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Old 04-29-2010, 07:20 AM   #1
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Problem with random tripping.


I just had my basement redone and I had an electrician come in and do all the electrical work which consisted of 10 recessed lights and 2 more in the storage area, and the outlets. He came out and did all of that fine but now every once in awhile the breaker trips for the lights which happen to be wired up with my garage door opener.

I went around the house a few minutes ago and checked to make sure nothing else was on the breaker except the lights and the garage opener and I didnt find anything. My fuse box was full so he put it on a 15a mini breaker with the recepticals on the other mini, but that one doesnt trip.

Could it be a bad breaker or is it to much for one 15a breaker? I dont really know to much about home electrical but if its something simple I could do it. Whenever the garage door trips it the lights in the basement arent even on. Although I did get those nicer switched for dimmers with the little lights on the plate so you can tell where the brightness is.


I already tried to call the guy and he said he was going to come over a few weeks ago but he never did and then he never answered my phone calls.

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Old 04-29-2010, 07:24 AM   #2
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Problem with random tripping.


I forgot the add that it only trips like every two weeks maybe.

Also, the breaker that he used says Square D but the box is Siemens. Would this cause a problem?

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Old 04-29-2010, 07:33 AM   #3
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Problem with random tripping.


Can you turn on all the lights on that breaker, then run the garage opener - does it trip? Or Is it randomly when nobody is doing anything? The circuit is probably just getting overloaded. What wattage and type of bulbs are in the lights? Maybe you can replace a few of them with compact fluorescents to cut down on consumption and not overload the breaker? How hard is it to run a new dedicated circuit to the garage door opener?

The outlets really should be (but don't have to be) on a 20 amp circuit. A dedicated lighting circuit instead of tapping into the garage opener circuit would have been better too. Especially with 12 lights on it.

The other guys here will know if that breaker is compatible with your panel. Maybe that is causing the problem...hopefully anyway! Really nice that the guy is not responsive now. I bet he was responsive before you paid him.
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:38 PM   #4
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Problem with random tripping.


There is nothing wrong with 15 amp circuits. We wire multi-million dollar homes with 15 amp circuits all the time. Competitive cost/price conditions require their use. One must use some common sense. 1200 watts of lighting as well as receps would be stupid. Back to the OP, a Square D Homeline breaker will 'fit' in a Siemens panel and should perform OK. I would suspect your circuit is occasionally overloaded as stated previously. If there's room for another tandem breaker a little circuit rearranging might solve the problem.

Last edited by brric; 04-29-2010 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:28 PM   #5
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Problem with random tripping.


Where are you located ?
Garage door opener outlet now needs GFCI under NEC 2008

15a is good for 1800w of power
How many watts or amps does the opener take ?
amps *120 = watts

How many lights & wattages of each ?
Add them all up to see total possible wattage in use
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:36 PM   #6
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Problem with random tripping.


Well I turned on all of the lights in a basement and it didnt trip. The bulbs in the cans are 45watts which is 450. Then the two lights in the storage area dont have anything written on them. They seem pretty bright though. Would changing them out with 60 watts have any effect? They may be 60 now but im not sure.

Im not sure how many watts the garage opener is. Where would I find that? It doesnt say anything on the outside. /

I guess if I cant figure it out Ill have to pay another electrician to come in and run its own dedicated line for the opener on one of those mini switches.


Thanks for the help so far guys, I really appreciate it!
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:43 PM   #7
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Problem with random tripping.


get the guy that wired it to fix it
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:53 PM   #8
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Problem with random tripping.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tpolk View Post
get the guy that wired it to fix it

If only he would answer the phone.
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:55 PM   #9
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Problem with random tripping.


yeah been there good luck
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:30 PM   #10
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Problem with random tripping.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Timb7 View Post
If only he would answer the phone.
Contact his licensing agency or your state's attorney.
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:25 PM   #11
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Problem with random tripping.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Timb7 View Post
Well I turned on all of the lights in a basement and it didnt trip. The bulbs in the cans are 45watts which is 450. Then the two lights in the storage area dont have anything written on them. They seem pretty bright though. Would changing them out with 60 watts have any effect? They may be 60 now but im not sure.

Im not sure how many watts the garage opener is. Where would I find that? It doesnt say anything on the outside. /

Thanks for the help so far guys, I really appreciate it!
450w + even 200w more for the next 2 is only 650w
That leaves 1150w on the circuit = almost 10a
I can't see a garage door opener using 10a
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:59 AM   #12
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Problem with random tripping.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
450w + even 200w more for the next 2 is only 650w
That leaves 1150w on the circuit = almost 10a
I can't see a garage door opener using 10a

So do you think I got a bad breaker? Should I try to get a new Siemens mini breaker and replace it and see if it fixes it? Maybe the problem is the Square D breaker.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:15 AM   #13
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Problem with random tripping.


Just guessing here. . .

1. the breaker is bad from the factory
2. something is drawing a heavy load all the time and the breaker then trips when something draws slightly more current
3. intermittently you have a dead short, maybe due to vibration or day/night temp. changes - good workmanship is supposed to prevent this
4. combination of 2 & 3
5. combination of 1, 2 & 3 but this would be unusual


Last edited by Yoyizit; 04-30-2010 at 09:25 AM.
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