I have a carpet cleaner. The first time I turn it on, I can use it for about 5 minutes before it trips an outlet's breaker which disconnects the power to the used outlet. I then reset the outlet breaker switch. When I turn it the cleaner on it runs for less than 5 seconds before the breaker is tripped again. I then have to continue after a few hours. I am guessing the cleaner uses a lot of power. I am not sure if this means something needs to cool down first.

Are there solutions to this issue?

  • When you say "reset the outlet breaker switch" do you mean the reset button right on the receptacle outlet? If so then this is not a circuit breaker but is a GFI device. – Speedy Petey Mar 1 '15 at 12:42
  • I didn't say it was a circuit breaker. – Tony_Henrich Mar 1 '15 at 21:25
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    Sorry then. It was implied by the use of the word "breaker". – Speedy Petey Mar 2 '15 at 21:06

Plug it into a circuit that's rated for the power it draws.

Lacking details on the device, its ratings, and what the circuit you are plugging it into is rated at (or other things that are using power at the same time on that circuit) can't say much beyond that.

The time behavior is normal for an overload. You should not continue to use it in the manner you have been.

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  • I have standard outlets. How do you know what outlets is rated for what power? I am using a consumer grade carpet cleaner. I don't know how to use a carpet cleaner other than turning it on and using it like a regular carpet cleaner. – Tony_Henrich Mar 1 '15 at 21:28
  • Are there lights or tv on the same circuit that goes out at the same time. Turn some of these off and you might be able to clean to your hearts content. – Ed Beal Feb 6 '18 at 22:38

If you look at the label on the cleaner it likely says "120VAC 15Amp", which means it draws 100% of a standard North American circuit's capacity.

Pulling 100% capacity in any electrical system is not a good idea. If there is anything else on the circuit, or the breaker is getting old, you will have frequent nuisance trips like you are experiencing. The 5 minutes / 5 seconds timing says that the thermal part of the breaker is working and yes, it does need to cool down.

You have only two solutions here: get a lower-power carpet cleaner, or hook it up to a higher power circuit.

However, if the cleaner says something like "120VAC 10Amp" (or less) then you just need to turn off whatever else is plugged into that circuit (or use a different outlet). Or get a new breaker - call an electrician for that one.

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  • It's a 10A cleaner. What is a higher power circuit? Like where a washer or dryer are hooked to? Probably a 220V circuit. There's nothing else connected. I live in a 5 year old condo. – Tony_Henrich Mar 1 '15 at 21:37
  • 220v will set your machine on fire. I mean a 20 amp circuit. However, with the 10 amp rating info we can conclude that you have something else on the same circuit, or the breaker is defective, or the machine is defective and is pulling way more power than it should. Investigate those things in order. – paul Mar 1 '15 at 23:34
  • I meant to say to use a 220v to 110v converter with the outlet. But it seems to be too much of a set up. I assume if these outlets can power a dryer and a washer, they can power a carpet cleaner. I don't know what is a x amp circuit. I have outlets in my condo and I don't know what rating they are for and how to differentiate between differentiate between different circuits and if I have different circuits with different amperage. All I know if I have a bunch of outlets and circuit breaker panel. – Tony_Henrich Mar 3 '15 at 1:22

I have the same issue and it's because my carpet Shampooer is faulty. I was sold this device fraudulently :( (Going through court proceedings) I suspect the device got water into places it should never get water (turns out, it had been utterly trashed and left to sit outside in the weather for years) and hence it's tripping the circuit. Time to throw it out :(

You would need to get a registered service centre to test and replace whichever electrical component is causing it to trip, if it's worth the money to replace it.

In my case, it is way cheaper to get a new device. :(

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