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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this is right section for this but here it is.

I have a in-law suite/shed on my property separate from my main home.
My main service panel is 200 amps.(for the main home outside)
I have a 125 amp sub panel outside that is fed from my outside 200amp panel, solely for the suite/shed that is just one single 125amp breaker, then it leads to the sub panel inside the suite/shed that has another sub panel that is 125amp.
This indoor sub panel in the shed doesn't have a main breaker shut off, cause that is outside that I mentioned which is about 75ft away, underground wire in conduit.

Here is a list of things that are in this shed.

Tankless water heater (dual 60amp)
Mini apartment size stove (dual 40amp)

The rest of the outlets are 15 amp breakers.
No washer or dryer in the shed.

Today my father was taking a shower which obviously turns on the tankless water heater (inside the suite/shed). Well as he was taking a shower, the main outside breaker tripped (125 amp sub panel feeding off my 200amp panel), he flipped it back on, but... Now the water heater, stove and one of the 15amp circuits is completely burnt out.
Those 3 items above didn't trip the individual breakers in the 125amp shed panel inside, only the main 125amp panel breaker outside.

So... 4 of the 8 breakers/circuits are working (inside shed panel)
No, it's NOT just one side of the breaker panel that's out, it is 4 of them through out the inside panel.

This is a Eaton brand indoor 125amp panel..
Does it sound like this Eaton indoor panel took a ****? (well, partially took a **** cause half of it still works)

The outdoor and indoor panel, including everything in the shed is only 2 years old.

Thanks
 

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retired framer
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Burnt out, you have turned them full off before resetting them? Were the stove and the 15AMP working when this happened, I guess the water and the bath light,fan were so was the stove turned on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Burnt out, you have turned them full off before resetting them? Were the stove and the 15AMP working when this happened, I guess the water and the bath light,fan were so was the stove turned on?

As stated, this individual breakers never tripped but yes all breakers were reset.
Don't have bathroom fan, only have 2 hardwired led ceiling lights in the shed on same circuit.
No stove wasn't even on.
Stove is on its own dual 40amp circuit, same with water heater, on its own dual 60amp circuit.
So those two above circuits and 2 random 15amp circuits all burnt out from this mishap when he was taking a shower. Only the main 125amp breaker popped. Nothing else.
 

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retired framer
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As stated, this individual breakers never tripped but yes all breakers were reset.
Don't have bathroom fan, only have 2 hardwired led ceiling lights in the shed on same circuit.
No stove wasn't even on.
Stove is on its own dual 40amp circuit, same with water heater, on its own dual 60amp circuit.
So those two above circuits and 2 random 15amp circuits all burnt out from this mishap when he was taking a shower. Only the main 125amp breaker popped. Nothing else.
I have seen the main go before a breaker but I have not seen that. I would suspect a dead short and a breaker that got so hot it damaged the rest.

People who are a lot more knowledgeable than me will be along soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As stated, this individual breakers never tripped but yes all breakers were reset.
Don't have bathroom fan, only have 2 hardwired led ceiling lights in the shed on same circuit.
No stove wasn't even on.
Stove is on its own dual 40amp circuit, same with water heater, on its own dual 60amp circuit.
So those two above circuits and 2 random 15amp circuits all burnt out from this mishap when he was taking a shower. Only the main 125amp breaker popped. Nothing else.
I have seen the main go before a breaker but I have not seen that. I would suspect a dead short and a breaker that got so hot it damaged the rest.

People who are a lot more knowledgeable than me will be along soon.
That's the issue I don't understand.
4 out of the 8 breakers are still working just fine.
His fridge and 3 of his outlets are still working just fine after this ordeal.
I looked at the indoor 125amp panel, checked all the wires and nothing was loose, melted or burnt and all the breakers are operational and not staying tripped.
It was about 45-50 degrees outside when this happened.
Also this shed is only 3 years old.
 

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retired framer
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That's the issue I don't understand.
4 out of the 8 breakers are still working just fine.
His fridge and 3 of his outlets are still working just fine after this ordeal.
I looked at the indoor 125amp panel, checked all the wires and nothing was loose, melted or burnt and all the breakers are operational and not staying tripped.
It was about 45-50 degrees outside when this happened.
Also this shed is only 3 years old.
You said some were burnt out did you mean tripped or are they no longer usable?
Do you have power on both 120s now,if you have lost one the 240s stop

and any 120 on that leg quits.

Just a guess but I would suspect a short in the water heater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's the issue I don't understand.
4 out of the 8 breakers are still working just fine.
His fridge and 3 of his outlets are still working just fine after this ordeal.
I looked at the indoor 125amp panel, checked all the wires and nothing was loose, melted or burnt and all the breakers are operational and not staying tripped.
It was about 45-50 degrees outside when this happened.
Also this shed is only 3 years old.
You said some were burnt out did you mean tripped or are they no longer usable?

Just a guess but I would suspect a short in the water heater.

As stated above. The individual breakers never tripped.
The water heater (separate circuit)
The stove (separate circuit)
2 15amp separate circuits lines are no longer operational.
Again, this all happened when the outside main 125amp panel breaker tripped while my father was taking a shower.
 

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retired framer
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As stated above. The individual breakers never tripped.
The water heater (separate circuit)
The stove (separate circuit)
2 15amp separate circuits lines are no longer operational.
Again, this all happened when the outside main 125amp panel breaker tripped while my father was taking a shower.

You have 15 amp that works and 15 amp that isn't working, leave the wires on them and unplug them and switch them and see what happens.
 

