Troubleshooting Circuit Breaker Problems

A tripped circuit breaker can be a sign of trouble with wiring, and may require a trained professional to get to the root of the problem. This guide is about troubleshooting circuit breaker problems.

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Question: Breaker Not Working

By chychy27 1

I was charging my mobile phone in my kids' room. I woke up with a spark and fire. Now the television, fan, and modem, even all the outlets in the room are not working. I am glad nothing happen to my kids they are still asleep. Unfortunately I can't use the television or any electronics. What can I do?

Breaker Not Working

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Bruce S 104 Flag

    January 18, 2016

    I cannot tell from the picture, but I am assuming that is your phone charger. It appears as though it failed. When it failed, it probably shorted the circuit and tripped a breaker (or blew a fuse) in your panel. This can be reset (turn breaker off and on) or replaced (in the case of a fuse).

    You had an electrical fire, I would call an electrician to verify no damage has occurred to your household wiring or receptacle before resetting the breaker (or replacing the fuse).

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    Question: Oven Turns Off and Throws Breaker

    By mjpoll 1

    We have a GE wall oven/microwave combo unit, Model JT965SK4SS 2007 model. We had new cabinets put in. The installers put the unit back in the wall. Now it turns on, but after a while the oven cuts off and throws the breaker off. The top microwave works fine. The repair man says it may be sensor and wants to charge $300 for a sensor. They are $14.73 for the part. But is it the sensor or a wiring problem or a bad circuit? We have outlets in two bathrooms on the other side of our house that don't work, but not sure if this all happened at the same time or not.

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

      December 30, 2015

      Why don't you call in an electrician to check out the wiring. He can fix the bathroom outlets at least, and can let you know if this is a problem with the wiring or with your oven. If it turns out it is the oven, then you can decide what to do about that.

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      Question: Circuit Problems and Breaker Won't Reset

      By Lee W. 1

      A room is receiving power to its outlets, but the ceiling fan is not working in that same room. Suggestion? At the same time this issue began to occur, all the power to the master bedroom went out and the breaker to the master bedroom will also not reset. Any suggestions to these problems?

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        Most Recent Answer

        By Bruce S 104 Flag

        December 16, 2015

        It is probable that the ceiling fan is on the same circuit as the master bedroom if they all lost power at the same time when the breaker tripped.

        It is possible that it is a bad breaker. If so an electrician could change it.

        Were any changes being made to the house when the power went out. Drive any nails into the wall? Plug in any new load?

        Unplug all cord and plug devices in the master bedroom and see if the breaker resets.

        Is this a standard breaker or AFCI? AFCI breakers have trouble with certain types of humidifers.

        If problem persists, call an electrician. They can meter the circuit to determine if the breaker should be tripping and if so where the fault is that is causing the issue.

        Good luck.

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        Question: Breaker Question - 20 Amp Breaker, 14 wire

        By jmager 1

        I recently purchased a house, and it is clear that the previous owner had not always done things correctly. My present concern is that there seems to be 14 gauge wire running off a 20 AMP breaker. I believe this is a code violation, and more importantly a fire risk. I would rather not open up the walls to replace the wire. Assuming the circuit would be OK on a 15, can I just have the breaker replaced? Is that an adequate solution?

        Thanks,

        Concerned

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        Best Answer

        By Susan Sanders-Kinzel 10 2,498 Flag

        February 2, 2005

        Yes, that is a code violation and a fire risk.

        And it invalidates the insurance.

        To fix the problem,

        1) get a breaker from the same brand and series but with a 15 Amp rating

        2) turn the 20 Amp breaker off and pull it out.

        3) swap the wire, that goes to it, over to the 15 Amp breaker

        4) Make sure the 15 Amp breaker is turned OFF

        5) insert the 15 Amp breaker

        6) make sure the 15 Amp breaker is inserted fully and looks level with the other breakers

        7) turn the 15 Amp breaker on and test the appliances or outlets that are fed from it.

        If you forget point 4), there will be scary sounding arcing and sparking that could startle you into falling off your ladder or chair.

        Have FUN!

        DearWebby

        http://www.webby.com/humor/

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        Question: Circuit Breaker Won't Switch On or Off

        By sue 2

        I plugged in a vacuum cleaner in the living room and had other things going (TV, etc.) and blew the circuit. I unplugged everything and tried to re-set the circuit breaker (switch to off then back to on position). However, the switch will not switch completely to the off or on position. I can move the switch in either direction, but not enough for it to stay there. It goes right back to the middle. Can someone tell me if there is anything else I can try, or does thia mean I have to pay to have an electrician come in and repair this? Many thanks in advance!

