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Do circuit breakers wear out?

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Yes, circuit breakers can malfunction or die after a short or very long time. It could have had a minor manufacturing defect that took time to develop, such as a nick in a piece of metal. It could be that the lubricant inside spread and gummed up the works, that the spring lost tension, or any number of other things.


If you reset it and it immediately trips again, you either have a short, an overloaded circuit, or the breaker is bad. Remove all loads and try again. If it still trips, odds are that it is bad. If that's the case, get a qualified electrician to swap this breaker for an identical breaker to be sure.
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