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I have a Crouse Hinds 2 pole 30 amp breaker. It will trip, but the room it's to will still have power to it. Why?
By Lonnie B.
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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?
Yes, that is a code violation and a fire risk.
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.
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!
Sounds like the circuit breaker has died. They are available at hardware and building supply stores.
To change a circuit breaker, turn off the main breaker on top. Then, with the largest flat screwdriver, that just fits into the slot on the screw, that attaches the wire to the breaker, loosen that screw, but don't remove it. Just loosen it and pull the wire out, but not too far away.
Then use the flat screwdriver to tilt the dead breaker back, away from the center. Then it's easy to pull it out.
With the dead breaker in hand, go to the hardware store and buy a replacement 15 (fifteen) Amp breaker. Do NOT get one with a higher rating!
Then shove that new breaker into the slot in the panel, and after making 100% sure that the main breaker is off, attach the old wire to it. Then, with the largest flat screwdriver, that just fits into the slot on the screw, tighten that screw until you hear it squeak.
Turn the main breaker on and turn the new breaker on, and everything will be fine.
You may be curious about why I harp on using a big screw driver. There are two reasons for that:
1) it is less likely to slip off and cause an injury or damage expensive parts 2) a small screwdriver will mess up the screw
before you have tightened it enough.
Dear Webby has it right.However,if you don't feel comfortable from the directions go to a electrical supply store and ask then to show you how or go over to your local trade school and talk with the electrical teacher and have him show you how to change the breaker.BE SURE TO TURN OFF THE MAIN SWITCH BEFORE DOING ANY WORK ON THE PANEL>
Call your electrician!! It is easier and a whole lot safer, speaking from experience!!
First make sure you are letting the breaker cool down- it might take a few minutes- then try- if that did fix the problem cal a qualified electian
I had this happen to me, only it was the main breaker, so I called the electric compnay. I paid $50 to see a guy stand on a step ladder and push it really hard. I was embarrassed and then mad because that costed me $50!!
1 - Can I turn the main switch back on after the faulty circuit has been removed (so the family can still watch TV while I run to the hardware store)?
2 - If I have a circuit breaker, that is the same model as many of the others, but has lost most of its tension by comparison (it still holds its place in the on and off position, but it takes the slightest nudge to move it), does that infer it is going bad and needs to be replaced?
3 - I had a short blow out an overhead light fixture badly enough to melt the plastic and make the wires brittle. This did not blow the breaker...is this a problem, or are fixtures too small a draw to flip the circuit?
I was advised by someone who knows that if a breaker goes bad, and one elects to replace it himself, that a breaker of the same make and model is the best bet. Evidently there are differences. My own problem was something that I did not want to handle and I called a licensed electrician to handle. Good luck!
Thanks for your post. I was able to successfully change a circuit (15) by using your directions. It solved my problem. I noticed some people saying you should not do because you could burn your house down and such. But if they follow your instructions and turn off the main. It is relatively simple to do. I just made sure I had rubber handle needle nose to guide the house wire back into the new circuit as well as a big rubber handle screwdriver. Thanks for people like you. Bret
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
Make sure there is absolutely nothing plugged into any of the outlets in the bedrooms. Something - a lamp, clock, etc. could have a short and will prevent the circuit breaker from resetting. Even a dented or cut electrical cord can do this. Also make sure none of the overhead lights are turned on. Check the light bulbs in them because even a bad light blub in one of them can cause a short. I spent 27 years working on computers and our rule was "check the easy stuff first". If each room is on a different circuit check each room individually. Eventually you will track down the culprit. Happy hunting and good luck.
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.
I'm trying to figure out why breaker won't reset after overloading the circuit with space heaters. I even replaced the breaker and it sparked when I tried to reset. I'm planning on checking plugs next to see if the wiring is damaged. Is this a good place to start?
I put in a new breaker box, but all my power is not right. Some of it is weak and sometimes dims and comes back.