        Frazzled in Mass from Needham, MA

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        Most Recent Answer

        By Delon 1 Flag

        June 14, 2015

        It sounds like the breaker switch is bad... or worse case there is metal touching a wire. Or polarization has occurred. The latter needs an electrican. Good luck

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        Question: Can Not Reset Tripped Circuit Breakers

        The circuit breakers in all my four bedrooms are tripped and cannot be switched on, but the bathrooms are OK. I don't think the breakers are bad or the circuits are shorted because they are individual, and cannot all be bad at the same time.

        By Peter C. from Katy, TX

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        Most Recent Answer

        By LaurieS 11 38 Flag

        June 17, 2013

        This just happened to us. We had to call an electrician. Some time ago my Dear Hubby changed out a light switch and because he is colorblind got the wires mixed up when he hooked it back up. Any way our circuit breaker went to ground and we needed an electrician to fix it.

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        Question: Short in Circuit, Bad Breaker, or Floating Neutral?

        By justine 1

        I asked an electrician to fix the circuit breaker in my house because it was tripping. So he connected 4mm wire between the neutral and the earth. All was well for 2 days, then it kept tripping whenever you pull out the wire. What could be the problem? Could it be a floating neutral?

        By Justine from SA

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        Most Recent Answer

        By REE 1 63 Flag

        April 18, 2010

        Some where on that circuit there is a bad neutral. You should not have to add the wire to it? Did you nail in something to wall and then it happened (*maybe nicked the neutral)?

        Neutral wire could have broken.

        Wire nut could have come loose in junction box.

        Is the line overloaded? running too much stuff.

        Ria

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        Question: Breaker Tripping After Having Cable Installed

        By eric 1

        I just moved into a new house a couple of weeks ago. It was pre-wired for cable. I had my cable installed last week. Ever since they installed the cable my breaker for my bedroom is tripping intermittently. I had the electrician at my house. He said unless something happens when he is there he cannot find the problem. Is there anything I can do on my own to try and solve this problem? I had it trip 3 times this morning and it is getting very frustrating!

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        Most Recent Answer

        thr522587 Flag

        November 24, 2008

        I think you need a new electrician !!! Any electrician who knows their stuff doesn't need to 'wait for the problem to occur' in order to have a clue what the problem is ... Being this is a new home I suggest whoever did the installation find and fix the problem at no charge with threats of the Better Business Bureau, etc if they hum hah around about it !!!

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        Question: Only Half of Electrical Circuit Works

        By Rick Peters 1

        We recently purchased an old home (105 years old) and one day half of the lights on a circuit stopped working. They stopped when I turned on a sconce and it shorted and blew the circuit breaker. Half the lights on the circuit went out, not to be seen again.

        I have checked all of the old outlets and replaced them as I thought I might be shorting back through the common. I am stumped as to what I should do. I had an electrician come out and take a look and he is stumped as well. Any advice?

        Rick from Iowa (in an old home)

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        Most Recent Answer

        By Chris 1 Flag

        July 8, 2010

        One of the below answers is probably correct, but I think the real answer is to call in a different electrician. There is no problem of this type that a competent electrician should not be able to find and fix; they will have tools like the tracer mentioned below. And as ThriftyFun wrote, it's not safe to just work around this; it needs to be fixed.

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        Question: Surge Protector or Breaker Problems

        By 2ooworried 1

        I have a 42 in. plasma, a lamp, another smaller TV, a DVD, and a Dish box connected to brand new surge protector. I went to turn my TV on and everything connected to that surge protector went out. Do you think maybe it had a sudden surge and it tripped the protector or is it the breaker box?

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          Most Recent Answer

          By Bruce S 104 Flag

          October 19, 2015

          Surge strips often have breakers that trip. A button will pop out that needs to be pushed in to reset.

          Electrical loads often have an inrush current many times the steady state load. It is possible that your television may pull 3 or 4 amps ordinarily and 20 to 30 amps for a very short period of time starting up. This inrush current combined with the other loads could trip the breaker on the strip.

          One solution is to turn the tv on first.

          Another solution is to replace the power strip.

