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Old 06-29-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
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Breaker question


On one circuit in my house, there a bedroom, a bathroom and half of my living room. The living room has an AC unit in the window, as does the bedroom. To my knowledge there are seven (7) receptacles, five (5) lights (possibly more, I am not sure if the out door lights on this side of the trailer are connected to the same circuit).

On this circuit are:
Two AC units, Two televisions, two Direct TV receivers, Two laptops, One desktop, One Lamp, cellphone chargers, and two clocks. Is the breaker to small or is the breaker the right size and I am overloading it. The breaker has been there for the last 5 years at least, and it has never tripped before unless we plug the vacuum cleaner in one of the receptacles on that circuit and turn the hallway light on.

That circuit is protected by a 15 amp breaker. Should this be a 20 amp breaker?
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:08 PM   #2
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Breaker question


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Originally Posted by emh918 View Post
On one circuit in my house...
That circuit is protected by a 15 amp breaker. Should this be a 20 amp breaker?
Me: No.
You: Why not?
Me: Because the WIRE used on that circuit is 14ga not 12 ga.

Quote:
...it has never tripped before unless we plug the vacuum cleaner in one of the receptacles on that circuit and turn the hallway light on.
Then don't do that.

What you might need though is an *additional* circuit.
15amp (14 ga wire) will probably be just fine for that one too.
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:12 PM   #3
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It has tripped tree times in the past two days. Possibly because it is 100 degrees outside and the AC units are both on, but there was no vacuum on today. Both AC units have a GFI built into the cord, if it was the AC's tripping the breaker, wouldn't their respective GFI have tripped?
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:22 PM   #4
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Breaker question


No. Gfci and circuit breakers protect for different and mostly unrelated occurrences.
That circuit is simply overloaded.
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:23 PM   #5
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GFI's don't trip due to overloads. Those are not GFIs on the A/C cords.

You have too much on the circuit and are tripping from overload. Add up all the amps from the A/C and the vacuum to see how much you are trying to use on a circuit rated for 1800 watts.
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:24 PM   #6
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Breaker question


A circuit breaker protects the wire from over heating and causing a fire. A GFCI protects you from getting electrocuted. Two completely different things. A circuit breaker won't trip because you are getting electrocuted and a GFCI won't trip because the circuit is over loaded.

The breaker is tripping due to an overload on the circuit. To much electricity used for the size of the circuit. You can't just increase the size of the circuit breaker because the wire it is protecting is not rated for a larger circuit breaker and that could start the house on fire.

A good move would be to plug one of the air conditioners into a different circuit. In a perfect world that would mean installing another circuit. In a less than perfect world that might involve using a heavy duty extension cord to reach another circuit with less load on it until you can have another circuit properly installed.

Don't run the cord where it could get damaged, don't run it under a carpet, and don't run it where someone might trip over it.
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:26 PM   #7
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Those are not GFIs on the A/C cords.
Most likely they are Jim.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:45 PM   #8
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Breaker question


Thanks for all the help, I'm going to run two dedicated home runs for the ac units. Each on its own 15 amp breaker.


Thanks again everyone.
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Old 06-29-2012, 06:17 PM   #9
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I thought they were LCDI's.

From Article 440.

Leakage-Current Detector-Interrupter (LCDI).
A device
provided in a power supply cord or cord set that senses
leakage current flowing between or from the cord conductors
and interrupts the circuit at a predetermined level of

leakage current.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:16 AM   #10
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You're right. Thanks Jim.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by emh918 View Post
Thanks for all the help, I'm going to run two dedicated home runs for the ac units. Each on its own 15 amp breaker.


Thanks again everyone.
Great solution.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:24 AM   #12
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Breaker question


There is a good chance those new circuits will need to be on an AFCI breaker. Do you know what code cycle your area is under?
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:26 AM   #13
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Breaker question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
I thought they were LCDI's.

From Article 440.

Leakage-Current Detector-Interrupter (LCDI).
A device
provided in a power supply cord or cord set that senses
leakage current flowing between or from the cord conductors
and interrupts the circuit at a predetermined level of

leakage current.
So tell me, what is the difference between a GFCI and a LCDI? Aren't they both leakage current detectors?
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