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Old 03-11-2012, 09:24 PM   #1
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circuit breaker situation


Hi, I'm wondering about the following. I have a hood fan at a fast food restaurant and for a while now there's been a situation where some days I go to turn it on in the morning and it goes out a few times. Some days it happens, while some days I flip the switch on and it runs normally. When it goes out I have to go to the circuit breaker box to trouble shoot it in order to get it going again. Is an issue like this a fire hazard or is the trouble shooting saving it from a fire while still indicating there's something going on?

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Old 03-11-2012, 10:11 PM   #2
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circuit breaker situation


If you are saying the breaker is tripped then you have an issue. The motor could be going bad (bad bearings, bad windings, etc). The blower could be bad. The drive belt could bad. It could be all greased up. Being a commercial environment you should call in a contractor, either HVAC or electrical.

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Old 03-11-2012, 10:21 PM   #3
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circuit breaker situation


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If you are saying the breaker is tripped then you have an issue. The motor could be going bad (bad bearings, bad windings, etc). The blower could be bad. The drive belt could bad. It could be all greased up. Being a commercial environment you should call in a contractor, either HVAC or electrical.
...and the breaker could be bad. Unless breakers are labeled as "switchgear" they aren't intended to be turned on and off like a switch. That's what switches are for. But I agree, call an electrician.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:28 PM   #4
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Unless breakers are labeled as "switchgear" they aren't intended to be turned on and off like a switch. T
Not quite right.

240.83(D) Used as Switches. Circuit breakers used as switches in
120-volt and 277-volt fluorescent lighting circuits shall be
listed and shall be marked SWD or HID. Circuit breakers
used as switches in high-intensity discharge lighting circuits
shall be listed and shall be marked as HID.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:28 PM   #5
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circuit breaker situation


I did have the fan company clean it up and check they said it looks fine. However, could it be an issue electrically with the motor causing the fuse to go out? An electrician speculated something like that. They said something like the fuse is a 20, but needs to be a 30 or something like that. They could change it, but are not sure the motor can withstand it. In that case is it save to leave things as is with the occassional need to trouble shoot for a while?
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:33 PM   #6
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circuit breaker situation


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Not quite right.

240.83(D) Used as Switches. Circuit breakers used as switches in
120-volt and 277-volt fluorescent lighting circuits shall be
listed and shall be marked SWD or HID. Circuit breakers
used as switches in high-intensity discharge lighting circuits
shall be listed and shall be marked as HID.

Thanks....but you basically paraphrased what I said. Breakers used as switches need to be marked as such.
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Last edited by Missouri Bound; 03-11-2012 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:38 PM   #7
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circuit breaker situation


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I did have the fan company clean it up and check they said it looks fine. However, could it be an issue electrically with the motor causing the fuse to go out? An electrician speculated something like that. They said something like the fuse is a 20, but needs to be a 30 or something like that. They could change it, but are not sure the motor can withstand it. In that case is it save to leave things as is with the occassional need to trouble shoot for a while?
That comment by the electrician is way off. Get a qualified electrician to check out the motors operating amperage vs the nameplate specs.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:42 PM   #8
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circuit breaker situation


Thanks for all the info. So is it safe to leave it with the trouble shooting for a little bit? I'm just scared that I'm at risk, yet, costs are a concern when adding other bills.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:46 PM   #9
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circuit breaker situation


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Thanks for all the info. So is it safe to leave it with the trouble shooting for a little bit? I'm just scared that I'm at risk, yet, costs are a concern when adding other bills.

If the breaker is tripping it is basically doing it's job. But it's a sign that there is a problem. I know cost is an issue, it is for everyone. Can you afford the cost of that motor failing during business hours.? It's the old addage, pay me now or pay me later. I would think an hour of trouble shooting would be adequate to determine the cause of the problem.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:19 AM   #10
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circuit breaker situation


IT could be a simple as the belt is adjusted too tight. That will cause the motor to work harder and draw too much current.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:32 AM   #11
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circuit breaker situation


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Originally Posted by jakes77 View Post
I did have the fan company clean it up and check they said it looks fine. However, could it be an issue electrically with the motor causing the fuse to go out? An electrician speculated something like that. They said something like the fuse is a 20, but needs to be a 30 or something like that. They could change it, but are not sure the motor can withstand it. In that case is it save to leave things as is with the occasional need to trouble shoot for a while?
I'm taking your recounting of their comments with a grain of salt. Because, no electrician worth their salt would say something like that. Not only would the fan be in danger of causing a fire, but you can't just arbitrarily install a larger breaker without considering the wiring size.

If the fan has been working well for years and now it's popping a breaker, you have several possible problems.

1. Fan motor has mechanical / electrical problems
2. You have plugged something new into the circuit around the time that you started having CB problems.
3. Your breaker has become weak...and is tripping below it's rating.
4. You have an AFCI circuit breaker and a loose connection somewhere with arching causing the CB to trip off line.

Sorry got in a hurry and forgot to add: All of the above require expert help in the form of licensed electricians.

Last edited by Ed911; 03-12-2012 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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circuit breaker situation


You have asked several times if it is safe to leave as is and "troubleshoot". You have performed NO troubleshooting so far as I can tell. You reset the breaker, which is NOT troubleshooting, it is simply a workaround that seems to solve the problem temporarily. Troubleshooting means identifying the cause of the problem, which you have not done.

As for asking folks on an internet chat forum to determine if your electrical setup is safe, that is foolish. Suppose someone on here actually is unwise enough to offer an opinion that your setup is safe. And suppose you foolishly accept that advice. And suppose your place burns down. Are you then going to sue the forum individual who told you it was OK to ignore an obvious problem? You are asking a question which cannot be answered over the internet, and there is nothing useful you can do with an answer, even if you got one. You need to call in a competent, qualified electrician to diagnose and repair your issues.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:03 PM   #13
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circuit breaker situation


Dan, you have been on a roll lately!!

Keep it up!

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