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!

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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…)