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Old 09-04-2009, 07:45 PM   #1
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


My DW just lost power so I checked the breaker and it was tripped, I think the "spongy" feel means it's tripped. So I tried to reset it and same thing. I figured maybe the DW was faulting the breaker so I took the contacts off and tried to reset the breaker... same thing (I figure it's not the DW now must be the wiring or something in the panel??). Maybe the 15amp breaker is bad. I bought a new one and same thing. This time when I reset the breaker I get a little bit of blue sparks, I did that a couple of times then it stopped, guess I blew the breaker .

Does anyone have a clue what could be going on here? I do not have money to hire an electrician so if this is something that I can't take care of myself I'm just out of luck.

One more thing: Can I pull power from a nearby outlet to the DW if the current wiring is bad? The outlet runs on a 20amp breaker that controls 5 outlets, 2 in the kitchen and 3 in the adjoined dining area. We only use one socket in the kitchen regularly, coffee maker, the rest are rarely used. The wiring to the outlets is 14-2... the old DW wiring is 12-2. My DW pulls 9.9 amps, coffee maker pulls 13. So I figure I'd need to up the breaker to a 30 amp??

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by beginnerDIY; 09-04-2009 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:27 PM   #2
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


One thing is for certain, with only 14-2 wiring on that circuit you're talking about you CANNOT have a 20A breaker. That is a fire waiting to happen. If the wiring is only 14 gauge, you have to swap out that 20A breaker with a 15A breaker, IMMEDIATELY. But to address your original question, without seeing and testing everything in person, I don't think anyone can say for certain, but it sounds like you have a short somewhere along the run of the wiring. As for putting the DW on that circuit, I don't believe it is actually allowed under code since I'm pretty certain that a DW requires its own dedicated circuit. But practically speaking, if you're not running anything else on that circuit while the DW is going, you should be fine...against code, but fine. I don't advise doing it though since it isn't up to code.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:31 PM   #3
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


You can't increase the breaker size to solve the problem
That will lead to a FIRE
The wire will NOT handle 30a of power

Kitchen counter by code these days is required to have (2) 20a circuits
--and can't feed other rooms
Dishwasher usually now has a dedicated circuit

While you are not required to update to Today's code it would be a good idea to run another circuit for the dishwasher

#14 wire = 15a breaker
#12 wire = 20a breaker

30a residential outlet - no such thing
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:37 PM   #4
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


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Originally Posted by adpanko View Post
One thing is for certain, with only 14-2 wiring on that circuit you're talking about you CANNOT have a 20A breaker. That is a fire waiting to happen. If the wiring is only 14 gauge, you have to swap out that 20A breaker with a 15A breaker, IMMEDIATELY. But to address your original question, without seeing and testing everything in person, I don't think anyone can say for certain, but it sounds like you have a short somewhere along the run of the wiring. As for putting the DW on that circuit, I don't believe it is actually allowed under code since I'm pretty certain that a DW requires its own dedicated circuit. But practically speaking, if you're not running anything else on that circuit while the DW is going, you should be fine...against code, but fine. I don't advise doing it though since it isn't up to code.
I just looked that up and noticed that 14-2 can't handle 20 amps (trust me... I'm no electrician). I can't find the marking on the wire that would tell me the gauge. The wire to DW is white (which I thought was the color of 12-2) the wiring to the outlet is yellow (which I thought was the color of 14-2) It must be 12-2 running to the outlets. The house is only 4 years old so I'm certain it's up to code.

12-2 can only handle 20 amps right?