          Make sure the surge strip does not plug into a surge protected outlet. You do not want to double up surge protection.

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          Question: Stove on New Breaker Not Heating Up

          By Shelby Romeo M. 1

          I just replaced a fuse box with circuit breakers. Now my stove is not getting hot. It just gets warm. They just put a 40 amp breaker in and it is still not hot.

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            Most Recent Answer

            By Bruce S 104 Flag

            July 27, 2015

            Verify that you are connected to a two pole breaker (240 VAC) not single pole (120 VAC) and that your stove requires 240 VAC (most stoves do). The two pole breakers take up two spots in your panel.

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            Question: Breaker Keeps Arcing

            By Shane O. 1

            When I run my two window units at the same time why does the breaker arc/spark? It rarely trips the breaker.

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              Most Recent Answer

              By Bruce S 104 Flag

              June 8, 2015

              Excellent advice Helmut!

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              Question: Can't Turn Off Stovetop at Breaker Box

              I have tried every breaker in the box, but cannot turn off the stove top unit. Help!

              By Rdm

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              Most Recent Answer

              By Sandi/Poor But Proud 466 2,132 Flag

              April 20, 2015

              Bruce is right. My feeling is that a stove top is an 80's appliance. When I had mine, it was wired directly to a box under the house. Yes, get it fixed and quick. Hope these both helped.

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              Question: Breaker Won't Turn Back On

              What would it be if you turned off your main breaker, then turned it back on and there was one breaker to a bedroom that was tripped and could not be turned back on?

              By Patty P.

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              Most Recent Answer

              By Bruce S 104 Flag

              March 26, 2015

              A standard breaker will trip on an overload. This is often a short circuit between hot and ground.

              The short circuit can be part of your household wiring. But that probably hasn't changed. I have heard of someone hanging a picture by driving a nail in the wall and going through the electrical cable causing a short.

              I would unplug everything fed by that circuit before attempting a reset.

              In case you don't know: to reset a breaker first turn it off and then back on.

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              Question: Circuit Breaker Won't Stay On

              I woke up this morning to one entire side of my kitchen not working including the main overhead light and dining area light. The other side has my large items and it appears they are fine. I checked my box and one of the circuits had tripped. I tried to reset it, but it would not. It would trip again and it sparked. I have unplugged and turned everything off and it still will not stay on. Any suggestions?

              By Joye J

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              Most Recent Answer

              By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

              February 8, 2015

              Circuit breakers wear out, and I suspect that this one has done so. Get an electrician to come in and replace it. You might also get him to check on why this breaker has worn out. Mine wore out because it was continuously tripping off because there were far too many outlets on the circuit. Eventually, I will get another breaker or two installed so that this circuit is not overloaded. If this was not your issue, and it happened suddenly, you may have some other wiring malfunction that could be dangerous.

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              Question: Leak on Breaker Box

              We had a storm and somehow ended up with a leak in the roof. The leak is directly over the breaker box. The electricity had gone out during the storm. When the power restored only some of the rooms had power. My concern is, could the wet breaker box lead to a fire?

              By Jerry

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              Most Recent Answer

              By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

              February 2, 2015

              Any time you have water near electricity, it is trouble. Call an electrician at once to repair the problem. This is not something to attempt to fix yourself.

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              Question: Circuit Breaker Making a Buzzing Sound

              I keep getting a buzzing sound from breaker, it doesn't shut down just buzzes now and then.

              By David B from Lansing

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              Most Recent Answer

              By Bruce S 104 Flag

              January 27, 2015

              Dinah is correct, an electrician is needed. The buzzing is caused by moving parts, either a loose connection (internal or external) of the breaker or bad contacts within the breaker. I would get it checked quickly. loose/bad connections can be heat generators.

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              Question: Breaker Problems When House Inspected

              We are looking to purchase an older home built in 1994. We had the inspection today and when the inspector used his little surge tool to test all the outlets, not one breaker flipped. The house has power and all seems normal otherwise. The seller doesn't have much money to make repairs, we only have 10 days to back out. Could this be something that is extremely expensive to repair? Or could it be a simple solution? We are requesting an electrician come and evaluate the issue.

              By Melanie C

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              Most Recent Answer

              By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

              January 21, 2015

              Having an electrician come is by far your best solution to this problem. And a house built in 1994 should have no electrical problems unless someone without any electrical knowledge did some modifications since the house was built. I would be suspicious.

