866) 238-3243, or contact us online.

Why Choose Hoffman Electrical & A/C?

Hiring the right company to perform electrical work in your home is the key to your satisfaction and the safety of your home and family. The fully certified, licensed, experienced electricians at Hoffman Electrical & A/C are dedicated to offering quality, professional service, where you can expect:

Call Hoffman Electrical & A/C at (866) 238-3243 or contact us to schedule your electrical services today!

Breaker Panel Troubleshooting

Dealing with constant breaker trips, or have a breaker that refuses to reset in your control panel box? Our team knows well just how maddening this can be, and it always seems to happen at the worst time. Let’s see if we can’t help you out! Follow along with the certified electricians at Hoffman Electrical & A/C in St. Petersburg to find out how to troubleshoot your breaker panel problems.

Starting Off Easy

The good news is that the most common causes of breaker panel trouble are actually quite simple and easy to address. The majority of the time it’s a simple standard trip, and thus can only have a handful of triggers. We’ll start with these:

Attempting to Reset Your Breaker

Breaker trips are frequently a minor consequence, and can be easily remedied by simply resetting the breaker at the panel. The process to do this is easy, and goes as follows:

  1. Carefully open your breaker panel to expose the breakers that correspond to your home circuits. Be careful to listen for any buzzing or other odd sound,s and if you hear any stop messing with the breaker and call in an expert right away.
  2. Locate the circuit you’re trying to reset. There should be an easy to use diagram that uses numbers printed on or on the side of the breakers and printed locations throughout the home (utility room, Kitchen, bath, lights, etc).
  3. If the breaker tripped the switch located on it should be somewhere in the middle between “on” and “off” and should have a bit of springy give if you poke at it.
  4. Firmly push the breaker into the “off” position, count to three, and then set the breaker switch to the “on” position.

This may handle your problem right away, and if so that’s great! But if not, or if the breaker continues to trip without any input on your part then it’s time to call in an electrician. It’s possible that you’re dealing with damaged wiring, a failing breaker, or you may need a heavy up service to accommodate your growing electrical access needs.

Breaker Panel & Heavy Up Services in Florida

Stressed out over dealing with your faulty or misbehaving breaker panel? Don’t worry any longer! Call on our specialists today for priority electrical repair and upgrade services. At Hoffman Electrical & A/C it is our goal to ensure our clients get the best services possible, and we always place your satisfaction and safety above all else!

How to Tell If Your Florida Home's Electrical Panel Is the Right Size

The electrical panel, or circuit breaker panel, in your Tampa home could basically be considered the gatekeeper of electricity coming into your home. It’s responsible for keeping you and your home safe, and for allowing energy to all of the circuits in use. So, of course, having the right size panel is a very important point. But how can you tell if your panel is the right size? The experts at Hoffman Electrical & A/C are here today to tell you how!

Is it time for a panel upgrade for your home in Tampa, St. Petersburg, or the surrounding areas? Contact the certified electricians at Hoffman online to set up your appointment!

What Is a Panel’s Size?

The first thing to hash out is what exactly we’re talking about when we say "size." It’s not the actual metric measurement of the panel, but rather it’s amp capacity. Your panel’s amp capacity is basically how much current it will safely allow into your home, and this number is used to determine exactly how much power your home can hold.

The amperage needed in your home is going to depend on just how much energy you use. For example, a single-floor home with a modest square footage and minimalistic appliances is going to need a smaller “size” panel than a modern two-floor smart home. You can determine the size of your panel quite easily, since it is usually printed on a label or on the main breaker switch located on the top or bottom of the panel.

How Can I Tell if My Panel Is the Right Size?

Well, you could do electrical work and add up the watt values of all of the items in your home, or you could go with some simple rules of thumb. There are some specific things that are going to go wrong when your panel is too small, such as:

It is also common to need a larger size panel when home additions or renovations are being planned, as the need for more electrical access is natural in these situations. When planning these sorts of projects, it’s always wise to ask a certified electrician!

Why Choose Hoffman Electrical & A/C for Breaker Panel Services?

Family owned and operated since 1989, Hoffman Electrical & A/C provides high quality electrical craftsmanship. With over 25 years of industry experience, our professionally trained and licensed electrical technicians can help solve any electrical issue in your Tampa or St. Petersburg home. We offer:

The location of the breaker panel or box needs to be carefully planned due to strict regulations on their placement. Our team at Hoffman Electrical & A/C can help you determine the right location for your breaker panel.

Call Hoffman Electrical & A/C at (866) 238-3243 or contact us to schedule your electrical services today!

When Do You Need Dedicated Circuits?

