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Troubleshooting Circuit Breaker Problems

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May 23, 2011

Electrician Working on Circuit BreakersI 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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83 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 22, 2021

I'm planning on opening a bakery in my garage so I've bought a single phase oven and a proofer. I've put a separate circuit breaker for those appliances.

So now the problem is when I switch on those two things at the same time, the power goes OFF including in the house without the breaker tripping then it automatically comes ON again in few seconds. What could be the cause? Please help because my electrician is clueless of what is happening.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
February 22, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

It would be wise to not turn on either of those appliances until you locate the problem or you could cause serious damage to the wiring and appliances.

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Did you run all new wiring to the garage?
Did your electrician provide the county with his plans when he obtained a permit - before he started the job?
Have you had county inspection and did it pass?

If none of this was done properly (no permit) you may have problems getting another electrician to look for your problem as they may not wish to sign off on a private job.

If you or your electrician would like to ask for expert help you can try asking your question on one of these forums. You will have to join the site and be able to answer questions as to how the job was done and all about your home/garage electricity before this job began.
www.avsforum.com/.../
forum.smarthome.com/default.asp
www.diychatroom.com/.../

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Bronze Feedback Medal for 2021. 15 Feedbacks
February 22, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

Your oven and the proofer should EACH be wired to their own breakers of sufficient amps, (just like refrigerators, freezers, hot water heaters, if on a well- the water pump, and any other high draw item), otherwise they will continue to pop breakers. Also, make sure the wiring coming into your house to the breaker box is of high enough amperage to serve the total home...200 amp minimum.

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Hopefully, the wiring used in your home is of sufficient size to carry the electrical loads. If your electrician doesn't know what is causing the problem....FIND ANOTHER ONE !!!!! This add-on is not a terribly difficult job if the person doing it KNOWS what they are doing !!!!! Ask the Better Business Bureau for accredited electricians in your area. Good luck.

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February 2, 2005

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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Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
February 2, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

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

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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
www.webby.com/.../

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February 4, 2021

I have 250 volts of power from my meter box to my workshop breaker box but nothing is working (lights, outlets, etc.)! Someone please help me with this, I do not know!


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Bronze Feedback Medal for 2021. 15 Feedbacks
February 4, 20210 found this helpful
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First off, is the main breaker on? If it isn't, then none of the others have power to them. The main is a bigger one, usually centered at the top of the breaker panel. My main has a wire handle that you pull the breaker out with...make sure it is seated in the panel completely.

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If still no power to anything, call an electrician. Without knowing all the particulars about your panel, how your circuits are wired, what you have plugged in, etc, you need a pro to take a look at the problem. Good luck.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
February 5, 20210 found this helpful
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Electricity is just too dangerous for anyone to give you advice that is not a licensed electrician.
Or maybe I should say it is not for amateurs so please do not do anything other than unplugging everything in your workshop and turning off everything that cannot be unplugged.

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You can usually check your main box to see if your circuit breaker needs to be turned off and then back on but probably just best to leave it all alone until a knowledgeable person gives you advice or you call an electrician.

There are some forums that offer help for DIY homeowners so you can ask them before you make that call to see anyone can offer advice.
You will have to join the forums before asking but these are experienced members and they will know what to ask you before going any further.
Good luck with this problem.
www.electriciantalk.com/.../
forums.mikeholt.com/.../
www.doityourself.com/.../595131-breaker-box-help.html
www.diychatroom.com/.../

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December 16, 2017

The guy I'm buying my double wide from just hooked up a fairly new furnace. It will run for like 6 to 20 minutes, then the breaker will kick off.

The breaker does get warm. Is the breaker going bad or is there something else that he did wrong?

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 18, 20170 found this helpful
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Since you did not buy this yet, have the seller fix it. While you are at it, test all the plumbing and look for anything else that needs fixing. We did this when we bought our home.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 148 Posts
December 31, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

We once had a furnace in a mobile home that reacted the same way. The problem turned out to be a loose connection at the breaker. This happens in some of the older mobile homes that were built using aluminum wiring.

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February 28, 2019

I turned off the breaker to install a new light. After making my connection the light came on. I checked and the breaker was still off, what happened?


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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
March 1, 20190 found this helpful
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Odd. Double check that it clicks back and forth completely. If you still have issues, you may want to contact an electrician to check it out. Post back with an update!

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December 28, 2017

The power points down one side of my house stopped working so I checked the switch board and found one of the circuit breakers in the off position. I turned it off and unplugged every power point and the offending breaker would not reset. Then I turned off the mains and I could reset the breaker, however once the power was turned back on it tripped out again. Does this mean that one of the power points needs to be replaced? The house is 25 years old.


Cheers

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December 10, 2017

I have a wire that comes out of the junction box in the basement that works for 3 rooms on the second floor. When hooked up, the breaker blows. However when testing ceiling lights and outlets they show power going to them, but they won't work? After removing all the bulbs, now when the wire is hooked up, it shows power to everything and the breaker stays on, but nothing works. Could it be the breaker or something not grounded? This just happened suddenly in the middle of the night.

Troubleshooting a Circuit Breaker Problem
 

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 11, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Your breaker might have gotten damaged when something happened in the middle of the night. When the circuit blows, that is the safety feature that prevents fires. I would get a qualified electrician to fix this. If you do it incorrectly and you have a fire, insurance wont pay.

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February 16, 2006

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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Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
February 16, 20061 found this helpful

Dear Frazzled

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.

Have FUN!
DearWebby
www.webby.com/.../

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By Dean (Guest Post)
February 16, 20060 found this helpful

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>

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By (Guest Post)
February 16, 20060 found this helpful

Call your electrician!! It is easier and a whole lot safer, speaking from experience!!

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By armsr (Guest Post)
February 20, 20060 found this helpful

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

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June 15, 2013

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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December 20, 2016

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?

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August 2, 2019

I have just moved in and there is power to the meter, but not to the house. What could be the problem?


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October 17, 2018

My boat's 30amp circuit breaker opens when I first plug it into shore power. I may have to reset the breaker a few times and then it works even with a 15 amp heater load.

What should I look for?

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