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              Question: Breaker Blew and Power Will Not Restore

              I have a tenant that blew a breaker. I reset the breakers, but the power still will not come on to that room. The last time this happened, I replaced the breaker and that solved the problem. Unfortunately, this time that solution did not work. Any suggestions?

              By Chris W

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              Most Recent Answer

              By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

              December 13, 2014

              Is there a main power switch that controls the power to the whole home? I used to throw that switch sometimes when I lived in a mobile home, and the switch was outside on a power pole. Perhaps you have a main switch in your house -- I'm thinking everyone should have one, but that is just a guess. If that is not the problem, perhaps you should call an electrician. When I throw a breaker, simply switching it back on again restores the power. If it repeatedly goes off (over a period of several years), one needs to replace it, as they wear out.

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              Question: Circuit Breaker Won't Reset

              I'm house sitting and was watching TV in the familyroom, it was daytime, and no other appliances or anything were on. Suddenly the TV, cable box, and surround sound just shut off. I thought at first the power went out so I checked some lights, they worked. It was just the power in the family room that was out.

              So I went to the breaker box and sure enough the switch for the family room was between off and on. I flipped the switch on and went back to check if that worked, it didn't. So I went back and tired it off and then back on, still didn't work.

              What do I do next? I can't reach the owners right now, do I need an electrician to come out? Could it just be taking a while to rest?

              By Jessica

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              Most Recent Answer

              By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

              January 6, 2014

              I would call an electrician. If the circuit breaker won't reset, either it is worn out and needs to be replaced, or some problem that caused the thing to flip in the first place has not been resolved. Since the breaker seemed to flip "for no reason", I would call an electrician. You may have something dangerous going on.

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              Question: Breaker Tripping After Installing New Outlets

              I recently moved into my condo and I noticed that when they painted the walls the painters went over the outlets so some were filled with paint. I decided to change out the outlets so I went to a hardware store, purchased some standard outlets and watched a bunch of YouTube tutorials.

              My first outlet had the ground wire and instead of having 2 black and 2 white wires there was one of each and they were solid, not cut just a solid wire. I went back to the hardware store and they said to just connect it the same way on the new outlet. I went home and did that.

              All the outlets run through the same wires. It concerned me though that only one outlet had a ground wire, is that OK? Also I bought the light indicator to let me know everything was connected OK and got the code that it was. Now, 2 days later, with only a lamp connected and on, the circuit breaker went off. I tried turning it back into the on position, but it keeps going off. It won't stay in the on position; what should I do? I am hoping it's only the circuit breaker.

              By Carlos from Chicago

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              Most Recent Answer

              By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

              December 6, 2013

              I agree with the previous poster. I think that it is time to call in a certified electrician before you start an electrical fire. These guys go to school and train with qualified journeymen for their trade. They do not get their info from hardware store clerks and Youtube.

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              Question: Circuit Breaker Broke While Being Turned On

              I had to change the outlet in the bedroom because it almost burned. I put in the new outlet then went to turn on the main circuit breaker. It was so hard it to move that it broke off. Now everything is working except for my refrigerator and an outlet near it. Any suggestions?

              By Lynn

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              Most Recent Answer

              By gbk 45 368 Flag

              October 13, 2011

              You can replace the circuit breaker. The main breakers are very hard to push and you apparently have an old one and the plastic was brittle. You need to know what kind of breaker box it is and take it with you and if it isn't too old the hardware co may have one or an electrician can tell you where to go. He just might help you because the job is really minor. The major problem is the short in the broken breaker.

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              Question: Trouble Shooting a Trip Fuse Problem

              By Snake 1

              I have an electrical outlet that runs all my outside and garage outlets, about 9 outlets all together. It has a trip fuse on it and it keeps tripping.

              I have unplugged everything from all the outlets and it keeps tripping. I have replaced the outlet, still tripping. The fuse box does not trip; it is working.

              I had a outside pool pump plugged into the backyard outlet and the pump kept shutting down and starting when it was supposed to remain on. I replaced the pump. Would it be possible for that outlet to be damaged because maybe the pump overheated?

              By Snake from Hope Mills, NC

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              Most Recent Answer

              By Grandma J 54 1,040 Flag

              June 9, 2010

              Time to get an electrician out before you have a fire your someone gets hurt. Sounds like faulty wiring.

              Any time your trip action happens, it is for a reason like over load Don't just restart it with the same things again.