Are you constantly dealing with tripped circuits? What about blown fuses? If you’re experiencing any of these problems as you go about your daily routine, it may be time to consider installing dedicated circuitry in your home. Certain appliances in your home draw more power than others. Without a dedicated circuit, you might experience constant electrical problems. A dedicated circuit ensures enough power is provided to the major electrical appliances, reducing tripped circuits in your Tampa area home!

Tired of dealing with electrical problems? Contact Hoffman Electrical & A/C today to schedule dedicated circuitry installation throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties!

Why Are Dedicated Circuits Important?

Let’s say you are using your toaster and your coffee maker, and you need to pop something into the microwave. You will probably blow a breaker if they are on the same circuit. If you have a window-mounted air conditioner, and you decide to use a vacuum cleaner that is plugged into the same circuit, you will probably trip that breaker. Without dedicated circuits, you’re going to deal with frequent electrical trouble and constant tripped circuits.

Dedicated circuits help protect your appliances, your family, and your home. Appliances without a dedicated circuit may draw more current than the circuit can handle, tripping breakers, blowing fuses, and overheating wire insulation causing breakdown and the possibility of electrical fires. However, installing dedicated circuits doesn’t guarantee safety—if your appliance is inaccurately wired to a dedicated circuit with incorrect wire size and insufficient amperage, the appliance could get overheated—possibly resulting in an electrical fire!

Don’t worry! At Hoffman Electrical & A/C, we put our customer’s safety and satisfaction first, which is why you can count on us for reliable dedicated circuitry installation! Call us today at 866-238-3243 to learn more about the benefits of installing dedicated circuits in the St. Petersburg area!

What Appliances Require Dedicated Circuitry?

According to the National Electric Code (NED), any major appliance should have its own, separated dedicated circuit, including:

If you have any of these devices pulling power from the same circuits as the rest of your home, you may want to think twice! Without dedicated circuits, your family and home are vulnerable to the dangers of electrical fires!

Call Hoffman Electrical & A/C for Dedicated Circuitry Installation in the Tampa & St. Petersburg Area

When you’re looking for reliable residential electrical work at an affordable price, you can count on Hoffman Electrical & A/C. We proudly serve the Tampa and St. Petersburg area, providing homeowners like you with the best electricians for their specific needs and the most cost-effective services. When you choose us as your Clearwater, FL area electrical company, you’ll receive:

Ready to schedule dedicated circuitry installation with our licensed electricians in the Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg areas? Contact us online or by phone at 866-238-3243 today!

Why Is My Circuit Breaker Buzzing?

When it comes to your home’s wiring, you expect everything to work flawlessly at all times. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and a wiring problem can be understandably scary to deal with on your own. (more…)

Why Your Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping

breaker boxAt one time or another, everyone has been in the middle of using some electrical device when, all of a sudden, everything stops! What just happened? Well, you probably tripped a circuit breaker, or, as we usually refer to it, blew a circuit.

Many events can cause this to occur. The most common is running too many electrical items on the same circuit at the same time.

The Worst Offenders

Typical items that frequently blow circuits are hair dryers, microwave ovens, toasters, coffee makers and electric space heaters. These items draw a lot of current, so when they are all going at the same time, a tripped breaker is almost certain. Breakers (the on-off switches in your electrical service panel) are rated by the number of “amps” they support. Most homes will have 15-amp breakers, with a few higher-rated breakers in the 20-30-amp range to handle more current. (more…)

How To Update Your Breaker Panels

If you live in an older home, or if you have started hearing a buzzing sound from your breaker box, it is time to consider replacing the breaker panel. For the safety of yourself and your family, it is important to make sure your breaker panel is up to date and able to handle the electrical requirements of your home. An old or overloaded breaker box can be a fire hazard.

Many homes built prior to the 1980s are not equipped to handle the increasing electrical usage of today’s technologies. The need for increased power can easily overload an older breaker box. A modern home typically requires 100-amp to 200-amp services. Many older homes only have 60-amp services, because at the time there were not the number of appliances and alternative electronics. Considering that a new home must have at least 100-amp services, if you have less, it is time to update.

A buzzing sound coming from your panel is an indication that you might be running too much electricity, and your box is not able to handle it. This is a safety hazard that should be checked immediately. It may be time to upgrade to a higher service. To decide, consider the size of your home and the number of appliances you use. If you need to calculate accurately, check the nameplate reading of each appliance in your house.

The location of the breaker panel or box needs to be carefully planned due to strict regulations on their placement. Our team at Hoffman Electrical & A/C can help you determine the right location for your breaker panel.

In either instance, it is important to understand this is not a do-it-yourself home repair; this type of work requires a professional. Breaker panels can be very dangerous fire hazards, and it is vital to have a knowledgeable electrician inspect the panel to determine what is right for your home. If you need a professional electrical service with 20+ years of experience in the Tampa area, you should check out Hoffman Electrical & A/C.