Electric Space Heater Trips Circuit Breaker: Common Causes & Solutions

Electric space heaters are a blessing in the winter months as they keep our homes warm and cozy. However, many heater users have experienced issues when an electric space heater trips the circuit breaker.

If your space heater keeps tripping the circuit breaker, it might be a warning signal that you really shouldn’t ignore. This post will help you address the problem so your unit can work again without you constantly having to reset the circuit breaker.

3 Reasons Why Your Heater Can Trip the Circuit Breaker

If your heater keeps tripping the circuit breaker, you need to figure out why this is happening to avoid potential danger.

Here are three common reasons behind space heaters blowing fuses.

Electrical Overload

If you have connected a number of devices to the same circuit and run all of them together, the load might exceed the capacity of the electric circuit.

When your space heater draws too much current from the circuit, it causes an overload, and the breaker automatically shuts off for your safety. The overload makes the overcurrent protective device in your electric panel shut down power by tripping the circuit breaker.

This way, it prevents any potential electricity hazard due to the overload, such as a fire.

Wire Heat Up

When you plug in too many appliances in a single circuit, it might cause the fuse to blow. The overload causes the wires to heat up and the circuit to trip.

When a fuse blows, the metal filament inside is burned, which can cause damage to the surrounding connections.

Worn Out Circuit Breaker

When breakers wear out, they start constantly tripping as they become less efficient in handling the energy flow. The old and worn-out breakers may also malfunction, which makes them potentially dangerous.

How to Prevent a Space Heater from Blowing Fuse

There are some basic safety precautions you need to take to prevent space heater from blowing a fuse. These measures include:

Don’t Overload Circuits

An electric space heater trips the circuit breaker when the circuit is overloaded and cannot handle any more energy flow. If you are running more than one heater on the circuit, it can cause the fuse to blow up and the circuit to trip.

To ensure that the circuit load does not exceed the circuit capacity, check if any other electrical appliances are plugged into the circuit. Since each appliance consumes power, the total current might be too much for the circuit to handle.

When a device is plugged in, the current passes through it, even if it is not running. If that’s the case, try unplugging the other electrical devices to reduce the load on the circuit.

Check Your Heater Settings

If your circuit is not overloaded, try checking your space heater settings. Most heaters have two settings, a high and a low setting. If your heater has more than one heating option, reset the device and try running it on the lower setting.

Your heater might stop tripping the circuit breaker while running on “Low.”

Check the Heater Wires

Always keep a check on the internal and external wiring of the heater for any damages as faulty wiring can result in bursts of current which might cause fires.

If your space heater has damaged wiring, the fuse will likely melt to protect other parts of the heater. Even after the fuse has melted, the overcurrent poses a threat to the subunits of the heater.

To avoid the potential hazards of damaged wiring, check your heater once a month and look for any signs of wear and tear. Also, check the rubber casing on the wires and replace them when required.

If your space heater is new but the wires are damaged, it might be a manufacturing issue, in which case you will need to replace or return the unit. Do not run the space heater with damaged wires until they are fixed.

Add New Outlets

If the problem persists, you can move the unit to a different outlet that works without tripping. This can help you figure out if the problem lies in the circuit or your heater.

If the problem lies in the circuit, you can add a new outlet for your space heater to avoid any extra load on other circuits. You can also consider using a surge protector, which are power strips designed to withstand a power surge to keep the other electronics safe from damage.

Safety Tips for Circuit Trips

If your electric space heater trips the circuit breaker, you can take a few steps to ensure the safety of your devices and your house. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always make sure that your space heater is placed on a flat surface.
  • Keep your space heater at a safe distance from other electrical appliances and flammable surfaces, including bedding and curtains.
  • Never place a space heater in the children’s bedroom. If it’s necessary to place one, keep it at least three feet away inside an enclosed space.


If your electric space heater trips the circuit breaker, it’s actually giving you a warning every time it trips. So, it is not advisable to keep resetting the device or replugging it into the same circuit.

To prevent space heater from blowing a fuse, avoid overloading a circuit, check your heater settings and wiring, or add a surge protector. Also, make sure you follow all the safety measures for space heaters when running one in your house.

With a lifelong fascination with HVAC mechanics and a mechanical engineering degree from Berkeley, Thomas Johnson boasts years of industry expertise. He founded AirComfortLab.com to fill the void of understandable and useful online information about complex HVAC systems. As the chief editor, Thomas strives to provide accurate and engaging content to help readers make informed HVAC decisions.

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