I turned the breaker to my water heater off and when I turned it back on my water heater wasn't working. As it is a very old water heater I thought it had gone out, so I replaced it with a new one. It is still not working. The plumber installed it correctly, we filled it, and turned the breaker on, nothing.
The plumber checked the plug going into the hot water heater and it reads 110 on each side because it's a 220 plug. The last water heater we had was 220v 3800w 150 PSI, 30 gallon. This water heater is 240v 4200w. I have two questions. Would the wire test 110 on each side at the water heater if the breaker was messed up? Does the voltage make a huge difference being the old one was 220 and this one is 240?
I changed all the outlets in my house from two to three prongs. Within a week my son's room lost power. I checked the breaker and reset all GFCIS, but nothing. I then I bought a multimeter; it revealed that the lower pole out of a two pole breaker was dead (this was the only breaker dead in the box). I did buy a new 20 dual pole BR type breaker and replaced it, but there is still no power, in fact the lower pole is not giving me a reading just like the old one.
What can be the problem now?
I have a circuit breaker that tripped last week. The backyard lights and dinning room light run off it and everything was off when it tripped. It would not reset even after pushing it all the way to off. I thought maybe it overheated so I left it off over night, but then the next day it still did not reset.
I waited until today when I am off work to go to Home Depot to by a new breaker and see if that was the problem. As I was getting ready to leave, I decided to test the breaker again just in case and lo and behold it reset and everything works just fine again. What would cause a breaker to not want to reset for several days?
We have been experiencing a "hot" smell whenever we use the clothes dryer. We have cleaned all possible lint and dust from the dryer and the vent to make sure that was not the source. New notice the smell coming from the circuit breaker panel, any thoughts?
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
I don't know that much about electricity, but call the electrician back to fix the problem. They are supposed to guarantee their work.
You had an electrician fix it and he connected 4mm wire between the neutral and the earth. All was well for 2 days, then it kept tripping whenever you pulled out the wire. What could be the problem? Maybe pulling out the wire is the problem.
If it was fine for two days after he did this, maybe it wasn't meant for you to keep pulling the wire out?
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.
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!
My first guess would be you have more than your bedroom on that breaker and the cable box is drawing just enough to make the breaker trip when something else turns on,especially a motor such as a furnce blower. Try turning off the breaker and see what else doesn't work besides the bedroom. Otherwise it has to somehow be connected to the installation. Did the installer add straps and drive a nail or screw into a wire causing an occasional short.
I asked my husband the electronics whiz your question and this is his answer:
If it is a new construction house, the pre-wiring for cable may have been improperly installed but not actually tested until you had the cable service hooked up. That is, if the cable and electrical wires were installed running together in your bedroom, and a nail or staple or other problem inadvertantly connected a conductor in the electrical cable with a conductor in the TV cable (especially the grounded shield), it could have been OK until the cable company connected their service. This is similar to the possible reason in the first responder's post.
Hope this helps.
Susan in Omaha
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 !!!
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)
One of the ancient wires or connections blew faster than the breaker.
You need a "tracer". That is a tool that you can get at electrical wholesalers and tool suppliers for tradesmen. It emits a tone when it is near a cable under power. You just follow along the cable, guided by the tone. Where the tone stops, that's where the break in the wire is.
Don't be tempted to just bypass that section. Dig it out and repair it properly. Otherwise, an intermittent contact could make contact again during a storm or any slight movement of the house and could cause it to burn down.
I had the same type of thing happen to my home. It turned out to be the ground wire had melted. The old homes used aluminum and with todays load it is common for it to melt and break away if something causes a short. The electrician I had come out was resently repairing all the schools in our area with the same problem due to overloads in the classrooms now with computers and such. Anyway his solution was to put a grounding rod (lighting rod) and ground the entire home to the rod. Ask your electrician of this posability.
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.
I wired a new room addition to my house. I'm using the 30 amp breaker and 12-2 wire. Every time I turn the power on power comes to the room, but when I flip the light switch it trips the breaker. How come?
What could cause the wiring in my house to maintain a low voltage current when the main breaker is turned OFF? We have unplugged all of the surge protectors, cable boosters, computers, microwave, etc. that may have a capacitor allowing for potential bleed-back. We have even turned of the external breakers for the HVAC unit and still have a low voltage current (<20volts) running through the lines.
I have a 220 breaker that hums when turned on. It goes to a second breaker at the AC. Then that breaker feeds my well. I replaced both breakers. When the AO 200 a60 breaker is on at the AC box that feeds the well, it makes the breaker in the main box hum for a few seconds and then it trips the main box breaker. Any help please!
I turned off the breaker to fix a lighting fixture. After the repair, we went to turn the breaker back on. It's a double one, and when we flipped it, the bottom one goes all the way on, but the top one gets stuck in the middle and sparks. We unplugged everything on the breaker (it's a heavy load - all the upstairs, stove, washer, and outdoor lights) and let it rest a while. The same thing happened. We tightened the connections; same thing. We replaced the breaker, with the same thing happening, it still keeps sparking and the top one won't reset. Guessing it's time to call an electrician?
We live in a 10 year old home. The main breaker in our box has shut down our power two days in a row. We have been able to re-set it and get power back, but we are concerned. Any advice? We haven't been operating anything new in our home, so our usage should be the same as it's always been.
I plugged a small space heater into an outlet in my bedroom. I then showered, dressed, returned to the bathroom, plugged in my hair dryer, and lost all power in bedroom/bathroom/hall. I flipped all the switches in the circuit breaker panel, but that failed. Help!
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?
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.
When I run my two window units at the same time why does the breaker arc/spark? It rarely trips the breaker.
That breaker is worn out and/or damaged. They are not repairable. Replace it, and smash the bad breaker with a hammer to ensure it will never be used to burn your house down.
I have tried every breaker in the box, but cannot turn off the stove top unit. Help!
If you turned off the main breaker and killed power to your entire house and the stove stayed on, then your stove is not on that panel.
A residence typically only has one panel in the house, but confirm you do not have two.
If you do not, it may be possible that your stove is connected directly to the incoming main. If this is the case, it is not legal and you need to get it corrected immediately.
Consider getting an electrician involved and the electrician may have to get the utility involved to get this fixed.
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.
It would be time to call an electrician to come and change the breaker.
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
From your description, it appears you need to have an electrician check the problem to see what options you may have for repair.
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?
I am not an electrician, however, I would definitely have an electrician check the breaker box, etc., for any possible problems. You do not know what happened and it is, of course, best to be safe than sorry!
I keep getting a buzzing sound from breaker, it doesn't shut down just buzzes now and then.
By David B from Lansing
Obviously something is happening that is not normal. You might try asking an electrician?
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
Difficult to answer as there are many possibilities. Having an electrician check the house is your best plan.
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
The new breaker may have been faulty. Exchange it for a new one and see if that works.
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?
Some circuit breakers you have to push them down as you move them side to side.
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
I've never seen an outlet without a ground wire. To be honest it sounds as though the previous owner 'got creative' (used a non-professional to wire the condo) and hoped for the best - Carlos, you've got a very serious wiring problem!
You need to shut down the circuit breaker to those outlets NOW for your safety - frankly this is a terrible, possibly fatal fire waiting to happen.
Get a professional, qualified and insured electrician in ASAP and until properly wired don't even think about using those circuits.
Please update this once you have had your wiring inspected and repaired. It's very likely you can charge this cost back to the person who sold you this condo - they knew those outlets were not up to code, they had to have! Consult an attorney with whatever the electrician tells you.
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?
Only one suggestion-call in a licensed, certified, insured professional, and do it as soon as you possibly can! You have an overload somewhere and by forcing that circuit breaker over you have worsened the situation. This is a fire waiting to happen, no kidding, this is VERY serious.
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
Pool pumps are at least 12 amp so its probably close to max on your load.
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
No. You need to make sure all wiring connected anywhere in the circuit is also 12 gauge, and all devices, switches and receptacles should be rated 20 amps as that is the current available to them from a 20 amp breaker.