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Old 07-15-2012, 10:14 PM   #1
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


It seems that there must be some wires crossed somewhere. If I am in my bedroom and have the window AC unit running with my girlfriend running her blowdryer and hair straightener, it trips the circuit. Well, yeah, that's understandable. But the problem is that just about everything else in our apartment shuts off too. And it only trips ONE 15A breaker in the box (NOT the main breaker), which is leading me to believe that somehow some wires got crossed. The power in the bedroom goes off, the living room goes off, kitchen/refridgerator goes off, but only ONE 15A breaker is tripped. The circuit also trips when the window AC unit in the bedroom is on and the window AC unit in the living room is on at the same time (which, according to the electrical panel, should be on separate circuits).

So why is this happening? Is it a possibility that some wires got crossed at some point? Is there an easy way to determine what is going on here so I can get to the bottom of this? Thanks for your help everyone!

Chris


Last edited by Chris Sweeney; 07-15-2012 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


As soon I see the word " Apartment " you have no choice but let your landlord know the situation and have them deal with it asap there is a issue allready arise.

The landlord will have to get a electrician to come out and sort it out.

Merci,
Marc

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Old 07-15-2012, 10:51 PM   #3
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


your problem is the same as my apartment, almost everything is on one breaker. The fridge and maybe one kitchen plug is on another, and that's all she wrote

it's just the way they were wired back in the day, get used to it.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:15 AM   #4
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


Thanks guys. It's actually my duplex; the landlord is me! I'm sure when the place was built it was wired correctly (seeing how everything is labeled separately at the panel), there had to have been some wires crossed at some point, maybe when previous owners made some renovations, etc. Could that be a possibility?
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:46 AM   #5
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


How many breakers in all serve this particular apartment (dwelling unit)?

More than 60 years ago it was not unusual for just two or three breakers (or fuses) to serve an entire apartment. (perhaps two more if there was an electric stove)
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:30 AM   #6
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


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Originally Posted by Chris Sweeney View Post
..... which is leading me to believe that somehow some wires got crossed......
So why is this happening? Is it a possibility that some wires got crossed at some point?
I have to laugh when people say somehow some wires got crossed or a possibility that some wires got crossed at some point.

Wires do not magically cross themselves with other wires. There is always a human hand involved somewhere.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:57 PM   #7
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


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Well, yeah, that's understandable. But the problem is that just about everything else in our apartment shuts off too.
How do you restore it?
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:18 PM   #8
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


Running a dedicated line for just the A/C unit would be a good start !
Then consider more, if panel capacity is adequate .
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:20 PM   #9
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


Check the connections in the panel. It's possible that someone, somewhere along the way connected more than one circuit to that breaker ....
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:30 PM   #10
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


Quote:
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How many breakers in all serve this particular apartment (dwelling unit)?

More than 60 years ago it was not unusual for just two or three breakers (or fuses) to serve an entire apartment. (perhaps two more if there was an electric stove)
Three 20A and three 15A breakers. So 6 total.

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I have to laugh when people say somehow some wires got crossed or a possibility that some wires got crossed at some point.

Wires do not magically cross themselves with other wires. There is always a human hand involved somewhere.
Hehe I know, I know

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How do you restore it?
I simply switch the one breaker back on.

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Check the connections in the panel. It's possible that someone, somewhere along the way connected more than one circuit to that breaker ....
That's what I'm thinking. Now I just have to figure out a simple or systematic way to go about figuring out where those wires got crossed (from human interaction of course)
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


Im betting your apartment is wired the way you are explaining it, and thats about it... You are just lacking adequate circuits for your current needs.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:06 PM   #12
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All power on ONE 15A circuit?! What the heck is going on here?


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a simple or systematic way to go about figuring out where those wires got crossed (from human interaction of course)
If you have a 4-1/2 digit DMM you might be able to measure wire resistances to find the location of the common node or nodes. #14 is about 2.6 ohms per 1000' and #12, 1.6.
Or rent a TDR.

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