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              Question: Changing From a 15 amp to 20 amp Breaker

              By Douglas Hansen 1

              If a #12 wire is connected to a 15 amp breaker, can I assume that it is safe to replace the 15 amp breaker with a 20 amp breaker?

              By Douglas from Sacramento

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              Most Recent Answer

              By PEDRO E. ALEQUIN 1 4 Flag

              January 8, 2010

              Changing just 5 amps causes more resistance, can double temperature of wire. wires may over heat and cause FIRE! Please get knowledgeable help. Not a DIY Project.

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              Question: Circuit Breaker Box Information

              By Ellen P. 1

              I bought a house in December of 2014, and as a result of the home inspector finding rust in my electrical breaker box, the seller had the box replaced. When I was having someone install a ceiling fan the other night, we discovered my whole first floor: 5 rooms are connected to one circuit breaker. Can this be legal? I'm concerned about overloaded circuits. I've always seen separate rooms on separate breakers, and I'm thinking whoever did this the circuit breaker box install just connected it as quickly as possible, not safely, and probably not up to code. I'm also thinking that they never labeled the circuit breakers because it would have been obvious how it was wired. The outlets on the first floor are on a separate circuit than the overhead lights if that info helps any. Is this dangerous, illegal, or what? Thanks in advance.

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                Most Recent Answer

                By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

                September 7, 2015

                I don't know if it is illegal or not. It may depend on where you live. Perhaps electrician Bruce will provide some insight. Five rooms on one breaker sounds like a lot, but it does depend on what you've got in those rooms. If it is a very old home, you may only have one outlet and one light in each room, and if they were bedrooms, it is unlikely that would overload a circuit. I had 5 outlets on one circuit in my living room and kitchen, and that blew the breaker all the time, because it was the fridge, microwave oven, coffee maker, toaster, TV and all it's assorted extras, my Roomba, and Christmas tree lights all at the same time, but it was only using the kitchen things that caused the problem. I also saw on TV on one of the home reno shows that the electricians are supposed to label the breakers, and if yours are not labeled, it may indicate that the change was not made by a certified electrician. Or that yours was not very careful. Or maybe the codes are different there. However, all that being said, I think you should call in a journeyperson electrician for a consult. If shortcuts were made with the breaker box, they may also may have been made elsewhere, and you may want to consider some electrical upgrades. Better to be safe than sorry.

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                Question: Troubleshooting Wiring After Replacing Breaker

                By Eva homeowner 1

                Could a wire going to a breaker be bad after the tripped breaker got replaced? My main breaker tripped due to two smaller breakers on the panel shorting out.

                The one smaller breaker is a 15amp and the other one is a double-30amp. The larger operates my A/C compressor, and possibly a light in the back of my basement which is currently out. Subsequently, I cannot identify what the smaller one operates because everything else in the house is working.

                The reason why I do not think that the smaller one operates the basement light that is out, is because when I tested the wire with a voltage meter, after replacing the breaker, I got a reading. Whereas I keep getting no readings from the double-30 one that I also replaced.

                1. Could the trip/short have fried the wires? There is some burnt plastic residue on the little metal bracket that holdsthe breaker to the main metal stem of the panel.
                2. Would that have any impact on the conduit of the breaker?
                3. Is there any other method to troubleshoot this, before I call out an electrician?

                Thanks in advance!

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                  Most Recent Answer

                  By Bruce S 104 Flag

                  August 20, 2015

                  Yes, the wire could be bad or something may be wrong in the panel itself.

                  I would get an electrician in quickly. The "burnt plastic residue" in your breaker box is not normal. The double pole 30 amp breaker being turned on and passing no power is not normal.

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                  Question: Circuit Breaker for Dishwasher Keeps Tripping

                  By kutz 1

                  The circuit breaker for my dishwasher at my cabin keeps flipping off. The dishwasher is 10 years old and I thought maybe I needed a new dishwasher, but I am not sure. The circuit breaker was flipped back on and then it flipped off again over the next several days even without running the dishwasher. I do not think anything else is on the circuit and this only started happening in the last 2 months. When I was up there last I ran the dishwasher three times and there was no problem at all.

                  Do I need to have an electrician look at the circuit or do you think I really do need a new dishwasher? Thanks for any advice. I would hate to replace the dishwasher only to find out the problem has not been solved. The dishwasher works great.

