Circuit Breaker Testing Newbie Question - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-04-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


This might be obvious but I can't figure it out: I had an electrician over today to replace one of the circuit breakers since it's limiting current was to low for our washer/dryer. Instead of checking the numbers on the breaker itself, he stuck a multimeter in the electrical outlet where the dryer usually goes, looked at the numbers and said that this was a 20A breaker. I couldn't see his settings on the multimeter, but he said he measured the amperage. It was around 2.3 something. Now, here is where my confusion starts. How is plugging an ammeter directly into an outlet not tripping the breaker? Ammeters are supposed to have tiny internal resistance. I know the breaker's and the wire in the wall's resistances are negligible, so this leaves the ammeter with roughly 50 ohm shunt resistance (if the numbers I saw on the multimeter were indeed amps)? Was he indeed measuring amperage or was he yanking my chain? :-)

Please help remedy my confusion!

Advertisement

kyryk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 05:10 PM   #2
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,161
Rewards Points: 2,114
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


Quote:
Originally Posted by kyryk View Post
This might be obvious but I can't figure it out: I had an electrician over today to replace one of the circuit breakers since it's limiting current was to low for our washer/dryer. Instead of checking the numbers on the breaker itself, he stuck a multimeter in the electrical outlet where the dryer usually goes, looked at the numbers and said that this was a 20A breaker. I couldn't see his settings on the multimeter, but he said he measured the amperage. It was around 2.3 something. Now, here is where my confusion starts. How is plugging an ammeter directly into an outlet not tripping the breaker? Ammeters are supposed to have tiny internal resistance. I know the breaker's and the wire in the wall's resistances are negligible, so this leaves the ammeter with roughly 50 ohm shunt resistance (if the numbers I saw on the multimeter were indeed amps)? Was he indeed measuring amperage or was he yanking my chain? :-)

Please help remedy my confusion!
WOW... what a scam....

Advertisement

stickboy1375 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
A "Handy Husband"
 
rjniles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Carolina Low Country
Posts: 4,222
Rewards Points: 2,354
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


Someones chain is bring yanked. Either yours or ours.
__________________
Location:
Coastal South Carolina
rjniles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 05:14 PM   #4
Lic Electrical Inspector
 
electures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Police State of New Jersey
Posts: 1,759
Rewards Points: 1,102
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


Somebody got screwed.
__________________
All responses based on the 2011 NEC.
If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.
electures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 05:15 PM   #5
"So I Re-Wired It"
 
MisterZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NorthEast USA
Posts: 258
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


i have had my chain yanked before.... believe me, it was an over-rated experience
just kidding, yah this sounds like a bunch of BS to me.
__________________
Knowledge is Power, but 240v can Keel You!!
MisterZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,161
Rewards Points: 2,114
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


Quote:
Originally Posted by electures View Post
Somebody got screwed.
and it wasn't a light bulb....
stickboy1375 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to stickboy1375 For This Useful Post:
electures (08-04-2012)
Old 08-04-2012, 05:18 PM   #7
Lic Electrical Inspector
 
electures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Police State of New Jersey
Posts: 1,759
Rewards Points: 1,102
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375

and it wasn't a light bulb....
Lol....,
__________________
All responses based on the 2011 NEC.
If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.
electures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,161
Rewards Points: 2,114
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


Quote:
Originally Posted by kyryk View Post
This might be obvious but I can't figure it out: I had an electrician over today to replace one of the circuit breakers since it's limiting current was to low for our washer/dryer.

Im going to skip over the scamming part, but I want to know what the name plate of the appliance was, the branch circuit wiring size, and the installed breaker size... BEFORE you called the so called scam artist.
stickboy1375 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 05:47 PM   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
Im going to skip over the scamming part, but I want to know what the name plate of the appliance was, the branch circuit wiring size, and the installed breaker size... BEFORE you called the so called scam artist.
It's an LG dryer. It says on the back it requires a 30A breaker, just no one paid attention while installing it. The wire in the wall is 10 AWG, the old breaker was 20A. Despite all the scam artist comments, he wasn't bull****ting, the breaker was too small for the appliance. What surprised me is that he knew the limiting current by shortening the breaker, is this some sort of a trick of the trade? Now I feel that either his multimeter had a special function to do so, or there was a load on the testing leads.
kyryk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 05:49 PM   #10
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,161
Rewards Points: 2,114
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


Quote:
Originally Posted by kyryk View Post
It's an LG dryer. It says on the back it requires a 30A breaker, just no one paid attention while installing it. Despite all the scam artist comments, he wasn't bull****ting, the breaker was too small for the appliance. What surprised me is that he knew the limiting current by shortening the breaker, is this some sort of a trick of the trade? Now I feel that either his multimeter had a special function to do so, or there was a load on the testing leads.

Well, yeah, any electrician knows a dryer needs a 30 amp branch circuit, but there is no way to install a meter and tell what size breaker is installed.... end of story. They probably only had a 20 at the time, and never replaced it, until you called, they spilt some crap of **** story on you as to not look like an ass.... it happens.
stickboy1375 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 05:54 PM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
Well, yeah, any electrician knows a dryer needs a 30 amp branch circuit, but there is no way to install a meter and tell what size breaker is installed.... end of story. They probably only had a 20 at the time, and never replaced it, until you called, they spilt some crap of **** story on you as to not look like an ass.... it happens.
Alright, thanks, I just wanted to make sure!
kyryk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #12
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,161
Rewards Points: 2,114
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


Quote:
Originally Posted by kyryk View Post
Alright, thanks, I just wanted to make sure!
Im not sure why they even tested the receptacle, I would have checked the breaker, saw that it was a 20, replaced the breaker if the branch circuit was sized properly, and been on my way.... the story he told you is just freaking odd as hell.

Last edited by stickboy1375; 08-04-2012 at 08:07 PM.
stickboy1375 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 08:06 PM   #13
Master Electrician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,975
Rewards Points: 2,206
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


My guess is that something has been lost in the observation and/or translation.
brric is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to brric For This Useful Post:
Speedy Petey (08-05-2012)
Old 08-04-2012, 08:37 PM   #14
Licensed Electrician
 
k_buz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 4,343
Rewards Points: 2,006
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


I'm going to ask a silly question since it hasn't been addressed specifically...is this a gas dryer?
__________________
__________________________________________________ ______________
Answers based on the National Electric Code. Always check local amendments.


k_buz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 09:44 PM   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Circuit breaker testing newbie question


It's not a gas dryer.

EDIT: That last sentence made no sense.

I don't see what could be lost in the observation: I saw him stick a handheld digital meter between two of the three terminals of the outlet, he said the breaker is too small for the dryer, I asked him what he was measuring to figure that out, and he said "amperage", my mind is blown, end of story. I wanted a more detail explanation, but he wasn't of the talkative type.

Advertisement


Last edited by kyryk; 08-04-2012 at 09:56 PM.
kyryk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Breaker question emh918 Electrical 12 06-30-2012 10:26 AM
New wiring tripping breaker on another circuit? Kinggofg Electrical 11 04-26-2012 02:36 AM
New circuit breaker owen22 Electrical 14 01-12-2010 08:08 PM
Circuit Breaker, working in reverse dcwestcott Electrical 4 04-06-2009 04:03 PM
New homeowner here...circuit breaker question fenway71 Electrical 7 01-18-2006 09:39 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.
<--
-->