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Old 01-21-2012, 03:20 PM   #1
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


Hello everyone, this is my first post

So I'm having a problem with my TV and the electrical circuits in the new apartment that I just moved into. So first I connected my TV in one of my living room plugs which are connected to breaker1. Turning on (and sometimes off) the TV caused breaker1 to trip, this didn't happen every time but at least once a day. So I decided to connect the TV to a plug in the bedroom which is connected to breaker2 since my computer is also in the living room and I didn't want it to turn off from the tripping. So I got a long extension and cord and connected the TV to the plug that was on breaker2. Once I turned on the TV, breaker1 tripped again???

So my question is how is this possible? My TV is connected to a plug that is on breaker2 but turning on the TV causes breaker1 to trip? Is this a fault with the TV or the wiring in the house? I am not at all knowledgeable about these sort of things so if you know please explain in simple terms.

Also this is a brand new building so the problem wont be related to old wiring or something like that.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old 01-21-2012, 03:24 PM   #2
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


Have the landlord call an electrician.

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Old 01-21-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


at any rate post what you find out.
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:38 PM   #4
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


I'll bet the breaker that's tripping is an AFCI. Two guesses: (1) faulty breaker, or (2) crossed neutrals.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #5
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


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Originally Posted by fa_f3_20 View Post
I'll bet the breaker that's tripping is an AFCI. Two guesses: (1) faulty breaker, or (2) crossed neutrals.
Or nothing wrong at all.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:51 PM   #6
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


AFCI breakers with shared neutrals seems likely. Though I would be surprised that it doesn't trip all the time when a load is applied to either circuit if that's the case. Are these breakers AFCI (do they have a "test" button)? Does the use of other appliances on these circuits trip the breaker?
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:14 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the replies.

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AFCI breakers with shared neutrals seems likely. Though I would be surprised that it doesn't trip all the time when a load is applied to either circuit if that's the case. Are these breakers AFCI (do they have a "test" button)? Does the use of other appliances on these circuits trip the breaker?
The breakers do have 3 positions, and when they trip they are in the middle position so I'm assuming that is what you mean and that they are indeed AFCI. When I wrote the post only the TV was causing the problem and only while turning it on or off and not while its running. At the time I wrote the post no other appliances tripped the breaker but just now the microwave did trip it for the first time while the TV was on.

I'm guessing that I'll have to ask for my landlord to bring in the electrician. I'm assuming my TV is probably not the cause of the problem then. I wanted to be informed a bit better because last time he came to check my AC I told him about the breaker and he said I should just use another plug... plus he barely speaks English
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:24 PM   #8
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


If there is no test button on the breaker then it's not an arc fault breaker.
The three positions your talking about would be on, tripped and off. Nothing to do with arc fault.
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:05 AM   #9
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


Not an AFCI breaker. Definitely have the landlord call an electrician.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:13 PM   #10
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


Quote:
Originally Posted by zaptree View Post
Turning on (and sometimes off) the TV caused breaker1 to trip
connected the TV to the plug that was on breaker2.
Once I turned on the TV, breaker1 tripped again???
Assuming breaker 2 did not also trip, and assuming breaker 1 will not trip anyway periodically with or without a TV, I don't see how this is possible so if you find out please post the fix.
And I hope it's not one of those cases where the problem goes away by itself or a fix works but nobody can explain why.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 01-24-2012 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:33 PM   #11
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Assuming breaker 2 did not also trip, and assuming breaker 1 will not trip anyway periodically with or without a TV, I don't see how this is possible so if you find out please post the fix.
And I hope it's not one of those cases where the problem goes away by itself or a fix works but nobody can explain why.
Even though the TV was connected to a plug on breaker2, my ps3 and cable box which where connected to the TV where still connected to the plug on breaker1. So I thought maybe some kind of pulse is sent from the TV through the PS3 or the Cable box to the breaker1 that causes some kind of problem. So I also connected the ps3 and cable box to the plug that was on breaker2 and it seems that my problem is gone.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:43 PM   #12
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


Assuming both breakers are rated at the same amps and are the same model, b2's trip curve may be more forgiving of the high inrush current that the switchmode power supplies in these appliances tend to pull.
B2 may still be in spec or it may have stopped acting as a breaker. B1 may be in spec and just at the quick end of the trip curve.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:54 PM   #13
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


Slow down a bit here- - -What tells you that a certain duplex outlet (where you plug in things) is on breaker #1 or breaker #2? Someone wrote this on the door of the breaker panel? Then this is not necessarily true. The only way to tell which circuit breaker is for any particular circuit or outlet is to test that particular circuit. How do you know that the circuit for the outlet in the bedroom is on breaker #2? Just because you ran an extension cord (bad business there) to that outlet, doesn't mean that it is on another circuit. This does sound like a problem for the landlord indeed. If he is just stating "try another circuit", then go over his head and notify the local municipalities code enforcement people.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Assuming both breakers are rated at the same amps and are the same model, b2's trip curve may be more forgiving of the high inrush current that the switchmode power supplies in these appliances tend to pull.
B2 may still be in spec or it may have stopped acting as a breaker. B1 may be in spec and just at the quick end of the trip curve.
They are both 20Amps and also breaker2 had nothing on it that I use where as breaker1 had several appliances including my PC so it seemed logical to me that maybe it was getting overloaded so I decided to move my TV to breaker2. What confused me was that even then when turning on the TV breaker1 would still trip even though the TV wasn't connected to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
Slow down a bit here- - -What tells you that a certain duplex outlet (where you plug in things) is on breaker #1 or breaker #2? Someone wrote this on the door of the breaker panel? Then this is not necessarily true. The only way to tell which circuit breaker is for any particular circuit or outlet is to test that particular circuit. How do you know that the circuit for the outlet in the bedroom is on breaker #2? Just because you ran an extension cord (bad business there) to that outlet, doesn't mean that it is on another circuit. This does sound like a problem for the landlord indeed. If he is just stating "try another circuit", then go over his head and notify the local municipalities code enforcement people.
Of course I tested it to see that it is on breaker2. So to clarify after connecting my TV to breaker2, I would turn on the TV, breaker1 would trip and all my plugged in appliances in the living room would turn off except for the TV which was on breaker2. That is what I found confusing and didn't think was even possible although I am not familiar in what other ways these circuits might be connected even though they are on different breakers.

Anyway as I stated above I plugged in the PS3 and cable box at the same plug with the TV on breaker2 and now the problem seems solved. I know an electrician should probably come but if I don't encounter any problems with my current setup I really don't feel like getting into an argument with my landlord. Obviously if I see that the breaker trips again I will then tell my landlord that an electrician must come...

Last edited by zaptree; 01-26-2012 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:34 AM   #15
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TV Tripping Breaker but not the one its on


I'm curious, are either one of these breakers AFCI? They would have a test button on them.

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