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                    Most Recent Answer

                    By Bruce S 104 Flag

                    August 12, 2015

                    If the breaker is tripping without running the dishwasher, then you need to look external to the dishwasher. An electrician could fix this for you.

                    Dishwasher End of Cable:

                    The electrical connection under the dishwasher could be seeing water and tripping the breaker. If this is the case, stopping the leak and drying it out will take care of your problem

                    Middle of Cable:

                    If the cable is bad in the middle, it is because something is damaging it. Possibly a varmint (racoon, rat , mouse, squirrel) has been chewing on the cable or the cable is run poorly - through a pinch point.

                    Breaker End of Cable:

                    This is the low probability end. A problem here would probably effect more than just the dishwasher.

                    Good Luck

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                    Question: Wiring a Sub Panel

                    By teeztoques 1

                    I have added a sub panel box to a detached shed from the main house. I installed a 4 circuit sub panel receiving power from 2 - 50amp circuits in the main house panel. I added a separate ground bar and isolated the neutral bar inside the sub panel. The circuits I added inside the sub panel are 2 - 30amps and 2 - 20amps.
                    When I turn the power back on the the shed I blow light bulbs. Help please.

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                      Most Recent Answer

                      By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

                      June 20, 2015

                      We have a very knowledgeable fellow on here, Bruce, who is often able to help with these sorts of questions. You will have to hope that he will be available. However, often the last line of Bruce's advice is "call a qualified electrician", so I will just jump right to that advice. In my opinion, some jobs are okay for a home handyperson to do, and other times, it is best to call in a professional. This sounds like the time to call a professional.

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                      Question: Furnace Thermostat Breaker Tripping

                      By whipzend 1

                      I turned off my main breaker to add a socket out back in the garage. It just seemed easier. When I finished and came in to turn on the main, my furnace thermostat breaker kept tripping. I checked the wires and the thermostat, everything looked fine. Even though the thermostat was fine I ended up replacing it a few days later since I couldn't find anything else wrong. It worked. My breaker stopped tripping and all went back to normal. I again turned off the main breaker today and the same thing happened. Except now if I disconnect the thermostat it keeps tripping the breaker still if I reset it. What could be causing this? Why would using the main breaker cause problems with only this breaker? Btw, I replaced the breaker thinking it was the problem, it still didn't help.

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                        Most Recent Answer

                        By Bruce S 104 Flag

                        May 20, 2015

                        If I understand correctly, you have replaced the breaker and the thermostat. With these changes, the breaker continues to trip. Even with the thermostat unwired and the wires separated and taped, the breaker trips.

                        From this information, I would assume that your wire is shorted somewhere. Most likely at one end. (Often damaged when stripping back jacket of cable during installation).

                        There was a period of time when the breaker was not tripping but this ended after killing the main breaker.

                        When you shut the main off the second time, did you open the panel or the thermostat to reveal the wire connections at either end? Could this cable have been bumped? (a slight movement of the hot wire could seperate it from where it is grounding) I am concerned that the wire is shorting where it comes out of the cable or conduit at one end of the circuit and that by slightly moving the wire it is causing a short.

                        You probably already know that when you shut off the main breaker you still have power in your panel.

                        I would get an electrician to again kill the main to test the wires and repair them where necessary. Where it is arcing to ground, there will most likely be burn marks. I recommend an electrician because they have the tools, test equipment and knowledge.

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                        Question: Turning On TV Trips Breaker

                        By Dee F. 1

                        Every time I turn on my TV all the power in my family room goes off and I have to go to reset the breaker for the room. I've tried different plugs and have the same result. I've unloaded the power strip and tried different ones too. It takes 2-3 resets with power going off before the TV stays on for good. Any suggestions? Is it the TV or the breaker? It's been a problem for a month now. Thank you!

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                          Most Recent Answer

                          By Bruce S 104 Flag

                          April 30, 2015

                          When you say you have tried different plugs, are these on different circuits? (different breakers?)

                          If it is not to cumbersome, I would try to plug the tv in on another circuit to see if it trips another breaker. If the problem continues then the problem is with the tv, otherwise it is with the breaker.

                          It sounds as though the problem is with the tv and once it warms up, you are fine. The problem sounds as though it is too much inrush current to your tv.

