The toaster oven is one of the most common culprits behind tripping breakers. It’s a high-wattage appliance, meaning it draws up a lot of amps when it operates. If you’re not careful, you may end up overloading and tripping your circuit.
Here are 7 easy solutions if your toaster oven keeps on tripping the breaker:
- Avoid using your toaster oven with several appliances.
- Check the wires.
- Provide dedicated circuits to your larger appliances.
- Get your breaker serviced.
- Install a new circuit/outlet.
- Replace your toaster oven.
Ideally, appliances that draw a lot of amps should be on their own breaker. We will cover that but if you are looking for some simple fixes in the meantime I want to make sure we cover those as well so let’s get started.
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1. Avoid Using Your Toaster Oven With Several Appliances
Say you’re running late for work. Instead of your usual tradition of languishing your cup of coffee, you end up running in circles. In a hurry, you turn your toaster on — alongside the coffee maker and microwave oven — all at the same time.
Before you know it, your circuit breaker has tripped.
As to why, it’s because your circuit has been overloaded. When too many appliances run simultaneously, the breaker draws more energy than it can handle. The result: a short circuit or break (source).
To prevent tripping, use one appliance at a time. Such is the case for the kitchen, where large appliances often connect to the same circuit.
2. Check the Wires
If your toaster oven continues to trip the breaker — even if you’re not using other appliances — you should check it for frayed wires.
You may not see them right away, but your nose can guide you to these problems. Once you smell scorched insulation, you know you’re getting nearer.
Unless you know how to replace frayed wires, it’s best to ask an electrician to do this for you.
3. Provide Dedicated Circuits to Your Larger Appliances
If you have several circuits, then it’s best to dedicate some to your larger appliances. Doing so will help prevent your breaker from tripping.
For one, your toaster oven is a high-wattage appliance. Placing it on a circuit with other devices that require much power will overwhelm the circuit breaker.
To avoid tripping the breaker, make sure to allot dedicated circuits for the following appliances:
- Electric range and oven
- Window AC, 1200 watts (1.6 hp) and above
- Wall-mounted microwave
- Electric dryer
Likewise, you shouldn’t plug your toaster oven with these high-wattage appliances on a single circuit/outlet:
- Electric space heater
- Window AC, 1200 watts (1.6 hp) and below
- Garbage compactor
- Countertop microwave
- Electric tea kettle
- Coffee maker
4. Get Your Breaker Serviced
Using multiple appliances and frayed wires will cause your breaker to trip constantly. But if this event persists — even if you’ve addressed the usual problems — then your breaker might be to blame.
Apart from frequent tripping, here are other signs that your breaker needs servicing:
- A burning smell in the circuit breaker
- Failure to ‘stay’ reset
- Scorch marks and other signs of damage
- Unserviced for the last ten years
Any of these issues should prod you to get your breaker fixed.
As always, it’s best to leave this to professionals. Your electrician knows how to check for short circuits, circuit overload, or ground faults safely.
Remember: non-professionals shouldn’t do this on their own, given the high risk of electrocution.
5. Install a New Circuit/Outlet
If you’ve done everything mentioned above — but the breaker continues to trip — then it’s time to install a new circuit or outlet.
This predicament is common in old houses, where circuits can only handle a limited electricity flow. There weren’t a lot of big electrical appliances in the old days, after all.
A new dedicated circuit or outlet for your toaster oven will help handle the high amperage load. That said, you should be keen on picking one.
For best results, get a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. It shuts off automatically in the event of excessive current flow. It’ll help prevent tripping because it stops the breaker from overloading.
GFCI outlets are not only for the kitchen. It’s also good to have them in your:
- Other outdoor locations
6. Replace Your Toaster Oven
There’s a time when you need to let go of your toaster oven.
The most common reason is a frayed cord. As mentioned, it can trip the breaker — even lead to a small fire. Unless your electrician has managed to fix this, it’s time for you to buy a new toaster oven.
Apart from cord problems, here are other signs that you should get a replacement ASAP:
- Rusty interiors. While they’re not enough to cause tripping, it’s a health issue. The rust can fall on your food and contaminate it. Worse of all, the rust particle may end up choking you.
- Cracked glass. The toaster oven’s heat can cause the glass to break all the way. Again, it’s a safety concern.
- Doors won’t close all the way. Some door parts may have bulged, which is why the door won’t close fully anymore. The heat will escape, so the toaster oven won’t ‘toast’ your food as well as it should.
Apart from heeding the tips we mentioned on how to prevent tripping the breaker, it would be best to tinker with it carefully.
Remember: don’t reset the circuit right away! Wait for a few minutes to give the wires some time to cool down. This ‘waiting’ will help prevent a full-blown circuit meltdown.