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

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-18-2010, 03:53 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 10
Default

General Breaker question


A friend of mine has a breaker that keeps tripping after putting a pretty small load on it (several lights, an outlet with a portable heater, and the microwave). Now, I haven't actually looked at anything yet, but I'm curious, what is the tell tale sign of a bad breaker, and what way can I be sure it's the breaker.

I haven't done a lot of home electrical, but I do have a background in some low level electrical (I used to repair arcade game and I did some commercial lighting work), so I'm not going in this blind or anything. I'm just curious as to how to attack this thing.

Fix

fixittech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 05:51 AM   #2
Electrical Contractor
 
kbsparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delmarva
Posts: 3,368
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

General Breaker question


An outlet with a portable heater and a microwave is not a "small load"

Sounds like an overloaded circuit to me.

__________________
-KB

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
kbsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 06:07 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: PENNSYLVANIA
Posts: 2,238
Rewards Points: 1,004
Default

General Breaker question


Thank GOD the breaker is doing what it supposed to do.
COLDIRON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 06:45 AM   #4
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,860
Rewards Points: 2,116
Default

General Breaker question


Not a small load at all!
Move the heater someplace else.
Give up trying to troubleshoot someone else's problem if not quailified!
__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 07:58 AM   #5
A "Handy Husband"
 
rjniles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Carolina Low Country
Posts: 4,115
Rewards Points: 2,140
Default

General Breaker question


Agreed with other posters- overload!

Heater 1500 watts, microwave 1000 watts, a few lights 300 watts

2800 watts @ 120 volts = about 23 amps.
__________________
Location:
Coastal South Carolina
rjniles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 12:06 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 10
Default

General Breaker question


Thanks guys, I figured as much. I just look at my dad with his 2 power strips in the same outlet with 15 different things in it and wonder he doesn't have the same problem. ;-)

Just another question (and no, I'm not trying to troubleshoot, I'm just curious as to how this works), How likely is it that the same breaker is handling things on two different floors, on opposite walls? Microwave is upstairs in the kitchen, lights are on downstairs and the outlet that this little heater is using is on the wall opposite of the kitchen. It would make more sense to me if it were all wired on the same wall. Now this house is maybe 30 years old, but what would be the reason for such wiring?
fixittech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 5,407
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

General Breaker question


Quote:
=fixittech;518861]Thanks guys, I figured as much. I just look at my dad with his 2 power strips in the same outlet with 15 different things in it and wonder he doesn't have the same problem. ;-)
either he has a lot of smaller loads that do not add up to some amount that would overload the circuit or the various loads are not all drawing power at the same time.

In your situation, if you run only the microwave or only the heater, probably even with the lights in either case, you will not trip the breaker.

Quote:
Just another question (and no, I'm not trying to troubleshoot, I'm just curious as to how this works), How likely is it that the same breaker is handling things on two different floors, on opposite walls? Microwave is upstairs in the kitchen, lights are on downstairs and the outlet that this little heater is using is on the wall opposite of the kitchen. It would make more sense to me if it were all wired on the same wall. Now this house is maybe 30 years old, but what would be the reason for such wiring?
because that is how somebody wired it.

My guess is that somebody added onto an existing circuit without any regard to what that circuit was already feeding.
nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 02:16 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 143
Rewards Points: 75
Default

General Breaker question


Quote:
Originally Posted by fixittech View Post
Thanks guys, I figured as much. I just look at my dad with his 2 power strips in the same outlet with 15 different things in it and wonder he doesn't have the same problem. ;-)
Reminds me of when I lived in an apartment and I had a saltwater reef tank. I had two power strips plugged into a wall outlet and every plug on the power strip was being used by the lights, pumps, power heads, and heaters. We got a notice that the fire inspector was going to be going through all of the apartments to look for unsafe conditions. I meticulously looked up the current draw from each device that was plugged in and added them up and pasted it on the fish tank for the inspector to see. 12 items plugged in but still only added up to about 3 amps.

jerseyguy1996 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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
panel breaker question officersdr Electrical 1 09-18-2010 04:22 PM
wiring new GFCI breaker question dgates12 Electrical 8 01-07-2010 12:14 PM
AFCI breaker question Sheryl Martin Electrical 4 07-06-2009 02:10 PM
Question on 240v double pole breaker locations rovers1973 Electrical 10 02-14-2009 05:15 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

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