Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-02-2009, 10:54 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 12
Share |
Question

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


I need to move my fridge to the other side of the kitchen and went to cut
power to it and found I have to turn both breakers on a space-saver type
Murray-Siemens breaker for it to go off. Is it wired wrong or is something
broken? House was built in 1969 so wiring is all romex. Circuit is a 20
amp but I will put in a 15 amp if I have to run a new dedicated line. I hope
someone has some ideas.

bonsainorm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 11:09 PM   #2
Member
 
300zx's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 630
Post

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


What kind of voltage tester are you testing with ? Is it a non- contact voltage tester ? If so i would say it's phantom voltage.

300zx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 11:20 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 12
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


Fridge is 120 volt, it is plugged in and running but if I switch either of the two (space saver) breakers off it stays running. If I turn them them both off then it will finally shut off. I have not put a meter on anything.
bonsainorm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 03:19 AM   #4
Electrical Contractor
 
kbsparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delmarva
Posts: 3,360
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


You could have a double-fed circuit there, with both circuits connected to the same tandem-type breaker. Can you take a close-up photo of your panel with the cover removed, showing this breaker, and the wire(s) connected to it?

What else besides the fridge goes off when you turn these breakers off?
__________________
-KB

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
kbsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 03:43 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 106
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


I also suspect that you have phantom voltage. You could go to Harbor Freight and get a cheap voltage meter for about $5. If your are running two hots to the wall plug you would be getting 220 volts--110 from each side.
sluggermike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 06:09 AM   #6
Licensed Pro
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SC
Posts: 1,526
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sluggermike View Post
I also suspect that you have phantom voltage. You could go to Harbor Freight and get a cheap voltage meter for about $5. If your are running two hots to the wall plug you would be getting 220 volts--110 from each side.
Phantom voltage would not make the refrigerator keep running. He has the two circuits crossed somewhere.
__________________
"Life is hard. Life is harder when you're stupid." John Wayne
HouseHelper is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 07:15 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


Messed up MWBC (multi wire branch circuit) ?
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 07:16 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,802
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Messed up MWBC (multi wire branch circuit) ?
A non-broken tab?
jerryh3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 08:53 AM   #9
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 7,345
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


You have two circuits cross connected somewhere.
__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 09:18 AM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 12
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sluggermike View Post
I also suspect that you have phantom voltage. You could go to Harbor Freight and get a cheap voltage meter for about $5. If your are running two hots to the wall plug you would be getting 220 volts--110 from each side.
I checked the wall outlet and it's 110 volts only. I pulled the panel box cover and see there is only one wire under each breaker screw. I could try a picture but I don't think the problem is in the panel box.
bonsainorm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 09:31 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,802
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bonsainorm View Post
I checked the wall outlet and it's 110 volts only. I pulled the panel box cover and see there is only one wire under each breaker screw. I could try a picture but I don't think the problem is in the panel box.
Take the cover off of the outlet and see how many wires(and colors) are connected to the receptacle.
jerryh3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 09:55 AM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 12
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


I checked w/a contact meter for the 110 volt and there are only 2 wires coming into the box.
bonsainorm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 11:18 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,497
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


You're going to need to trace the hot wires coming from both breakers and somewhere you'll find them connected either directly or by both being connected to a common device.
jogr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 12:11 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 106
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


Just for curiosity sake, what are the colors of the wires going into the box? Is it a black and white and one ground, or is it two blacks or a black and a red? If it is two black or a black and a red, you have two circuits. It should be a black and white and one ground.
sluggermike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 12:19 PM   #15
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 4,851
Default

Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bonsainorm View Post
I checked w/a contact meter for the 110 volt and there are only 2 wires coming into the box.
Then you have two circuits tied together. If you are still uncertain and want proof then turn one breaker off and test its load lug to ground or neutral. It will be hot because it is being backfed from the other breaker that is tied to the circuit. If you are uncomfortable inside the breaker panel then I wouldn't do this. It is only suggested as a proving method that you have crossed circuits. You have eliminated all other possibilities with your testing and only two wires in the box. But it may give you peace of mind....

__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie
Stubbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
refrigerator, space saver


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How do I get power to a new ceiling fan? sestivers Electrical 12 04-25-2011 02:11 PM
Furnace won't turn on....no power? doningarden HVAC 1 12-01-2009 03:43 PM
Do electrical breakers lose power? Patti Electrical 8 03-16-2008 12:08 PM
Three electricans said it was impossible! Tom Electrical 35 04-29-2006 05:06 PM
Partial power on same fuse! joyjam Electrical 5 07-10-2005 10:23 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.