Breaker tips the second I turn it on. Exactly 5 outlets aren't working. None of the outlets are CFCI, all look like the one in the picture, but others outlets aren't next to light switches and have panels over them. All lights and everything else is working. No apparent damage to the outlets. These outlets used to work fine with no issues. The only recent change was I connected a toaster oven to this outlet, but the problem started a couple days later. I took the plate off of the outlet and it looks fine. The light switches next to it work fine. The other 4 outlets aren't damaged and used to work fine.

What I've tried:

  • Remove everything from the outlets
  • Replace the breaker

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EDIT: Is this the issue? This wire looks burned here on this outlet. EDIT2: It was the issue. I removed the outlet and the breaker stays on now and other outlets work. enter image description here enter image description here

  • So you're saying the breaker for that circuit trips and will no longer stay on? Can it be reset once it trips, or does it trip immediately when reset? Commented May 13, 2020 at 20:35
  • 1
    Fuse with an S. A fuze is the thing on the end of a bomb that causes it to explode at the right time. Fuses prevent things from exploding lol. Commented May 13, 2020 at 20:36
  • "Replace the fuze" ?? You do not have fuses, you have breakers, When they trip you reset them not replace them ( unless they fail. ) I.E. turn them ALL the way to the off position and then back to the on position. Are any of them GFCI outlets ?
    – Alaska Man
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 20:44
  • Have you looked at all the outlets and their connections to see if you can see any evidence of arcing or burning ?
    – Alaska Man
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 20:52
  • The breaker turns off the second I switch it on. @ThreePhaseEel None of the outlets are CFGI, they lookthe same as the one in the picture but not next to light switched and has the panels over them Commented May 13, 2020 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


Broken wires don't trip breakers, they just cause outlets to stop working. An insta-tripping breaker means a genuine short circuit aka bolted fault. (lots of things are incorrectly called that, but this really is that).

I don't think the toaster oven had anything to do with it. IF it had failed immediately AND it had failed "open" (outlets stopped working but breaker held), then yes. But not in this case.

You need to check every outlet (that is now off). Look for burning, arcing or spalling. Look on side screws, especially those sticking way out because nobody ran them down, too-long wires sticking out of backstabs, ground wires, and sides of metal boxes.

The most common is the bare ground wire gets too close to a hot screw or contacts a too-long backstab wire.

  • That was it! I took out the outlet and the breaker stays on now! Other outlets working. Is there an easy way to fix this outlet? I might just leave it out. I never use this outlet anyway. Commented May 13, 2020 at 21:18
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    If the outlet is truly defective (unlikely), then just replace it, they are pretty inexpensive. Most likely like Harp said, there was a short (a real short) and when you removed the outlet, you broke the errant contact point. Check all the connections and best practice is to use electrical tape wrapped over the screws for the wires. IMHO. Commented May 13, 2020 at 21:28
  • 1
    Also, don't use the backstabs. Make sure the wire is run clockwise 3/4 of the way around the screw and is securely under the screw. In the above pic the wire is not completely under the screw and does not look secure. Always a good idea to wrap the outlet with electrical tape as recommended by George Anderson.
    – HoneyDo
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 22:35
  • @PhilipRego Those outlets cost 60 cents. And nowadays, they come with a free virus! Commented May 14, 2020 at 1:57
  • The same outlet is working now. I think just the ground wire was detatched. I connected the wires and it works. Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 0:36

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