A treadmill takes a lot of energy, about 600 and 700 watts on average but peaks can be much higher, depending on the model. The treadmill’s energy consumption sometimes causes the circuit breaker to trip — usually happens when the circuit is overloaded with power. You’ll find the problem annoying if it often occurs, but fortunately, there are ways to prevent the circuit breaker from tripping.
To prevent your treadmill from tripping a circuit, ensure that it doesn’t overload your power outlet with too much energy. It’s best to give your treadmill a dedicated power outlet. Also, it’ll help if you check your treadmill components from time to time to prevent future issues.
Throughout this article, you will learn:
- Why your treadmill is tripping the circuit
- How to prevent your treadmill from tripping a circuit
Why Your Treadmill Is Tripping the Circuit
Anyone who owns a treadmill knows how annoying it can be when the treadmill keeps tripping the circuit. While it is common for a treadmill to trip the circuit, it becomes a concern if it happens too often.
Two reasons why your treadmill trips the circuit:
A treadmill can trip a circuit when it uses energy that is too much for your power outlet to handle. Other home appliances have been known to trip a circuit, too, like ovens and microwaves. It’s common to experience your circuit getting tripped when you’re using the treadmill for an extended period.
Most homes today have two outlet types, such as:
- GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter). The GFCI is designed to keep you safe from dangerous electric shocks. Electric shocks can cause severe injuries, even death. Electricity can accidentally leak from a circuit, so the GFCI’s primary role is to prevent the electric path from going to the ground. Failure to do so will result in the person on the ground getting electrocuted.
- AFCI (Arc Circuit Interrupter). Like the GFCI, the AFCI is designed to keep you safe from electrical hazards. However, the AFCI’s specific role is to protect you from fire caused by arcing problems. Arcing faults usually happen when there are issues with wires and cords.
GFCI and AFCI are excellent for keeping you safe in the house. However, GFCI and AFCI outlets do not get along with most treadmills or incline trainers due to their design nature. What this means is the two outlets will interfere with your treadmill when it is in use.
Treadmills or incline trainers produce static electricity, so when this happens, the GFCI/AFCI outlets will flip their breakers. That’s because home gym equipment like treadmills and incline trainers use a lot of power, which then flows through the ground port. So when a GFCI/AFCI outlet trips the breaker, your treadmill shuts down instantly.
You also want to check what other appliances in the house that your power outlet is powering. Other home appliances, such as the television or oven, take a lot of energy, so avoid ‘daisy-chaining’ — when you connect several devices via the same power outlet. For example, don’t let your treadmill and oven run simultaneously via a single power outlet.
Another part is that some treadmills just require a lot of power. The high horsepower ratings are nice but all that horsepower needs electricity to actually work. A treadmill will require the most power during acceleration and heavy loads.
It’s best to fix the power outlet and wiring but if you can’t, try to limit how much power the treadmill is consuming by limiting the acceleration and load.
Sometimes the circuit is tripped by your treadmill issues, which can cause the circuit to get overloaded. For example, when your treadmill has an issue with an old conveyor belt, it has to work harder than usual, thus tripping a circuit.
Tripping of a circuit is quite common in older treadmills. If you bought your treadmill second-hand, or you’ve had it for several years, your machine may trip a circuit. Other problems can also trigger your treadmill to trip a circuit, such as:
- An unlubricated treadmill belt
- Excessive weight on the treadmill
- Issues with the power cord
- Dead short in the treadmill
How To Prevent Your Treadmill From Tripping a Circuit
The GFCI outlets are commonly used in garages and outdoor space, whereas the AFCI outlets are more common in living rooms and bedrooms. To prevent your treadmill from tripping a circuit, try moving your treadmill to a different power outlet. Most homes must have AFCI outlets to comply with building codes, though.
If the problem of your treadmill tripping a circuit persists, it will help to contact an electrician to help you find the best solutions for the problem. For example, your electrician may advise you to use a different treadmill model or power outlets. In addition, some people use a surge protector, like the Tripp Lite ISOBAR4ULTRA from Amazon.com, to prevent overloads.
Also, you want to check for any signs of treadmill problems because they can also trip a circuit. You can do this by running the machine and observing its components, such as the belt, console, wires, etc. Investing some wiring work into creating a dedicated circuit for your treadmill will also help you prevent future circuit tripping issues.
Create a Dedicated Circuit for Your Treadmill
It will be beneficial to ensure that your power outlet can handle your treadmill’s electric usage to prevent your treadmill from tripping a circuit. If your 15 amp outlet keeps blowing because of the treadmill, you should create a dedicated outlet for your treadmill, say 20 amp. Watch the video below to see an example:
For safety reasons, you are required to get a professional to do it for you. Please do not do it yourself. Once you have changed a dedicated circuit ready for your treadmill, you can use your treadmill without tripping a circuit.
Anyone who owns a treadmill may have experienced their machine tripping a circuit. Usually, this occurs when the circuit is overloaded. Since treadmill issues can easily trip a circuit, check your treadmill from time to time to address any issues that may arise.
To prevent your treadmill from tripping a circuit in the future, you should avoid having different appliances in your home to share a single power outlet. Since treadmills use a lot of energy, you should have a dedicated circuit for your treadmill. An electrician can help you with the job.
Favorite Cardio Machine Accessories
Check out these accessories that improve a home cardio workout:
- Equipment mat: All cardio equipment should be put on an equipment mat. The Rubber-Cal mat (Amazon) is an affordable yet very high quality choice.
- Interval timer: To time your intervals and workouts, there is no better choice than the GymNext Flex. It’s super easy to use and set up with a phone app.
- Tablet holder: Cardio can be boring. With this tablet holder (Amazon) you can follow along with on-demand workouts or just watch a movie on any cardio machine.
- Heart rate monitor: Monitoring your heart rate is very important while doing cardio. The Polar H10 (Amazon) connects to almost anything you can imagine and is very accurate.
To find which cardio machines I recommend for home gyms, click here.