Table Saws

Why Does Table Saw Keeps Tripping Circuit Breaker? [Reasons & Fixes]

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Jacky C

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Power tool which are used in wood works, can be tricky to handle for sometimes. Such is table saw. Circuit breaker tripping is the most common electrical problem with them while on load. There are other problems but are in rare cases. They seem to appear due to carelessness and mishandling like rusting and break downs of connectors or over load switches. Most asked question acknowledging this is why table saw keeps tripping circuit breaker?

Over flow of current above ratings is the main reason why table saw trips the circuit breaker. Malfunction of motor or its parts as brushes, capacitors, switches can also lift current above ratings. Binding of saw blade and wrong extension cord are other reasons to its happening.

Why Table Saw Keeps Tripping Circuit Breaker?

There are many other reasons which make this to happen. Some broken or weaken insulation material wire in the internal wiring of motor which may create short circuit sort of scenario when heat ups occur. Varnishing may help to avoid this. There are few other things as bad capacitor, teared up brushes or ball Barings can also create a situation for motor to take extra amount of current. Malfunction of mechanical parts of saw can also help this awkward moment to be in before of you like binding of the blade, but the wrong standards of protecting a circuit from accident comes up to be the most common reason why table saw keep tripping circuit breaker.

You may also like: Circular Saw Keeps Tripping Breaker? 4 Simple Steps To Get Rid Of It!

1. Wrong Protection Standards

Standards of protection or ratings of circuit breaker depends upon load or power ratings of your table saw. Table saw typically comes with having 2 HP electrical motor which takes 14 amperes to run. A circuit breaker having 18 amps of rated current will not protect it. Rather it will break down and put your tool at risk.

2. Blade Binding

Wear and tear of moving mechanical parts of a table saw is something you should remember and be prepare to take few steps ahead to tackle this. The moment when saw blade fails to cut the material as per speed as operator wants to, is called blade binding. It occurs sometimes due to dull blades, wrong blades or operator error.

3. Wrong or Bad Extension Cord

A too long extension cord may make it difficult for motor to draw required current. It will occasionally be a reason to pass extra current over the loop and cause overload. Hence circuit breaker will trip the circuit for no reason.

4. Bad Capacitors

Capacitors are used across the motors to enhance the initial torque. If a motor having weak or exploded capacitor it will eventually have poor starting torque. It may also reduce it abilities to start up which will cause an overload over the loop and circuit breaker will protect it by breaking it.

How To Troubleshoot When Table Saw Keeps Tripping Circuit Breaker?

Nothing much to be worried about. You just need to follow the process step by step. First of all, take a spare breaker of similar ratings for testing purpose as your existing one is. Put your load on it. If saw doesn’t trips this time, there are good possibilities that something is wrong with your circuit breaker. Replace it with the one having same specification of handling current.

Just in case, if saw trip again on newly installed breaker, have a look around on the loop if there are other things like home appliances are running on the same circuit on which table saw is. See your home appliances current ratings and make a chart of their ratings. Total amount of current ratings adding table saw should be 80% lower than the circuit breaker capacity. Balance the load properly, and see if it works or not. If it doesn’t work! Unfortunately there is something upset with your table saw.

Following are few steps how to troubleshoot table saw when it keeps tripping breaker.

1. Choose Correct Circuit Breaker

As rules describe, your load should be 80 % of circuit breaker capacity. It means a circuit breaker having rating of 15 amperes will trip whenever current will try to exceed 12 amps. To determine correct circuit breaker for induction motors there is a standard being made after too many research and experiments that an induction motor uses 7 amperes per HP. So find ratings of your motor written on its name plate. Calculate the value and install a circuit breaker familiar to your requirements.

2. Avoid Binding

Make sure your saw blade has sharp teeth, there is no dull teeth or a teeth having broken tip. Always clean the dirt and wood particles. Lubricate the blade before you start working. Use machine oil for lubrication purpose and never cut wet woods. Even a new saw or new blade would to be able to cut the wet materials.

3. Extension Cord Compatibilities

Extension cords are available in different gauges, which are made to handle power and current as per ratings. A 12 gauge extension cord can pass through 16 amperes of current running with 1900W of electrical power. Use an extension cord which has similar or a bit higher ratings than your saw. Length is another factor that should be kept in mind, lengthy extension cord can cause over load and it may reduce machine efficiency. Always use a shorter and stronger extension cord. If you need a lengthy extension cord than increase its gauge respectively.

4. Capacitor

Initially you should know your saw’s motor specifications like frequency, power, and voltage. After this you can drive capacitance by a formula. 746 watts makes an HP of motor, if motor of saw have 2 HP of power rating, you will have to convert it into watts to use this formula. Always assume efficiency 80 % , it could never be 100% when inductive loads are concerned because there are too many current and power loses which takes place within the motor to make it run.

Let’s say, you have 1HP single phase induction motor in your saw, voltage across it is 220v at the frequency of 50Hz. Its capacitor size should be as shown in the answer of formula.

C(µF) = 746 x 80 x 1000 / (220 x 220 x 50) = 24.66 µF.

While capacitor available in markets are of 25 µF, that small difference will make no harm to your motor. It is safe to use and enough to make the motor run.


There are some other steps to avoid electrical problems while using table saws. Always use cables having good insulations to avoid break downs. Maintenance of electric motor should be done after regular intervals. Lubricate and clean the blades to avoid binding. Never expose your tool to dirt or moisture as it can cause jamming and rusting. Use blade guard because table saw has a sharp revolving blade, a bit of carelessness can put operator vulnerable to massive injuries.

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