Main Breaker Tripping - 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 02-20-2009, 01:43 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10
Rewards Points: 10
Question

Main breaker tripping


I have a 150 amp breaker box and for the the last 2 months the main trips if I have more than a couple things on at a time. Id be surprised if I was pulling more than 75 amps when it trips.

The house was built in the 50s but Im guessing the box was installed sometime in the 70s or 80s (couldnt find any dates on it). I noticed the grounding wire had come loose from the rod outside. I reconnected it but the main still trips.

Do I need to replace the breaker box or is something else causing this?

Advertisement

M. Ready is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 02:05 AM   #2
DIY'er
 
jamiedolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Neenah, Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,032
Rewards Points: 1,000
Blog Entries: 2
Default

Main breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Ready View Post
I have a 150 amp breaker box and for the the last 2 months the main trips if I have more than a couple things on at a time. Id be surprised if I was pulling more than 75 amps when it trips.

The house was built in the 50s but Im guessing the box was installed sometime in the 70s or 80s (couldnt find any dates on it). I noticed the grounding wire had come loose from the rod outside. I reconnected it but the main still trips.

Do I need to replace the breaker box or is something else causing this?
What electric appliances do you have? Electric heat? Anything new?
Jamie

Advertisement

__________________
Jamie Dolan - Neenah, WI
Jamie Dolan Paw Dogs
Need Help Uploading Photos? Click here.
jamiedolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 02:30 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,294
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Main breaker tripping


Could be an old weak tired breaker.

Could be the bus connection behind the breaker.
220/221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,904
Rewards Points: 2,162
Default

Main breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post

Could be the bus connection behind the breaker.
I have found this to the the problem with a main tripping, especially under a light load, 95% of the time.
__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 11:13 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW of D.C.
Posts: 5,990
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Main breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I have found this to the the problem with a main tripping, especially under a light load, 95% of the time.
So does the breaker then feel abnormally warm?
Yoyizit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 01:23 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Main breaker tripping


The breaker is never warm to the touch. Havent added anything new. The last time it tripped the only things on were 2 small (12.5amp) electric heaters, the TV, and one light. It can be any combination of things on that cause the breaker to trip. I have a propane furnace but use the electric heaters to cut down on the amount of propane I am using.
M. Ready is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 01:30 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Main breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I have found this to the the problem with a main tripping, especially under a light load, 95% of the time.
Does that mean I need a new box or how do I fix this? Im on a tight budget and dont want to spend anymore than I have to.
M. Ready is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 03:00 PM   #8
DIY'er
 
jamiedolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Neenah, Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,032
Rewards Points: 1,000
Blog Entries: 2
Default

Main breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Ready View Post
Does that mean I need a new box or how do I fix this? Im on a tight budget and dont want to spend anymore than I have to.
Replacing a main breaker is involved, it is not a DIY project for 98% of people. In most cases, the powerco needs to cut the power to the house before the breaker can be changed out.

A new box may very well be cheaper than a new breaker, depending on your panel, but there is a significant amount of work involved in installing a new panel.

Jamie
__________________
Jamie Dolan - Neenah, WI
Jamie Dolan Paw Dogs
Need Help Uploading Photos? Click here.
jamiedolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 03:20 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,543
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Main breaker tripping


Whats the make of your panel?
rgsgww is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 03:56 PM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Main breaker tripping


The current panel is a Square D. I dont plan to replace the panel myself. I just want to know what I need and will buy all the parts and have someone else come out to hook it up.

I had it trip a couple minutes ago and the only thing on was the TV, PC, 1 heater, and the washing machine. I know thats not anywhere near 150 amps.
M. Ready is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 04:13 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,543
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Main breaker tripping


Homeline, qo?

Qo load center with breakers

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebutners/366524475/

Homeline load center

http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottbb/202290783/
rgsgww is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 04:34 PM   #12
DIY'er
 
jamiedolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Neenah, Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,032
Rewards Points: 1,000
Blog Entries: 2
Default

Main breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Ready View Post
The current panel is a Square D. I dont plan to replace the panel myself. I just want to know what I need and will buy all the parts and have someone else come out to hook it up.

I had it trip a couple minutes ago and the only thing on was the TV, PC, 1 heater, and the washing machine. I know thats not anywhere near 150 amps.
I would allow the electrician that installs it use the equipment that they sell. It's likely going to be cheaper for them to use what they are familiar with than to buy something yourself.

Is the person your talking about having do this licensed?

Jamie
__________________
Jamie Dolan - Neenah, WI
Jamie Dolan Paw Dogs
Need Help Uploading Photos? Click here.
jamiedolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 04:43 PM   #13
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,904
Rewards Points: 2,162
Default

Main breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Ready View Post
The current panel is a Square D. I dont plan to replace the panel myself. I just want to know what I need and will buy all the parts and have someone else come out to hook it up.
This is a BAD idea. How do you know what to get? Just asking here online is not the right way to troubleshoot this problem.

Let an electrician come in and determine what it is he needs to get.
__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 05:17 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,294
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Main breaker tripping


Yeah, it's time to call someone.

Try and find an old guy
220/221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 05:29 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW of D.C.
Posts: 5,990
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Main breaker tripping


If a usuable HD clamp-on ammeter is $50 and a service call is $500 you should buy the ammeter if it gives you better than a 10% chance of finding the problem.

And you can sell it again, afterwards.

Do some troubleshooting. If you end up calling a tech, he will be more likely to take you seriously.

Advertisement

Yoyizit 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
Bad main breaker? jm8891 Electrical 13 11-09-2013 10:32 AM
Pool Main breaker keeps tripping beckyreyes Electrical 12 08-11-2013 05:06 PM
Main Breaker is tripping rdmccaw Electrical 18 02-05-2009 11:27 PM
Main house breaker keeps tripping cosmicmah Electrical 20 01-22-2008 01:36 AM
20 Amp Breaker tripping with GFCI panhandlion Electrical 7 12-12-2007 09:59 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts