There was a problem that caused my circuit breaker to reset over and over again. I isolated this problem to my cooking stove.

It was connected to the main so that it could generate a spark to ignite the natural gas.

I have disconnected it from the main and anyone has seen a problem like this before? How do I investigate further regarding why it is causing a short circuit?


  • Does your breaker have GFCI or AFCI capability? Was this recently added? If it is not a GFCI/AFCI trip, you should not be resetting beakers repeatedly as it can start a fire (or break the breaker, at which point it will no longer protect you). – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 10 '17 at 14:13
  • Does your breaker have a TEST button on it? – ThreePhaseEel Sep 10 '17 at 14:26
  • @Harper, technically, I was not resetting it repetitively, it has a residual current device (RCD). Thanks for this heads up. – Yu Zhang Sep 10 '17 at 18:13
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    @ThreePhaseEel, no, but the RCD has a TEST button on it. – Yu Zhang Sep 10 '17 at 18:14
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    @ThreePhaseEel: He is in New Zealand, see his profile. AFCI is not mandatory there yet (or if it is, it's not mentioned in Wikipedia yet.) – Fizz Sep 10 '17 at 18:28

Visually inspect the igniters. If if you see any cracks in them or burned wires, that's almost certainly the fault to fix.

If you don't see anything wrong with the igniters, check with an ohmmeter if there's short between line and ground on the input plug of of stove. It's not clear to me from your description of the problem if the breaker disconnects when you push the spark/lightning button or all the time... but try to repeat the scenario with the ohmmeter. If there's a fault to ground somewhere, it's almost certainly from a wire with burnt insulation... somewhere inside the stove; you'll have to trace/inspect all the wires.

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    You seem to be assuming that the breaker was tripping due to a short circuit leading to a high current draw. Another possibility is that the breaker that was tripping is an "arc fault" breaker or a ground fault breaker. Could it be that the igniters on some stoves trip some arc fault breakers? – Jim Stewart Sep 10 '17 at 10:45

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