Space heaters are fantastic devices for providing heat in targeted areas during the colder months.
However, they do require a significant amount of electrical current to operate, which can lead to circuit breaker trips if not managed correctly.
In this article, we’ll explore why your space heater might be tripping the breaker and provide tips for preventing this issue.
Why Your Space Heater is Tripping the Breaker
Modern space heaters are powerful electrical devices that can draw a substantial amount of power.
If the power supply exceeds the amp rating of the circuit breaker, it can cause an electrical overload, prompting the breaker to trip as a safety feature.
This trip is intended to prevent excessive electrical currents that could lead to electrical fires.
Other common reasons include a faulty outlet, the use of an ordinary extension cord instead of a power cord suitable for the heater, or internal issues with the heating element.
5 Tips for Keeping Your Space Heater from Tripping the Breaker
1. Use a Dedicated Circuit
Consider plugging your space heater into a dedicated circuit. This reduces the risk of circuit overloads, as the heater is the only electrical appliance drawing power from that circuit.
2. Avoid Using Extension Cords
Avoid plugging your space heater into an extension cord or power strip. These devices might not be able to handle the electrical demands of the heater, leading to an overload and subsequent trip of the breaker.
3. Check the Heat Setting
If your space heater has variable heat settings, try using a lower setting. This can reduce the current flow, easing the electrical load on your circuit.
4. Inspect Your Outlet and Wiring
A faulty outlet or problems with your internal wires can cause frequent breaker trips. Get these inspected by a professional if you suspect they’re the issue.
5. Buy a Lower Wattage Heater
If you’re frequently experiencing breaker trips, you might want to consider investing in a lower wattage heater.
These heaters draw less power, thereby reducing the chances of overloading the circuit.
Will a 1500 Watt Heater Trip the Breaker?
A 1500 watt heater can trip a breaker, especially if it’s plugged into a 15-amp circuit that’s also powering other electrical devices.
It’s advisable to use such heaters on a dedicated circuit or ensure they’re connected to a circuit with a higher amp breaker.
Are Low Wattage Space Heaters Going to Reduce the Breaker from Tripping?
Yes, low wattage space heaters are less likely to trip the breaker as they draw less power compared to their higher wattage counterparts.
They are a great choice for smaller areas where high heat output isn’t necessary.
Why is My Oil Heater Tripping the Breaker?
Oil heaters, like other electric heaters, can trip the breaker due to an overloaded circuit, faulty outlet, or issues with the internal heating element. If your oil heater is consistently tripping the breaker, it’s wise to have it checked by a professional.
Why is My Space Heater Tripping the Surge Protector?
Space heaters can draw a lot of power, which can overload a surge protector, causing it to trip. It’s typically best to plug your space heater directly into a wall outlet.
Why is My Space Heater Tripping After a Few Minutes?
If your space heater is tripping after a few minutes, it could be due to an issue with the heater’s internal components such as the tip-over switch or heating element.
Alternatively, it might be because the heater is drawing more power than the circuit can handle, resulting in an overload.
Tripping breakers can be a common issue with space heaters, but it’s usually preventable.
By understanding the electrical demands of your heater and your home’s electrical capacity, you can take steps to prevent overloads and maintain a warm and cozy environment.
Always remember to use space heaters safely, and when in doubt, consult with a professional.