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Old 02-22-2013, 09:09 PM   #1
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Microwave randomly trips breaker...or does it?


My built-in mircowave is on the same circuit as our kitchen lights. Every now and then, the microwave will cause a trip. Only the breaker doesn't switch off. It's still in the on position but an off/on flip gets things working again. It doesn't seem to matter if the lights are on or off and the microwave mode (defrost vs high power). That said, it does seem to happen more frequently in the colder months. I've replaced the breaker and it made no difference. Does anyone have an idea of what the cause and fix are?

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Old 02-22-2013, 09:17 PM   #2
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Microwave randomly trips breaker...or does it?


Loose connection in the circuit somewhere, or a bad microwave.
A breaker never trips to the off position, but to a midway position.
They all have to be turned off and then back on to reset.

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Old 02-22-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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Microwave randomly trips breaker...or does it?


Micro waves should be on there own circut.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:38 PM   #4
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Microwave randomly trips breaker...or does it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ghome View Post
My built-in mircowave is on the same circuit as our kitchen lights. Every now and then, the microwave will cause a trip. Only the breaker doesn't switch off. It's still in the on position but an off/on flip gets things working again. It doesn't seem to matter if the lights are on or off and the microwave mode (defrost vs high power). That said, it does seem to happen more frequently in the colder months. I've replaced the breaker and it made no difference. Does anyone have an idea of what the cause and fix are?
What is the power draw of the microwave ?
How many lights are on the same circuit ?
And how much power do they draw ?
Sounds like the circuit is running close to its limits,
And circuit breakers dont like running close
to there trip out point.
If the load exceeds 80% of the breakers rating
then you be needing a bigger circuit.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:27 PM   #5
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Microwave randomly trips breaker...or does it?


This is typical where folks replace a hood with an over-the-range micro/hood, and they ignore the instructions that say they require a dedicated circuit.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:52 PM   #6
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Microwave randomly trips breaker...or does it?


Speedy, or the fact that they just feel rules, schmools, they do not matter. Right now I am dealing with an issue with my brother on his place that he has enough electrical issues, in his 100+ year old house, that it can keep a crew of four busy for a couple of months in fixing it.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:33 PM   #7
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Microwave randomly trips breaker...or does it?


Thank you everyone for the great ideas! The home was built in 95 and the microwave was made in 2006, so replacing a hood is a good guess. It is a 13 amp on a 15 amp breaker. I'm obviously interested in a safe/cheap/easy fix-in that order. What would you guys recommend? I assume I can't just replace the 15 amp with a 20 amp breaker, right? Anyone have an idea of what an electrician would charge for adding another circuit? Wondering if it'd be better to get a less powerful microwave, if there are any that operate at under 13 amps.
Thanks again!
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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Microwave randomly trips breaker...or does it?


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Originally Posted by ghome View Post
Thank you everyone for the great ideas! The home was built in 95 and the microwave was made in 2006, so replacing a hood is a good guess. It is a 13 amp on a 15 amp breaker. I'm obviously interested in a safe/cheap/easy fix-in that order. What would you guys recommend? I assume Anyone have an idea of what an electrician would charge for adding another circuit? Wondering if it'd be better to get a less powerful microwave, if there are any that operate at under 13 amps.
Thanks again!
"I can't just replace the 15 amp with a 20 amp breaker, right?"
Can't answer this until you say what size the wire is. #14 or #12?
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:11 PM   #9
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"I can't just replace the 15 amp with a 20 amp breaker, right?"
Can't answer this until you say what size the wire is. #14 or #12?
I don't know wire sizes well enough to eye it and the insulation has no visible label. However, I did compare the 15A vs 20A leads and the 20 were noticeably larger.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:51 PM   #10
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Microwave randomly trips breaker...or does it?


The correct fix is to have a new circuit run just for the microwave.

If you were to upsize the breaker you would be creating a fire hazard.
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:09 PM   #11
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Microwave randomly trips breaker...or does it?


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"I can't just replace the 15 amp with a 20 amp breaker, right?"
Can't answer this until you say what size the wire is. #14 or #12?
It's a pretty safe bet that it is #14. It's a lighting circuit in a typical house on a 15A breaker. No reason at all it would be #12.

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