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Old 01-16-2006, 09:20 PM   #1
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New homeowner here...circuit breaker question


New homeowner - thanks in advance for any help.

As my wife was using a new space-heater, we heard a "pop" and the power outlet went out and circuit breaker tripped. Turned to off position then on position. However, the outlet still does not work. It's triggered by a light switch which sounded like it "popped" too and hot to the touch after the incident.

Do I need to replace the switch or the circuit breaker or call an electrician?

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Old 01-16-2006, 09:42 PM   #2
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New homeowner here...circuit breaker question


You probably have a bad connection at the light switch. If the wiring at the switch was pushed into the spring terminals on the back of the switch, replace with a new switch, but do not use the push in terminals. Make a hook at the end of the wires and use the screw terminals.( don't forget to turn off the breaker before you work on the switch.)

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Old 01-16-2006, 10:12 PM   #3
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New homeowner here...circuit breaker question


I personally wouldn't feel very good about using a switched outlet for a space heater anyway. I don't know the legalities or code issues, if any, but seems to me that switches are meant to send power to 100W light bulbs not 1500W space heaters. Just MHO, but I'd find a different receptacle to use that was a constant hot.
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Old 01-17-2006, 08:49 PM   #4
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New homeowner here...circuit breaker question


Thanks. A friend says I just need to replace the switch. As you mentioned, space heater and dimmer switch was a dumb combo.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:12 PM   #5
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New homeowner here...circuit breaker question


A dimmer switch is even a worse situation. By code you can not use a dimmer to control a recepticle. The dimmer switch was most likely rated for 600 watts while the heater is useing 1200/ 1500 watts. I hope you remedy this situation before other problems occur.
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Old 01-18-2006, 05:27 AM   #6
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New homeowner here...circuit breaker question


This is one small section of the code people love to violate. Dimming a receptacle.
Yours is a prime example of why this is bad.
Think about if it was your new plasma TV!
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Old 01-18-2006, 07:04 PM   #7
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New homeowner here...circuit breaker question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
This is one small section of the code people love to violate. Dimming a receptacle.
Yours is a prime example of why this is bad.
Think about if it was your new plasma TV!
Right! I had a customer burn up her vacuum sweeper using it in a receptacle controlled by a dimmer. The dimmer was set at halfway. I'm sure the sweeper sounded funny and didn't pick up very well right before it died.
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Old 01-18-2006, 08:39 PM   #8
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New homeowner here...circuit breaker question


Thanks everyone for the advice. The previous owners (we moved in less than a month ago) had the dimmer switch set-up which I thought was bizarre and unnecessary.

Anyway, I successfully reinstalled with a regular switch and everything is working fine. I feel like a true handyman now....ha!

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