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What To Do When the Space Heater Trips the Circuit Breaker

What To Do When The Space Heater Trips The Circuit Breaker

Most households use space heaters to keep their spaces nice and toasty, even during the cold winter. But space heaters are notorious for being energy-hungry appliances.

And because of this, they could trip your circuit breaker now and then. When it happens often, you could be left both cold and annoyed.

So what can you do to stop your space heater from tripping your circuit breaker?

These tips should come in handy.

  • Space heaters demand lots of energy and thus are prone to tripping circuit breakers.
  • Moving your space heater to a room with fewer appliances can reduce the load on the circuit.
  • Alternatively, you can unplug electronics that you don’t need if you plan to run your space heater.
  • An automatic voltage regulator can isolate the problem and keep your circuit breaker on.
  • Dialing down the temperature reduces the energy consumption of your heater.

Space heaters are power-intensive, so it’s no surprise they might trip your circuit breaker. But if it happens every time you plug in your heater and turn it on, it becomes frustrating.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep it running sans the interruption.

Why Do Space Heaters Usually Trip a Circuit Breaker?

First, it’s important to recognize the vital role of your circuit breaker. Inside that little box in the wall are several dozen switches. These correspond to the different ‘circuits’ in your home.

Most modern homes have one switch for every room. So your kitchen’s power is controlled by one switch, your bedroom by another.

The purpose of a circuit breaker is to protect your home from holistic damage. If a circuit is overloaded and is drawing too much current, it will trip the specific switch just for that circuit.

This doesn’t only protect your appliances but also protects the rest of the wiring in your home.

Space heaters are particularly energy-intensive. That means they use and draw a lot of currents.

So if they’re plugged into a circuit supplying many other electronics and appliances, you could overload the circuit, leading to a trip.

How To Stop a Space Heater From Tripping a Circuit Breaker

You can try a few things to stop your space heater from constantly tripping your circuit breaker. These include the following:

1. Move It to a Different Room

Move It To A Different Room

It’s possible that the space heater is overloading the circuit in a specific room if it already has many electronics and appliances running. Moving your heater to a room with fewer appliances and electronics can keep it from tripping your circuit breaker.

Some people even put their space heater on a dedicated circuit. With fewer appliances sharing the circuit, it’s less likely for your space heater to cause an overload.

2. Unplug Other Appliances

Unplug Other Appliances

If you need your space heater in a specific room, you might consider unplugging other appliances. But, again, the more electronics share a circuit, the more likely it will overload.

Before you turn on your space heater, go around the room and unplug as many electronics as possible to lighten the circuit’s load.

3. Use an Automatic Voltage Regulator

Automatic Voltage Regulator

An automatic voltage regulator (sometimes abbreviated to AVR) is a device that looks like a bulky extension cord. This plugs into your outlet and works as a circuit breaker.

If the AVR senses an excess current, it will cut the power to any electronics plugged into it. This isolates the problem and prevents you from returning to your circuit breaker to reset it.

4. Turn Down the Heat

Turn Down The Heat

The higher the heat setting, the more energy your space heater will use. Try dialing down the settings to the lowest you can go.

This reduces demand on the circuit and allows the space heater to operate without consuming as much energy.


It can be frustrating to constantly go back to your circuit breaker to reset a switch that your space heater trips. But, on the upside, there are things you can do to keep it from happening.

Follow these tips the next time you whip out your space heater to keep your home nice and toasty, minus the constant interruptions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Energy Do Space Heaters Use?

Most space heaters consume over 1,000 watts of energy, making them one of the most power-intensive appliances you can use.

The same applies to most electronics that are designed to generate heat.

Can Space Heaters Cause Electrical Problems?

In theory, all electronics and appliances can cause electrical problems. What makes the difference is how you use them. For example, space heaters can do more than trip your circuit breaker because they are power intensive.

Electrical fires can happen due to improper space heater operation, so it’s important to practice utmost caution when using one.

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