Breaker Keeps Tripping

I have girls and they keep tripping the 20 amp breaker. I made sure there is 12 gauge wire and there are only two receptacles on this circuit. But when the girls plug in both hair dryers and curling irons it blows the breaker. Will I have to run a dedicated line for each receptacle?


By Troy

June 23, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

A hairdryer is nominally rated 1500watts; according to the NEC, the breaker has to be rated at least 80% greater than the load. Hence, 1500w divided by 120vac = 12.5 amps x 125% = 15.63 Amps (minimum rating for the circuit breaker) Now if you have TWO hairdryers (12.5A x 2 = 25 Amps) on the one 20A circuit breaker, you'll trip every time. If you don't, then you really have problems.

You could run #10 Romex and change out to a 30A circuit breaker but that will put the breaker at maximum capacity. It may make more sense to leave the #12awg, change the circuit breaker to a 25amp rating and run an identical separate circuit of the same. Otherwise you will keep having issues.

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June 14, 20110 found this helpful

I would use the opportunity to teach your girls responsibility and cooperation. Explain what happens when the power goes off and why, and let them figure out (depending on age) how to fix the problem. They will learn that when they cooperate by creating a schedule for power usage and stick to it their day goes much more smoothly. Encourage them by showing them how to reset the trip and leaving it up to them to take turns doing it.

Hope this helps!

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June 14, 20110 found this helpful

Your wire is too small. You need a #10 or #8 to correct the problem plus a larger capacity circuit breaker. The breaker is doing what it is suppose to do. If it didn't shut off, it could break a wire or cause a fire. P.S. I asked a man who knows about this stuff; my husband.

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June 14, 20110 found this helpful

Two hair dyers are pulling about 1400 watts too much for the breaker. Use one dryer at a time or have one of the girls use another circuit. The wire is fine.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

The bottom line is not how many outlets are on your 20amp breaker but what else is attached to it. I kept having the problem in our brand new house and found out that we had so much other stuff ex: living room etc. on the same breaker. If there was only these 2 things it won't pop but if it is run off the light switch and another room etc. then that is why the overload. If this is the problem then maybe you could do what we did with my sewing room, from the box to the room through the attic we ran a single wire through the ceiling and cut a hole in the wall ran a wire up to the attic he attached the end and brought it down through the wall and attached it to a plug-in receptacle by itself. Now my iron doesn't dim the living room lights when it turns on. Hope this makes sense but is the easiest and cheapest way to fix an overloaded even new room. Then the girls could plug in their hair dryers both to the same outlet and it won't flip it.

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