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Old 10-22-2013, 11:35 PM   #1
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


We have a new 3 yr old house, 120 amp service (FP Panel). I am doing some rewiring and disconnected a breaker, rewired a line, and reinstalled the same breaker. The breaker had been working fine previously.

When i finished the rewiring, and tested the connection /breaker , the main breaker tripped and i lost all power in the house. I thought the new breaker may have not been set properly in the box, took it out, put it back in, but the main breaker tripped again.

I have disconnected this problem breaker, took out the associated wire from the box so i don't have further problems right now until i can recheck the plugs etc on this line.

I did try some spare breakers, and ran into the same problem

Any idea why the main breaker would trip, and not just the single one i am reinstalling- how do i fix the problem?

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Last edited by novy31; 10-22-2013 at 11:36 PM. Reason: more information
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:39 PM   #2
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


There would have to be a major dead short for it to trip the main breaker.
Sure sounds like it's your wiring, not the breaker.

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Old 10-23-2013, 12:13 AM   #3
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


What is on the circuit you are connectting to this new breaker ?
Cause it sounds like this is were the problem lies !
Not the breaker, but the load !
Tell us what the load is ?
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:26 AM   #4
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


Quote:
Originally Posted by novy31 View Post
We have a new 3 yr old house, 120 amp service (FP Panel). I am doing some rewiring and disconnected a breaker, rewired a line, and reinstalled the same breaker. The breaker had been working fine previously.

When i finished the rewiring, and tested the connection /breaker , the main breaker tripped and i lost all power in the house. I thought the new breaker may have not been set properly in the box, took it out, put it back in, but the main breaker tripped again.

I have disconnected this problem breaker, took out the associated wire from the box so i don't have further problems right now until i can recheck the plugs etc on this line.

I did try some spare breakers, and ran into the same problem

Any idea why the main breaker would trip, and not just the single one i am reinstalling- how do i fix the problem?


FEDERAL PACIFIC ??

the breakers are red labels ????


take a pic and post ...
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:42 AM   #5
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


Just assuming a 20 amp breaker.

As noted with the FPE but in addition

In your rewiring you have a DEAD SHORT.
The Main Breaker is old and there maybe an issue with the instantaneous port1on of the CB.

A 20 amp breaker on a dead short will trip somewhere between 120-200 amps assuming it is in good working order.

You did not post the size of the main but the main will trip at the following, if a 100 Amp Main 600-1000 amps, a 200 Amp Main 1200-2000 amps. Rough numbers not looking at the manufactures data, but close.

To get an overlap where the 20 takes out the main takes a lot of fault current (A DEAD SHORT) or the main is defective, as you swapped out the 20 amp circuit breaker.

Time for a replacement. due to FPE, tripping and resetting it after what sounds like a major fault and age of the equipment.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:26 AM   #6
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


When you are installing the breaker, is it in the OFF position or the ON position. If it is in the OFF position then I would suspect something with the breaker itself. Would help to see pictures of what you have going on.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by danpik View Post
When you are installing the breaker, is it in the OFF position or the ON position. If it is in the OFF position then I would suspect something with the breaker itself. Would help to see pictures of what you have going on.

First you should NEVER install a circuit breaker when it is in the on position but in this case what difference would that make?
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:59 PM   #8
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


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Originally Posted by Know A Little View Post
First you should NEVER install a circuit breaker when it is in the on position
True. The question still needed to be asked though.
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but in this case what difference would that make?
Well, if it is in the OFF position, then it mostly eliminates any problems with the wiring after it.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:36 PM   #9
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


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Originally Posted by danpik View Post
True. The question still needed to be asked though.


Well, if it is in the OFF position, then it mostly eliminates any problems with the wiring after it.

It trips when he turns it on.

A simple test, that should be performed prior to energizing any wiring new, old or modified. In the electrical field most electricians utilize a Megger a insulation resistance tester, this is not a practical tool for 99.9% of DIY'ers. A Megger places 500-1000 VDC across the conductors to verify insulation integrity.

What you should do is, with noting plugged into the circuit, all lamps removed and switches on is.

With the ground conductor connected to the ground bus, check continuity from the neutral/white conductor to ground, then check continuity between the ungrounded/black and red if applicable to ground.

Connect the neutral to the neutral bus and check from the ungrounded conductor/black red if applicable to the ground a second time.

If it is a multiwire circuit (you have a black and red) check for continuity between the black and red.

There should be no continuity.

Continuity - if you use an ohm meter the reading should be full scale (OPPOSITE from Zero "0"). If you are using a continuity tester (flash light and leads) the light should not light.

Performing this test can save you smoke, hassle and possible a damaged CB, burnt hand and stressed wiring.

Closing a circuit breaker into a bolted fault is dangerous.

Last edited by Know A Little; 10-23-2013 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:41 PM   #10
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


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It trips when he turns it on.
Oh, OK. I saw where he said it trips when he put it in. I must have missed the part where he said it did it when he turned it on. My Bad.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:16 PM   #11
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


Quote:
We have a new 3 yr old house, 120 amp service (FP Panel)
Post your location, it would help.

How about Canada and a Federal Pioneer Panel ?
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:12 PM   #12
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


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Post your location, it would help.

How about Canada and a Federal Pioneer Panel ?
And I missed the 3 years has to be Federal Pioneer or the electrical contractor has been greasing some palms.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:35 PM   #13
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


Hello again- I haven't had time to check the wiring yet but did read the numerous posts- thanks for that.

I will say i am not extremely techinically savy so when people write things like bolt fault's etc.. i don't know what your referring to.

I will add that yes, we are in Canada- it's a 3 year old house- 3 year old panel, Federal pioneer- the load on the circuit was only 3 plugs- decreased from 4. The breaker itself is a 15 amp, single pole, stablok variety , which itself was maybe 18 months old. Wiring being used is also regular household wire- 14/2- black , white and ground wire.

From what i recall, when installing, yes the breaker is in the off position. For service in the house, I may have said we have 120 amp, but it is 100 amp service..

As for the load on the line at the time the breaker was tested, only one lamp was plugged in as a test item when i flipped the breaker- nothing else was plugged in at the time to any other plug on that line. THere are no switches, no other "breaks" in the line, other then those at each socket. The sockets themselves are typical household sockets- nothing special (levitron?)

THanks,.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


A bolted fault is a dead short as in two wires (neutral ground) are tied together or a ungrounded/black conductor is securely touching ground possibly welded at this time.


Try my continuity spiel from above.

Quote:
What you should do is, with noting plugged into the circuit, all lamps removed and switches on is.

With the ground conductor connected to the ground bus, check continuity from the neutral/white conductor to ground, then check continuity between the ungrounded/black and red if applicable to ground.

Connect the neutral to the neutral bus and check from the ungrounded conductor/black red if applicable to the ground a second time.

If it is a multiwire circuit (you have a black and red) check for continuity between the black and red.

There should be no continuity.

Continuity - if you use an ohm meter the reading should be full scale (OPPOSITE from Zero "0"). If you are using a continuity tester (flash light and leads) the light should not light.
As you do the continuity test you need to divide and conquer, start in what seems the middle of the circuit and remover the conductors from the receptacle. Check continuity between the ungrounded/black conductor and the ground in both directions, the side that lights the tester or gives a "0" ohm reading is the side to tackle next. Work your way through the circuit until you have cleared the fault.

Check continuity at the recap

Last edited by Know A Little; 10-23-2013 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:08 AM   #15
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New Breaker installed- Main Breaker trips


fp in canada is ok, not the same as federal pacific, canada fd is now part of schneider electric

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