What Causes a Circuit Breaker to Get Hot?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 25, 2020 9:02:42 PM ET
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Circuit breakers get hot when the current exceeds the rating of the breaker. The electricity that flows through the circuit produces heat in the unit. When that heat reaches a certain point, the breaker trips and breaks the circuit. Warmth indicates that the circuit is at or near capacity.

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Circuit breakers are designed to be the weakest point in the electrical circuit to prevent potentially dangerous overheating or faults within the walls, which could start fires. If a circuit breaker becomes warm to the touch, relocate some of the devices on that circuit to reduce the load on the current.