Why Do Some of My Appliances (like a Keurig Coffee Maker) Keep Tripping The Breakers?
Updated: Sep 4
Every time you turn on that Keurig coffee maker, does your breaker trip in the electrical panel?
You're probably wondering what's going on.
Did your electrician install a faulty breaker?
Is there something wrong with the coffee maker?
Or is something else afoot?
The good news is that we won't need Sherlock Holmes to investigate since we already know what's happening. The simple answer is that your Keurig device is triggering a safety shut off feature of your home's breaker.
Here's the full explanation. To understand the reason your breaker tripped, you must first appreciate the purpose of a breaker. A breaker is designed to trip as a safety feature for protecting your family from a fire (that's why you have an electrical panel to distribute the power). Many of the devices that can trip your electrical breakers include the appliances listed below.
Keurig Coffee Makers (certain models)
Vacuum (usually older ones, like the old Hoover vacuum)
Fans (especially if you have too many plugged in at once)
Irons (because they heat quickly and use a great deal of energy to do so)
Extension Cords (upon extension cords with too many devices attached)
Refrigerators (but mostly older ones)
If you search the web, you'll find many message boards fraught with people facing this electrical problem. To clarify, there is not always an issue with your breaker rather the breaker is tripping to protect your home from what it thinks is a potentially dangerous situation.
As technology has advanced, humanity has been able to create more sensitive breakers (AFCI) to prevent more home fires which have saved countless lives (part of the reason for the electrical code).
The sine wave, which looks similar to a heartbeat pattern with a line through the middle, should be like a smooth rolling hill. If the sine wave spikes too high or low, or if it plateaus for too long before coming back to the middle, the breaker will shut off.
But as a consequence, certain devices we want to use in our home trip the breakers and when the manufacturers don't consider this, they often put electricians in the ire of consumers who believe their breakers are malfunctioning.
The electrical code prohibits us from using a sub-standard breaker to get around this problem. We can change the breaker to a new one, of the same type. But if the breaker is still tripping, the appliance will need to be replaced. But before you replace it, have an electrician check the entire circuit to see if there are other problems causing the issues.
We work to best navigate between the makers of the breaker and troublesome appliances to be functional and safe. Often our customers need a personalized upgrade because of their needs and we're happy to help make that happen.
If you'd like to discuss your tripping breakers further and what we can do to keep your home safe while also allowing your important devices to keep working, give us a call at 1-877-563-5328.