Why Does My Light Switch Keep Tripping The Circuit Breaker?

Why does my light switch keep tripping the breaker?

Your light switch keeps tripping the breaker because of a loose wiring connection or a ground fault. A faulty light fixture, a faulty light switch, or damaged wiring is another reason your light switch keeps tripping the breaker.


light switch tripping breaker


Loose wiring connection

A breaker can trip at the slightest switch movement if the switch is old and poorly wired. If any of the wire becomes loose or damaged, it can cause potential ground faults and short circuits that would result in a tripping breaker.

Turn off the switch’s power supply, remove the cover, and check whether the terminal screws are loose. If they are loose, ensure the screws are securely tightened.


Ground faults

This occurs when a live wire makes contact with a metal section of the switch housing or another component of a similar nature. This can cause shocks and also trip the breaker. Ensure there are no ground faults by thoroughly checking the wiring in every possible location.


Faulty light fixture

If a light fixture is damaged, it can cause a breaker to trip. The wires can break apart in an old light fixture and cause a short or ground out. You should turn off the power and check the light fixture for any damage.

If the light fixture is faulty, you should replace it with a new one.


Faulty light switch

Another common reason for a light switch to trip the breaker is a faulty light switch. A faulty light switch might cause a short circuit and the breaker to trip. The breaker may trip because an old light switch has cracked and is no longer operable.

The wires become fragile and cause circuit overloading or short. Before examining the light switch, make sure the breaker is turned off. Replace the light switch if it turns out to be damaged.


Damaged wiring

A rodent living in the wall may have chewed on the wires. This will break the wires and cause a short trip to the breaker. You will have to fix or replace the wiring.


How to fix a light switch that keeps tripping the breaker?

You can fix a light switch that keeps tripping the breaker by rewiring the wires connection or replacing the light switch. Replacing the light fixtures or tightening the wires is another method you can use to fix a light switch that keeps tripping the breaker.


Rewire the wires connection

Because of the improper connection of the wires, when the switch is turned on, the breaker will trip because of the short circuit. Rewiring the wires connection is essential to prevent your light switch from tripping the breaker. Here is how to rewire it;

  1. First, connect the black wire of the circuit breaker to the white wire and other black wires that feed other devices.
  2. Remember to put a black marker on both ends of the light switch and the light.
  3. Then, connect the circuit breaker’s white wire to the light’s white wires.
  4. Next, connect the black wire from your switch to the lights’ black wire.
  5. Lastly, connect all the ground wires and the ground screw on the light fixture and the box.


Replace the light switch

A faulty light switch can short out and trip a breaker. If you notice the light switch is faulty, replacing the light switch is vital. Here is how to replace it;

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker.
  2. Take off the cover of the switch or outlet plate.
  3. Loosen the screw that holds the switch and the wires together.
  4. Connect the new switch.
  5. Put the switch in the new electrical box.
  6. Replace the cover plate for the switch.
  7. Tighten the screws and cover the plate with a screwdriver.
  8. Restart the power.

Note: Make sure there are no exposed or frayed wires or use a wire stripper to retouch them to meet your needs. Connect the new light switch the same way you disassembled the old one.


Replace the light fixtures

If a light fixture is damaged, it can cause a breaker to trip. You can fix this by replacing the light fixtures. The following are easy DIY steps to replace it;

  1. Turn off the power of the old fixture.
  2. Loosen the screws that hold the plate to the wall with a standard screwdriver to access the fixture.
  3. Unscrew the black, white, and copper wires.
  4. Take off the old fixture.
  5. Connect the new fixture.
  6. Secure the new fixture and adjust the length
  7. Screw back the black, white, and copper wires.
  8. Turn on the power and try the new fixture!


Tighten the wires

A loose wire will cause your breaker to trip, which can lead to other problems. Tightening loose wires in your light switch will stop the breaker from tripping. Here is how to tighten it;

  1. Turn off the power
  2. With the power turned off, you can take off the cover plate
  3. Use a flashlight to carefully look at the screw terminals inside where the wires are connected.
  4. If you find loose wire, tighten the screw terminals on the wires carefully.


Why does my light switch keep tripping the GFCI?

Your light switch keeps tripping the GFCI because the neutral connection on the switch is tied to the ground or a faulty GFCI receptacle. To make sure there are no electrical hazards, test any GFCI outlets. An issue could arise, and the breaker could trip if the light switch wire is connected to a malfunctioning GFCI outlet. When a GFCI outlet fails the test, it must be replaced.

A short circuit or an overload is another reason your light switch keeps tripping the GFCI. The breaker trips because two wires are touching and conducting electricity between them. When insulation wears away, wires become brittle and potentially hazardous.


If you want to be sure there are no short circuits, check all the cables. If you detect any of the wire to be fragile or the insulation to be peeling, you should have it replaced. If replacing the outlet doesn’t fix the issue, the fault may lie with another outlet on the line or an appliance hooked into it.

Disconnecting everything from the outlets on the same line is a good way to determine if the issue is a specific device or the outlet itself. It’s possible that you’ll need to check each plug separately.


Why does my light switch keep blowing a fuse?

Your light switch keeps blowing a fuse because it is becoming overloaded, a faulty electrical item, or a short circuit.

An overload

Overloading the circuit is the most common reason for a fuse to blow. Circuits can only handle a certain amount of electricity, and every light you turn on or appliance you use adds to that amount. Overloading them will cause them to draw more power than they can handle, which will cause the fuse to blow.

In this case, you should be able to find the cause by looking for an outlet or an appliance that is being used excessively. Cut down on how much power is going into a single circuit. Find places to plug in on other circuits or unplug what you’re not using.


Faulty electrical item

One possible cause of your fuse switches blowing is a malfunctioning electrical device. There could be an issue with the wiring, or the device could simply be too old and worn out to function properly.

Looking at the fuse box could help you determine the source of the issue. With the help of clearly labeled fuse switches, you may pinpoint the damaged appliance to its circuit.


Short circuit

Short circuits are one form of electrical fault. When the live (black) wire comes into contact with the neutral (white), ground (bond), or metal (box) terminals, this is called a “hard short.” Simply put, a short circuit occurs when an electric current takes a direction it shouldn’t.

Every time this occurs, the circuit is subjected to excessive heat because an excessive quantity of current flows through it. When this occurs, your fuse will blow. This happens due to several factors, including but not limited to: rust, dampness, insects, and other damage to the wiring and accessories.


The following is a simple step to fix a blown a fuse;

  1. Unplugs electrical appliances
  2. Turn off the power
  3. Then, disconnect the fuse box from the primary power source.
  4. Find the fuse.
  5. Identify the faulty fuse.
  6. Unscrew the faulty fuse and screw in the new one; it must be the same as the old one.
  7. Try out the new configuration.

Note: If your fuse keeps blowing, it could signify a more serious electrical issue. A fuse may be short-circuiting owing to loose wire connections, damaged wires, or an internal wiring fault. While blown fuses can be repaired repeatedly, a professional electrician should be called in when the problem lies deeper in the electrical wiring.