My electric keeps tripping. It's the upstairs lighting trip switch and the main trip that goes.

Now obviously your automatic thought is maybe a bulb blowing or some such thing, however, it tripped a few times yesterday and then again at 4am. We were all asleep and no lights were on or switches used.

After turning the circuit back on this morning, half an hour later it did it again. I really don't understand what's going on. I've tried this evening to turn on all the upstairs lights and turned them off again and nothing has happened.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.


A repeatedly tripping breaker means that you have a fault somewhere, and the breaker is protecting your house from potentially burning to the ground by tripping. Stop resetting the breaker and call an electrician.

If you think that the lighting breaker is causing the problem, then definitely leave that one off. But if your main breaker trips again, I recommend just leaving all the power off until an electrician can inspect.

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  • Well that's presumptuous. A repeatedly tripping breaker could just be an old fragile breaker; it's not unthinkable that one could go bad. Anyway, I think they might be referring to the breaker for the circuit "main" but not meaning the main as you and I know it. May need some clarification there. – ChiefTwoPencils May 24 '15 at 11:31
  • Hey, if you are comfortable giving that advice, go ahead. It is equally likely that there is a circuit fault, and a bad, old breaker is equally presumptuous. – longneck May 24 '15 at 12:14
  • The implicit point is I'm not comfortable because there's not enough information to make such an assumption or too many possibilities due to the lack of information. The difference is I'm not presuming anything; I was only saying it's a possibility which is not your approach. Saying it "means that you have a fault somewhere" is an absolute answer which makes it potentially entirely incorrect to which you propose a $90+/hr. solution for. The comment was meant as a notifier for you in case you neglected to realize it and cared to alter the statement and doomsday "burning down" bit - oh well! – ChiefTwoPencils May 24 '15 at 20:53
  • Better to "waste" the price of a service call than to "save" it and lose the house (note - "potentially") unless you have a really good handle on what the problem actually is... $90/hr is good prevention even on a $90,000 house, and that's not much house these days. – Ecnerwal May 26 '15 at 2:33

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