If you’re wondering “why does my stove keep tripping the breaker?”, it’s rarely due to a single reason. That being said, you’re more than likely dealing with a faulty stove rather than having an issue with the electrical system, although I won’t rule out the possibility of it being a circuit breaker problem. For one, it could be due to an overload, an open circuit, ground fault, or the stove’s breaker itself may no longer be functioning.
Otherwise, check your stove for wires in poor condition, faulty switches, or a damaged terminal block. Read on to know my explanation for each issue.
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It Could Be as Simple as An Overload
The overload problem may be the case if a new electric stove keeps tripping the circuit breaker or if you added another appliance to the same circuit it’s connected to. The latter is rarely recommended by professional electricians since stoves are high-draw appliances and often need their own power outlet.
If you decide to plug other appliances in its circuit, then you need to check whether the total electrical load can still be handled by the circuit breaker. You can do some quick tests by running all the appliances that are connected to the breaker, either on their own, in combinations, and together.
This should help you pinpoint the one that you may need to turn off while the stove is running to prevent it from tripping. Otherwise, you can always transfer the appliance to another circuit, assuming it’s available or do a complete upgrade of your electrical system, the right-sized breaker included, to accommodate all of them.
Check the Stove If It’s Broken
If my own stove keeps tripping the breaker, I almost always check the former first because that’s often the case I encounter in all my years as a homeowner doing appliance troubleshooting that I can handle. This is especially true if I’m well aware that there’s nothing wrong with electrical loads and circuit breakers.
You want to be looking at the wires for any signs of damage and loose connections, which are another main culprit in appliances tripping breakers. Damages to wires occur because of random electrical surges or when they become exposed or make contact with objects that happen to damage them. Don’t forget to look at the power plug for clues of this as well. Any sign of wear and tear should be noted.
If I’m checking the wires, I tend to need to remove a couple of panels to access them, so that’s likely what you’ll need to do, too, so be sure to get the right screwdriver for the job. To be safe, take out the user manual first and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to do this. Be thorough in your observation of any possible damage, like burnt out or cut wires.
Other parts worth checking out are the thermostat, terminal block, fan motor, and burner’s switches. Assuming the manual has a troubleshooting guide pertaining to an oven that keeps tripping the breaker, then by all means, stick to that since they most probably give the best advice when handling their product.
Based on my experience with an oven tripping breaker, these are usually the tell-tale signs of damage on the specific parts of the said appliance:
- If your oven has already had a history of its indicator light connected to the thermostat not turning on, then you probably already have a broken thermostat issue in your hands. Its wires may have already been damaged to the point that it’s already causing a short circuit.
- A damaged terminal block should be fairly obvious. The smell of burnt wires should be apparent. This, to me, is one of the most common causes of this issue, so it’s worth checking out from the get-go. Again, refer to the instruction manual to pinpoint where your oven’s terminal block is, assuming you’re not aware of it.
- Switches on the burner may also be, quite ironically, burnt over time. Not all ovens have the same number of switches. You’ll have to check each one out for any signs of scorching.
Faulty switches often lead to the oven drawing more power than it needs, which leads to tripping. Oftentimes, this is because it can no longer detect the instance when the oven reaches the appropriate temperature and fails to shut down by itself.
Unfortunately, this issue almost always requires the stove to be replaced as these switches can no longer be repaired once damaged.
Be Wary of Ground Faults and Short Circuits
Short circuits and ground faults are issues that the breaker itself should be able to address. If you’re seeing, hearing, and smelling tell-tale signs such as electric sparks and smoke, you’re probably dealing with an electric stove short circuit. A ground fault may be the case if your stove is connected to a GFCI outlet, and the latter keeps tripping.
If you suspect that you’re dealing with either one when the stove trips the breaker when plugged in, then it’s best to call an electrician to help you solve it. Either of the two is a relatively serious issue that may cause further damage to your appliances or cause fires and electrocution, after all.
Check for Damage on the Breaker
A damaged breaker is another scenario you don’t want to find yourself in. It may not be able to trip properly anymore, or worse, get blown up once you start the oven. The good thing is a broken breaker often shows more than one symptom.
If you’ve been experiencing interruptions in almost all your appliances, then this is likely your problem. The same can be said if you’re seeing lighting that flickers too much. Also, check your breaker’s panel for any signs of damage. There may be charred portions already and electrical odors emanating from it.
Note: Based on my experience and other homeowners’, it’s likely a circuit breaker problem if the stove doesn’t immediately trip the breaker when turned on. Oftentimes, it takes around five minutes before tripping. If you notice this regular interval, then check out the breaker. Otherwise, it could be due to loose wiring as well, which is just as bad.
A broken stove circuit breaker needs to be replaced ASAP if you want to ensure your home’s safety.
To sum up this article on why does my stove keep tripping the breaker, an oven circuit breaker that keeps tripping is most likely an issue with the former first rather than the latter. However, it’s infinitely better to rule out all the possible problems by following the diagnostic approaches I listed above.
- Go for a process of elimination to rule out the usual suspects like an electrical overload.
- Visually inspect every possible element thoroughly.
- More importantly, ensure your safety by wearing insulated gloves and turning off all circuits before doing any kind of more in-depth diagnosis and troubleshooting.
I am Edwin Jones, in charge of designing content for Galvinpower. I aspire to use my experiences in marketing to create reliable and necessary information to help our readers. It has been fun to work with Andrew and apply his incredible knowledge to our content.