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bpm 08-08-2011 11:21 PM

Faulty Breaker?
I have a 20 amp breaker that tripped and won't reset. I suspect it's a bad breaker but wanted to hear some ideas/opinions/confirmation. I tried to reset the breaker and it immediately tripped again. When trying to reset it, it actually felt like the switch wasn't moving properly. I removed the black wire from the breaker and tried to reset it again and still no go. The switch is just sort of in the middle in the tripped position. If I push it either to the off or on position it just returns to the middle.

Here's what I think is the strange part. If I test the voltage with my multi-meter I'm getting 3 volts on the breaker terminal, when measured accross the neutral bus. Is this normal? All the other breakers seem to be working fine but one adjacent breaker also seems to show 3 volts even when turned off. Otherwise, everything in the house is working fine and I've been randomly measuring voltage at various outlets and get steady 120 readings everywhere.

My initial hunch is faulty breaker but any thoughts are welcome and appreciated.

Additional informaiton if it's helfpul - the panel is a Square D QO Load Center, probably installed sometime around 1970. Several breakers have been replaced, but the breaker in question is probably original.

electures 08-09-2011 12:02 AM

Replace the breaker.

bpm 08-09-2011 12:07 AM

Thanks for quick reply. One other quick question. When measuring voltage on all the remaining breakers, I noticed that one leg of the panel is at about 120 to 120.5 volts and other tends to be at about 121.5. Is this 1 to 1.5 volt difference across the legs significant, or is that normal. It doesn't seem to be influenced by what is turned on and/or running at the time. Thanks!

NJMarine 08-09-2011 06:04 AM

That voltage differance is acceptable.

bpm 08-09-2011 06:17 AM

Thanks for the help!

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