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Why does my stove keep tripping the circuit breaker?

Updated July 19, 2017

If an electric stove is repeatedly tripping its circuit breaker, it indicates that a potentially dangerous electrical problem exists. The seriousness of the problem, and its solution, depends on what, exactly, is causing the circuit breaker to trip.

Electrical Short

If a stove has a short, the electricity will not follow the path intended and will draw excessive electrical current, which will trip the circuit breaker. This condition presents a high risk for electrical shock and fire. A stove in this condition should be repaired or replaced and should not be used.

Improper Circuit

The National Electrical Code requires an electric stove to be on its own circuit. If the circuit providing power to a stove also serves other devices, the combination may be enough to trip the circuit breaker. While the breaker prevents this condition from starting fires, it is a code violation requiring correction.

Improper Breaker

Different models of stoves can use different amounts of electricity. A regular stove may draw 40 amps of power and a larger stove 50 amps. If a 50-amp stove has replaced a 40-amp stove, the new stove will trip the old breaker. The solution is to either replace the stove or replace the breaker and its wiring to match the new stove's requirements.

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About the Author

Living in Ohio, Gerry Poulos began writing professionally in 1999. He has been a columnist for the Nation News Bureau, a contributing editor for “Protoculture Addicts Magazine,” an accomplished freelance journalist and photographer, a Web author and is the author of several books. Poulos attended Syracuse University and holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical and mechanical engineering.