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:41 PM   #5
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


Older white wire can be 12-2
But if the house is 4 years old it should be yellow for 12-2
But someone could have used a short piece of white #12 to connect the dishwasher

Yes - #12 will only handle 20a
You should also have (2) 20a kitchen counter circuits if your house is only 4 years old
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
You can't increase the breaker size to solve the problem
That will lead to a FIRE
The wire will NOT handle 30a of power

Kitchen counter by code these days is required to have (2) 20a circuits
--and can't feed other rooms
Dishwasher usually now has a dedicated circuit

While you are not required to update to Today's code it would be a good idea to run another circuit for the dishwasher

#14 wire = 15a breaker
#12 wire = 20a breaker

30a residential outlet - no such thing
Aha... so I'm stuck with pulling from the outlets if I can't pull new wire. I just finished the basement and garage, so I can't pull new wire very easily
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:45 PM   #7
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


Did you just try to reset the bresker without turnning it off and then on, or does the breaker trip as soon as you turn it on?
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Older white wire can be 12-2
But if the house is 4 years old it shoudl eb yellow for 12-2
But someone could have used a short piece of white #12 to connect the dishwasher

Yes - #12 will only handle 20a
You should also have (2) 20a kitchen counter circuits if your house is only 4 years old
I guess I don't understand why they used two different color wires, that's why I thought the gauge must be different. The white wire to DW is coming up through the floor, I think it runs all the way to the panel. Maybe they preferred a different wire for long straight runs??

yep... I have two 20 amp counter circuits. The one I would use is feeding 5 outlets. This would be the easiest fix because the outlet is on the island that the DW is in. I would only have to run a couple feet inside the cabinet.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:48 PM   #9
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


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Did you just try to reset the bresker without turnning it off and then on, or does the breaker trip as soon as you turn it on?
I turned it off and on.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:53 PM   #10
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Did you just try to reset the bresker without turnning it off and then on, or does the breaker trip as soon as you turn it on?
Actually it trips as soon as I turn it on. But it's not obvious, the breaker just has a spongy feel in the on position. Thx

Last edited by beginnerDIY; 09-04-2009 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:57 PM   #11
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


So the dishwasher is on a dedicated circuit?
There should be markings somehwere on the jacket indicating its rating
Sounds like a short
Is it a hrd wired DW or plug & cord?
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:57 PM   #12
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


I'm grasping at straws here, but does that wire go through any junction boxes on it's way? Maybe the wire is improperly positioned and got cut by the sharp edges of the box, causing a short. In fact check it existing the panel making sure it's not cut. The obvious thing is to follow it but guess it may be going through some closed in areas so that makes things harder.

One way to confirm a short is shut off the breaker to it and do a continuity test on the other end.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:02 PM   #13
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
So the dishwasher is on a dedicated circuit?
There should be markings somehwere on the jacket indicating its rating
Sounds like a short
Is it a hrd wired DW or plug & cord?
it's hard wired on a dedicated circuit. The marking on DW wire says 'Romex Simpull #7 EXT' and it has time a date of manufacture stamp. That's all I see.

Thx
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:02 PM   #14
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Wiring gone bad??? Dishwasher issue


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Originally Posted by beginnerDIY View Post

yep... I have two 20 amp counter circuits. The one I would use is feeding 5 outlets. This would be the easiest fix because the outlet is on the island that the DW is in. I would only have to run a couple feet inside the cabinet.
NO! DO NOT do this. It is a serious code violation and NOT at all smart.

Find out why the breaker is tripping. Four year old wiring should not "go bad".

Something is wrong, you, or better yet an electrician, should find out what it is.
If you have no clue about this stuff then troubleshooting a problem is almost certainly out of the scope of your abilities at this point.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:04 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
I'm grasping at straws here, but does that wire go through any junction boxes on it's way? Maybe the wire is improperly positioned and got cut by the sharp edges of the box, causing a short. In fact check it existing the panel making sure it's not cut. The obvious thing is to follow it but guess it may be going through some closed in areas so that makes things harder.

One way to confirm a short is shut off the breaker to it and do a continuity test on the other end.
I don't see any obvious breaks. I will try what you suggest, I didn't think of that. I don't have an ohm meter, I'll have to borrow one from a friend. Thanks
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