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Old 08-10-2010, 11:21 PM   #1
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Breaker tripped twice, but now seems OK - is it?


I am not an electrician but I know the basics of wiring and have done a fair amount of electrical work over the years (as a form remodeler/GC).

Here's my issue. I was running new wires to my electrical panel and something caused a circuit breaker to trip. I reset it and it tripped again. Figuring there was a problem with the wires running from the first j-box to the panel I replaced all wires in this run. I reset the breaker and it tripped again (twice) the third time it stayed set - no problem. The circuit now seems fine. Note that there were no apparent changes to the downstream wiring or the devices plugged into the downstream outlets.

Could there be a problem with the breaker? What course of action would be appropriate to further trouble shoot this situation? Or should I not worry about it since it seems to be working fine now? Thanks in advance for any advice -

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Old 08-11-2010, 07:37 AM   #2
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Breaker tripped twice, but now seems OK - is it?


Why were you running new wires? Was there a problem before you ran the wires?

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Old 08-11-2010, 07:48 AM   #3
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Breaker tripped twice, but now seems OK - is it?


the new wires go to a new circuit and are unrelated to the circuit with a problem. I was however attempting to pull the new wires through an existing conduit, which I found too constricted to do (1/2" EMT with 4 wires alread - I was attempting to add 4 more). Here's the sequence of events -

1. attempted to pull additional wires - breaker tripped
2. thought I damaged existing wires and replaced them
3. once wires were replaced attempted to reset breaker - it tripped 2x
4. reset breaker 3rd time and all is fine

Just to be clear, there is/was no unusual load on this circuit.
All wires in the affected area have been replaced.
The new wiring is not yet connected to the panel.

Is it possible that the breaker may be have been damaged and is not properly tripping as it should?
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:04 AM   #4
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Breaker tripped twice, but now seems OK - is it?


What size are the new wires? And the ones in the conduit already?

1/2" EMT technically is allowed to carry eight 12gauge wires....but that's an awful lot to pull through such small conduit.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:13 AM   #5
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Breaker tripped twice, but now seems OK - is it?


Understood - wires are 12 guage - and 8 would be the max number. While the run that I was attempting to pull the wires through is not long, it was clear that this would be difficult to do and I abandoned the effort and ran a new conduit to the box to carry the new wires.
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