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Why Is My Microwave Tripping the Circuit Breaker?

Written by Aaron Robarge | December 7, 2020

Few appliances in your home work harder to make life more convenient than your microwave oven. Whether you are cooking dinner or warming up leftovers, it is an essential appliance in the modern home. However, many homeowners complain that using their microwave oven causes the breaker to trip. Even the occasional tripped breaker can cause significant inconvenience, and it is essential to identify the cause to stop it from recurring. At All Comfort Services, we have resolved many tripped breakers in Madison, McFarland, Fitchburg, Cottage Grove, and Windsor. It is our pleasure to help you identify the cause and apply the appropriate solution.

Common Causes of Tripped Breakers

  • Overloaded Circuits. This is the most common cause of tripped breakers we see. Microwaves pull a significant amount of current. When there are too many appliances plugged into the circuit, it can easily create an overload.
  • Circuit Breaker Failure. Circuit breakers are not indestructible. Damaged circuit breakers can falter and fail and should be replaced; otherwise, they can pose a significant fire hazard.
  • Faulty Microwave. Even the best-built microwave ovens only last around seven years. If the microwave is used frequently, that may be as short as four or five years. Design flaws, poor construction, and overuse can increase wear and tear on electrical components, which can result in a tripped circuit breaker.

Troubleshooting Your Problem

Most microwaves draw around 12 amps. Most circuits are rated for 20 amps. If you have your coffee machine, blender, mixer, toaster, and other appliances plugged into the same circuit, you can easily cause an overload. Thus, you should try to unplug these additional appliances and see if the circuit trips. If it doesn’t, it is a good bet that it is tripping because it is overloaded.

You will also want to see if the microwave is connected to a dedicated circuit. This is the case in most new homes, and it is usually marked “microwave” on the breaker box. This helps prevent overloading caused by additional appliances since it means the only thing connected to the circuit is the microwave. If you don’t have a dedicated circuit, a certified electrician can install one for you.

If the problem persists after you unplug the appliances and check the circuit, you may have a faulty GFCI breaker. Or, you may have a faulty circuit breaker. A certified electrician can inspect and test your GFCI breaker and circuit breaker to determine whether they are functioning properly.

Finally, suppose all the circuits are functioning properly and the additional appliances aren’t the cause. In that case, it is probable that the breaker is tripping because of a fault in the microwave itself. These faults can occur because of a bad magnetron, damaged internal circuitry, or blown fuses within the unit. It would be best if you never attempted to repair these problems on your own. The wrong connection and wrong repair can create a significant fire hazard and electrocution risk. In most cases, the cost of repairing the microwave is more than the cost of purchasing a new unit, which is why few of our customers opt to repair damaged diodes, capacitors, and transistors.

Are your breakers tripping over themselves? Contact All Comfort Services at (608) 838-7300, and we will dispatch a certified electrician to your home in McFarland, Madison, Fitchburg, Cottage Grove, Monona, or the surrounding community to solve the problem.

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