Why Does My Hair Dryer Trip My Circuit Breaker?

Solve the mystery—understand why your hair dryer may trip the circuit breaker.

What to do when a hair dryer short circuit explained by an electrical contractorHave you ever tripped a circuit in your home while trying to get ready in the morning? In the middle of rushing to get ready for work, you reach over to plug in your hair dryer and all of a sudden you are submerged in darkness as your home’s electrical system is overloaded. When your hair dryer short circuits, this could be a sign of a larger problem within the home, such as outdated internal wiring.

Trying to find the tripped breakers to fix the problem is a pain, but so is using one appliance at a time when you are in a rush. If your hair dryer short circuits on a pretty regular basis, there are a few options you have to try a prevent your from hair dryer tripping breakers in the future.

Number of plugged in devices

One of the most simple solutions to fixing a circuit overload is to find ways to limit the number of plugged in devices on one circuit. During the summer, for example, many people start to use plug-in fans in their homes in addition to or instead of air conditioning. One solution may be to run an extension cord in from a circuit that doesn’t have many other appliances plugged in. If you are uncertain about how many devices you have plugged into one circuit, check your breaker box to see how many circuits you are working with or call an electrical contractor for help.

Hair dryer wattage levels

When hair dryers first started coming out in the early 70’s, they were only about 750 watts, or 6 amps. Today’s hair dryers, however, require much more power as a result of higher wattage. Many hair dryers require about 1,875 watts, or 15 amps, of power. Because of this, it’s much easier to blow a circuit just by plugging your hair dryer in. Be aware of how many amps the circuits in your house can handle before you plug in too many devices to one outlet.

Older home wiring

Most of the homes built prior to the 1990’s only have a 15 amp power circuit powering the lights and devices in your home. If you have an older home built earlier than that, using a brand new 1,875 watt hair dryer is going to pose major difficulties. One option you have is purchasing a new hair dryer that doesn’t use as many watts. However, if you’re really fond of your hair dryer, you can also ask an electrician to wire a 20 amp power circuit into your home.

In addition, if your older home is still relying on the original wiring that came with the house, it’s probably time to rewire your home. Modern internal wiring will fix a myriad of electrical problems, including your hair dryer short circuiting power. Learn more about how to rewire a house here.

If you need help with a solution that will help minimize the times your hair dryer trips your circuit breaker, call the experts at Prairie Electric to find out the best solution for you and your needs.

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