                          Often the capacitors fail in this type of tv. The flat panel LED / LCD tv's have electrolytic "pop can" capacitors in them that are less than an inch tall. These are part of the power circuit and are easily identified as bad because they bulge at the top and black stuff usually oozes out. These capacitors cost between $1 and $2 each to replace. If you know someone handy with electronics and a soldering pen, it is often a quick and easy fix.

                          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: Replacing a Circuit Breaker

                          Due to this loadshedding we have, my 45A circuit breaker for the stove keeps tripping when I switch it on. Can I replace it with a 10A breaker?

                          By Gabriel

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


                          Most Recent Answer

                          By Bruce S 104 Flag

                          April 20, 2015

                          A circuit breaker trips when the current through it exceeds its trip point. The higher the current, the quicker it trips.

                          The amount of current flowing through the circuit is determined by the load, in this case the stove, and changing the breaker does not restrict current flow, it would only shut it off.

                          Changing breakers to a different size is generally a bad idea. The breaker protects the wiring and if the breaker size is increased to a size more than the wire can handle, the wire can overheat.

                          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: Circuit Breaker Humming

                          The other day I lost electricity in half the house. I called Con Ed and they checked the wires and breakers. Everything seemed to be alright except the breaker to the furnance hums when we trip it and put it back on.

                          By Paul from Staten Island, NY

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


                          Most Recent Answer

                          By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

                          February 28, 2015

                          Time to call an electrician.

                          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

                          The circuit breaker keeps tripping when heat is set. There is no problem when set for cold, a/c.

                          By Nancy F. from Boynton Beach, FL

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


                          Most Recent Answer

                          By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

                          February 21, 2015

                          Heat draws more power than AC. If the circuit breaker keeps tripping, then it is overloaded. You have too much on the circuit. You need to call in an electrician to deal with this. It may be a minor issue such as replacing the breaker, or perhaps you need to shut other things off when you have the heat on. If breakers trip repeatedly, they wear out, and then will not stay on. This is actually a good safety feature.

                          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: Not All Power Returned After Resetting Breakers

                          I recently bought a 1992 Fleetwood mobile home. There are no fuses, it's a breaker box. I was running a space heater and TV when I tried to vacuum and the power all went out. I flipped all the switches in the breaker box inside the house and the breaker box outside. Now only a few lights will come on. I don't know anything about this kind of problem. We did just have the electric meter installed. And I read that the problem could be that the power company installed the meter incorrectly. Can anyone tell me what else may be the problem? Or suggest some way to fix it?

                          By Michelle

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


                          Most Recent Answer

                          By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

                          February 14, 2015

                          It seems from your post that you overloaded the circuits by using the three things at the same time. Space heaters take a lot of power. As well, if all the lights went out, you obviously had overloaded the entire system, and not just one circuit.

                          I quite regularly flip a breaker if I forget and run the microwave when I am making toast in the morning. There are far too many outlets on this particular circuit. However, the problem is solved by flipping the one breaker back on. I did have to have the breaker replaced, as this has happened repeatedly over the years, and breakers do wear out. The main breaker is in a separate box.

                          In the mobile home that I used to live in back in the 80's, the main breaker was outside on a box on a power pole. Is that how yours is? But anyway, if switching the breakers back on does not solve the problem, it is time to call an electrician. You do not have to diagnose the problem; just call one in, tell him what has happened, and let him do his job. They are trained to fix electrical issues.

                          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: Breaker Will Not Reset

                          Tonight I tried to turn on my radiator, but it uses a lot of power so it cuts off the power in my room sometimes causing me to have to enter the master bedroom's closet and flip the breaker switch back on for my room. Unfortunately, tonight when I tried flipping the switch back on, the power in my room will not come back on. I tried it several times keeping my radiator switched off. What can I do? I can't get it to work again. I'm so extremely upset about this.

                          By Lori from LA

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


                          Most Recent Answer

                          By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

                          January 14, 2015

                          Breakers that flip often will eventually wear out. This means that you have to get an electrician in to fix it. This is a very quick and easy job, and will cost very little, but it is not something that one can do oneself. I would also suggest that you get the electrician to check your circuits and see why the heater keeps flipping the breaker. It should not do so, but there may be too many other things on that circuit, and perhaps you will want to have additional circuits put in, or maybe just run the heater on a different outlet on a less "loaded" circuit. Please call an electrician to help you with this. Ask around amongst your friends and co-workers for a reliable one.

