Electrical Problems

Why Does the Hair Dryer Trip Circuit Breaker?

Posted on: March 17th, 2013 by Glen 20 Comments


A very common service call is that the fuse blows or the circuit breaker trips when they use their hair dryer. So why does the hair dryer cause a short in the wire or other power problem?

Hair dryers of early '70's were only 750 watts (about 6 amps). Then in the '80's they started upgraded them to 1000 watts (8 amps), 1250 watts (10 amps) and then 1500 watts (12 amps).In the mid '90's they got even more powerful with 1875 watts (15 amp).

Most homes built before the late 1990's only of have a 15 amp power circuit feeding the lights and outlets in several bedrooms and the bathroom. The newer hair dryers are rated at 1875 watts at 125 volt which equal 15 amps of current draw. The newer 15 amp hair dryer simply maxed out the existing 15 amp circuit wiring. The fuse or circuit breaker was sized to protect the wiring from an electrical overload and / or possible fire hazard.

Solutions to Breaker Tripping

There are several solutions to your circuit tripping when using your blow dryer. One is getting a smaller wattage hair dryer to draw less power. Turning off all the other electrical loads and lights on the that circuit when drying your hair is another solution. If these free solutions do not work you can have the electrician wire a new 20 amp circuit to the area that is used to style hair. You can not install a bigger fuse or breaker on the 15 amp wiring as it may result in a electrical fire hazard.

Many homes built after 2000 have a 20 amp circuit supplying power for the bathroom outlets to reduce the hair dryer over load problem. The solutions listed should solve the overloading of the bathroom outlet circuit for using one item. However, you will still only be able to use your 1875 watt hairdryer and1875 watt curling iron one at a time.

Why are My Lights Flickering On and Off?

Posted on: September 9th, 2012 by Alex 1 Comment


Flickering lights are nice at Christmas time however, on a day to day usage this is not what you want happening to your lights overhead. The most common reason for flickering fixtures would be a loose connection some where in the wiring system. A loose twist-on connector can result in all sorts of trouble. The bad connection can also be within the main power connection on the outside of your home or building, inside the electric panel or in the wiring... Read More →

Buyer’s Request to Remedy

Posted on: April 11th, 2012 by Tracy


Outlet CoverFixing many of the minor electrical issues before you list your home can reduce some big headaches later. Most home inspectors are not electricians and they have a limited knowledge of the local electrical codes. They write up an electrical inspection report with several "electrical problems". Then, the buyer wants all the electrical hazards... Read More →

Outlet or Switch is Hot to the Touch

Posted on: April 11th, 2012 by Glen No Comments


If you have an outlet or wall switch that feels hot to the touch, then you need to have them inspected and repaired right away. The hot outlet or switch may be caused by a power overload, loose wire connection or weak contacts... Read More →