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Old 09-28-2012, 09:12 PM   #1
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Breaker won't stay on please help


Hi and thanks for reading! We just moved into our house 2 weeks ago and today has been the first big rain in our area in awhile. I can home and noticed our front living room, hall, front bedroom and closet lights are not workIng. I went to the garage and found one double 30 amp breaker tripped and one 20 amp tripped I turned both back one. The double 30 has stayed so far ( not sure what it controls) but the 20 amp that controls those lights tripped after a min. I went and turned off every switch and reset the breaker and it tripped after a min again. What do I do? Electrical nessacary or is this something normal during rain? ( house built in 1972 and original breaker box)

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Old 09-28-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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Breaker won't stay on please help


You have a short some where along that circuit.
Something is either " in water" or very wet.
You need to call an electrician.
30 amp breaker is usually used for a dryer,AC unit not house lights. Is the panel itself susceptible to water?

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Old 09-28-2012, 09:35 PM   #3
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I have one just a slow drip leak on the back side of my house where the roof meets our metal roof for the porch but it's on the complete opposite side of the house of were the lights are not working and breaker panel. The breaker panel is in my garage on outside wall. I've searched the house and have no other signs of a leak and no other breakers are tripping.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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does that circuit control any outside lights or receptacles?

if so turn off what you can and try again.

otherwise turn everything off and turn on lights etc one at a time
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:42 PM   #5
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Our outside porch light still works. We do have a lamp post in our front yard that I'm not sure what breaker it goes to. I haven't been able to get that light post to work since we moved in. It could be possible that it is. The wiring and what the breakers control are odd combinations.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinp22
does that circuit control any outside lights or receptacles?

if so turn off what you can and try again.

otherwise turn everything off and turn on lights etc one at a time
Maybe if it was only one circuit but 2 tripped.
What caused the 30 amp to trip? Was it right next to the 20?
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:49 PM   #7
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No the 30 was 4 breakers up and On opposite side of breaker box. The 30s still haven't tripped again and still not sure what it went to
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:50 PM   #8
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Breaker won't stay on please help


The fact that the breaker takes a minute to trip suggests a medium resistance ground fault rather than a direct short

make sure that yard light is turned off and try again

i agree with sublime that there is a high chance youll have to call an electrician to fix this, but if its something you can have off temporarily that will both help narrow the problem and buy you a little time
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:51 PM   #9
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Breaker won't stay on please help


remove all the light bulbs in effected area... then reset the breakers,light tripping a 20A breaker might be the hot going out to that area....first verify it isn't just the breaker...remove the wire out of that tripping 20A breaker and turn it on?stays on your good now...NO BULBS in...if you have a digital meter take that removed wire....check it to ground with the ohm reading...should show infinity if the meter bounces the hot wire is grounding out WET
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:51 PM   #10
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I had a similar issue one time when my condo rental got flooded out by a broken water heater from the unit above.

When one of the circuit breaker would not stay open, I had to individually open up all receptacles until I found the one with water inside (of course it was the last one I checked!). Once I dried it, the circuit breaker worked.

As sublime said, something got wet.

If you have worked on DIY electrical projects in the past and are comfortable working with electricity, doing what I did is not difficult.

However, since you don't know which circuit controls which receptacles/fixtures, I would completely turn off the power when opening up receptacles.


Good luck
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giraffeflute05
No the 30 was 4 breakers up and On opposite side of breaker box. The 30s still haven't tripped again and still not sure what it went to
You have an electric dryer? If so trip the 30 then see if the dryer comes on.
If you don't have an electric one could be for your AC.
Question remains,what caused the 30 that's above and on the opposite side of the tripped breaker to trip.
There is a short somewhere.
Don't know if the pros here can help you over the net.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:57 PM   #12
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OP, are you absolutely sure the 30 amp breaker was on before this incident?
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:01 PM   #13
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I am probably not understanding some posters correctly, but to err on the safe side, I would highly advise *against* testing voltages, resistance, etc. using any tools inside a live panel.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:06 PM   #14
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That 20 amp that keeps tripping...does it have a test button on it?
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:17 PM   #15
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First Thank you for everyone who is responding! This house has been nothing but trouble since we bought.

Second double 30 amp breaker.
I know it wasn't the dryer or washer because I was using them before I noticed it wasn't working. My AC I know is on a 60amp breaker. The only appliance I don't know if it was working or not was my hot water heater (everything is electric in my house).

The 20 amp breaker.
The light post outside doesn't have an on or off switch, its suppose to have an eye which was never properly wired in. (guy that owned house before me was a diy guy and a bad one i've had to redo a ton already). I have done a little electrical but nothing major ( just ceiling fans and light fixtures) and there are two big black wires in front of the wire for the breaker that tripped. I have also just figured out that in our master (way away from living room and other bedroom) one of our outlets is no longer working and i'm guessing it is going to this breaker to. The 20 is the very last breaker in our panel and I'm guessing when he added new items he just added it to this breaker instead of doing it properly. I am going to call out our home warranty people Monday and get this fixed. As long as I leave everything off it won't start a fire right?

thanks again for all the help provided!

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