                          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: Adjacent Room Lost Power After Installing New Switch

                          I recently replaced a light for a chandalier and the switch for a dimmer switch. They both work fine and no breaker is being tripped. The problem is that the adjacent room, which is on the same circuit breaker, is not receiving any power now.
                          Also, I don't know if this is relevant, but there was no ground wire on the chandalier to attach, just negative/positive.

                          By Daniel C

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


                          Most Recent Answer

                          By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

                          December 13, 2014

                          This is not a good place to get advice for such a problem. Try googling for solutions and looking for sites that may have actual, factual electrical advice. Or, perhaps you have a friend who is a home handyperson who can help you out. However, if I were you, I would call an electrician. If you did the work you attempted properly, there should not have been a problem. If there is one, either you made an error OR there is a bigger problem with your wiring. Someone in the past has perhaps attempted home wiring and done it incorrectly. Your home could be in danger of catching fire from faulty wiring.

                          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: Main Breaker Won't Reset

                          I have an American Switch Co. panel. I shut off the main and now it will not reset. It's a 100 amp service. I also cannot locate a replacement.

                          By Sal M

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


                          Most Recent Answer

                          By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

                          November 17, 2014

                          I always think that with electrical, it is best to call in a professional. It is, after all, something that, if things went wrong, could cause your house to catch fire. If you still wish to troubleshoot on your own first, perhaps you could try googling for info, and find a site that is more specifically for electrical problems or for home handypersons. My only experience with breakers is with the small ones, not the main ones. The small ones will eventually wear out if they flip off too often, and then have to be replaced. Could this be the problem with your main breaker?

                          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: Troubleshooting Circuit Breaker Problems

                          By Pudding 1

                          My home has partial power, I checked my circuit breakers, everything looks normal (I guess). How can I tell if my circuit breaker is broken or damaged? My basement has power and appliances work down there, but upstairs, my kitchen appliances and lights are out, and in 3 bedrooms, but I have power in 3 other rooms. WTHeck, I want to fix it myself, what do I do and how do I start?

                          By Pudding from Southfield, MI

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


                          Most Recent Answer

                          By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

                          September 16, 2013

                          Start by flipping the breakers on and off once or twice. Sometimes breakers trip, but don't look like they are tripped. If that doesn't fix the problem, call an electrician. You should not attempt anything electrical if you have no idea what you are doing.

                          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: No Power to Bathroom Mirror

                          By Danny Hammond 1

                          I have just updated my bathroom and I have put six spot lights in, an electric fan, and an electric mirror. When I installed the lights and mirror I also put a dimmer switch on and they seemed to work OK, but three of the transformers to the spot light broke. I don't know if that has anything to do with dimmer switch.

                          Then my electric fan arrived and I made the mistake of getting a timer fan. This I found out needs a permanent live that I don't have due to me taking power from the spot light circuit. I think I've found I solution to that problem; I hope.

                          But the thing that is really puzzling me is I changed my light switch back to a normal switch instead of the dimmer, but when the spot lights are on my mirror loses power then when I turn them off it regains power. The mirror has its own permanent live with a switch, but this does come off the spotlight circuit as well.

                          When I had the dimmer switch they both worked together until I turned lights up to full, then the mirror would lose power. This seems to tell me that for some reason my breaker isn't giving enough power out to run all. Is this possible or is the another way around it?

                          Thanks.

                          By Danny

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


                          Most Recent Answer

                          By Grandma J 54 1,040 Flag

                          September 9, 2013

                          First, are you an electrician. If not, get the advice of one. A dimmer switch, as they used to be, is different, depending on the use. They don't all work for every kind of appliance/light/light bulb. Make sure you have enough circuit breaker power for your bathroom.

                          You did not say if you have a GFI installed. That is a law for bathrooms, etc places where water is.

                          And please, check even if online for professional help. This Old House, The Handyman, are both good sites.

                          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: Some Circuits Not Working

                          I am dog sitting for my parents for two weeks and I went to turn on the living room light at night to grab a few things before bed. It did not turn on so I tried the fan connected to it and that didn't work neither.

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: Increasing the Amperage of a Circuit Breaker

                          Would changing a 15 amp circuit breaker to a 20 or 30 make it stronger?

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

                          Question: 20 AMP Breaker Keeps Tripping

                          I am working on my basement. I've installed new lights on a breaker, laundry room lights on the second breaker, the third breaker has four outlets, and the fourth breaker has three outlets.

                          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

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