Why Does My Microwave Trip the Breaker?

Posted On: July 15, 2016

Almost every home has a microwave. Newer homes come with microwaves pre-installed, commonly found above the stove top. However, older homes, rental properties, or apartments often require you to purchase a microwave and plug it into a kitchen outlet—an outlet that may not be wired to handle the electrical capacity you demand.

If this is the case, your microwave may cause power to go out in your kitchen or in a particular electrical circuit. If this is the case, your microwave tripped the breaker. So, why does this keep happening?

Overloaded Circuits Cause a Microwave to Trip Its Breaker

The reason that your microwave trips the breaker whenever you use it is because you are overloading the circuit.

Electrical circuits are rated to handle a specific number of amps. Each circuit typically handles the electricity for one part of your house. So the circuit for your kitchen probably can’t handle all the amps you’re using when you turn on the microwave and add more power.

There are two main reasons for this:

  1. You need a new microwave because your current model is malfunctioning and is pulling more electrical current than the breaker allows or;
  2. You have too many electrical appliances plugged into the circuit your microwave is plugged into.

Test Your Microwave

To figure out whether your breaker keeps tripping because your microwave is malfunctioning, test the microwave out. Choose a circuit where the breaker is set for a higher amp rating. The garage is usually such an area. Plug your microwave in here to see what happens.

If the microwave trips the breaker, then there’s most likely a problem with the microwave. If it works fine without tripping the breaker, then the microwave is working perfectly fine and it’s a problem concerning the circuit’s amp rating. Call a local electrician if you’re still not sure what’s causing your breaker to trip.

Install a Dedicated Circuit for Your Microwave

If it turns out that your microwave is overloading the circuit because the circuit can’t handle the amps, then you need to install a dedicated circuit to your kitchen. This isn’t uncommon, especially when considering that the microwave is probably running at the same time as numerous other kitchen appliances.

You can tell whether you have a dedicated circuit already or not by looking at the labels of your breaker. If you see a label marked “microwave,” then you’ve already got a dedicated circuit. If you don’t have a dedicated circuit, you can have one installed just for your microwave—just give us a call!

Dedicated Circuit Installation in MD, DC & VA

Installing a dedicated for your microwave ensures that your microwave doesn’t overload the circuit and cause the breaker to trip. Considering how many kitchen appliances you run at once, installing a dedicated circuit may be a good idea.

For information on having a dedicated circuit installed for your microwave, be sure to contact Jaffe Electric and schedule an appointment today.

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