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Not an electrician by trade, but I would definitely look at the main subpanel breaker on the load side to verify still getting voltage on both L1 and L2. If not, then check the main panel 125 breaker that feeds it.

If I'm reading correctly, you've lost all 240 circuits, and 2 @ 120 circuits. I don't know what model of Eaton panel you have, but panel legs are typically not left and right like you'd think. Two breakers side by side, left and right, could be on the same leg, while two breakers stacked on the same side are on two different legs.

So...without insulting your intelligence, are you sure you haven't lost one "side" of the panel?

Main subpanel breaker suspicion seems justified to me, especially considering how it tripped while no other circuit breakers did. And is easy to check with a multi-meter, if you're comfortable working in there. If not, just let a pro do it.

As Nealtw said, smarter people than us will be along soon enough. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not an electrician by trade, but I would definitely look at the main subpanel breaker on the load side to verify still getting voltage on both L1 and L2. If not, then check the main panel 125 breaker that feeds it.

If I'm reading correctly, you've lost all 240 circuits, and 2 @ 120 circuits. I don't know what model of Eaton panel you have, but panel legs are typically not left and right like you'd think. Two breakers side by side, left and right, could be on the same leg, while two breakers stacked on the same side are on two different legs.

So...without insulting your intelligence, are you sure you haven't lost one "side" of the panel?

Main subpanel breaker suspicion seems justified to me, especially considering how it tripped while no other circuit breakers did. And is easy to check with a multi-meter, if you're comfortable working in there. If not, just let a pro do it.

As Nealtw said, smarter people than us will be along soon enough. Good luck.
There are 2 panels feeding the shed.
Only one of them has a 125amp main breaker. (the outside panel has one single breaker (125amp) which is the ONLY breaker that tripped.
The inside panel only has individual breakers, no 125amp main shut off (that's outside as mentioned)
I tried using a multimeter last night and tested positive on each breaker while holding the negative, to the negative post and had my meter set to 200DCV and I didn't get a single reading, even on the good working breakers, so I obviously had a setting wrong or something.
I verified my meter was working with a 1.5v battery.
Is "DCV" the correct setting right?
 

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There are 2 panels feeding the shed.
Only one of them has a 125amp main breaker. (the outside panel has one single breaker (125amp) which is the ONLY breaker that tripped.
The inside panel only has individual breakers, no 125amp main shut off (that's outside as mentioned)
I tried using a multimeter last night and tested positive on each breaker while holding the negative, to the negative post and had my meter set to 200DCV and I didn't get a single reading, even on the good working breakers, so I obviously had a setting wrong or something.
I verified my meter was working with a 1.5v battery.
Is "DCV" the correct setting right?
You want AC volts, maybe labeled ACV. Batteries are DC, but your house electricity is AC. Set it on the lowest increment that is at least more than 240V.

Definitely check all those mains and just be sure they're both energized, on both the line and load side. You can test with one lead on L1 and the other on L2, looking for something around 240.

And you can do the same breaker test you described above there, too. I would always check it with negative on ground, and then again with negative on neutral, to verify both are good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There are 2 panels feeding the shed.
Only one of them has a 125amp main breaker. (the outside panel has one single breaker (125amp) which is the ONLY breaker that tripped.
The inside panel only has individual breakers, no 125amp main shut off (that's outside as mentioned)
I tried using a multimeter last night and tested positive on each breaker while holding the negative, to the negative post and had my meter set to 200DCV and I didn't get a single reading, even on the good working breakers, so I obviously had a setting wrong or something.
I verified my meter was working with a 1.5v battery.
Is "DCV" the correct setting right?
You want AC volts, maybe labeled ACV. Batteries are DC, but your house electricity is AC. Set it on the lowest increment that is at least more than 240V.

Definitely check all those mains and just be sure they're both energized, on both the line and load side. You can test with one lead on L1 and the other on L2, looking for something around 240.

And you can do the same breaker test you described above there, too. I would always check it with negative on ground, and then again with negative on neutral, to verify both are good.
Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK update...

The inside panel, the dual 60amp breaker that controls the tankless water heater... That breaker seems to be working cause on each positive wire going out of the breaker has 119v on top wire (black) the bottom red wire is getting 135v but here is the kicker (same reading for the dual 40amp top right) but even those breakers are working and the leads going out have power, it seems neither the water heater or stove are working. The bottom left and bottom right 15amp breakers gets 1.5v (give or take) when the dual 60 amp breaker is OFF but when that 60amp breaker is ON those 2 bottom 15amp breakers gets 135v....

The other 2 15 amp breaker (one dual, one single) are NOT effected when that 60 amp breaker is on or off...

It's almost like that 60amp breaker is acting as a main shut off for the 2 bottom 15 amp breakers....

What does the above mean? I will try to post a Pic of the sub panel.
OK update...

The inside panel, the dual 60amp breaker that controls the tankless water heater... That breaker seems to be working cause on each positive wire going out of the breaker has 119v on top wire (black) the bottom red wire is getting 135v but here is the kicker (same reading for the dual 40amp top right) but even those breakers are working and the leads going out have power, it seems neither the water heater or stove are working. The bottom left and bottom right 15amp breakers gets 1.5v (give or take) when the dual 60 amp breaker is OFF but when that 60amp breaker is ON those 2 bottom 15amp breakers gets 135v....

The other 2 15 amp breaker (one dual, one single) are NOT effected when that 60 amp breaker is on or off...

It's almost like that 60amp breaker is acting as a main shut off for the 2 bottom 15 amp breakers....

What does the above mean? I will try to post a Pic of the sub panel.
 

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OK update...

The inside panel, the dual 60amp breaker that controls the tankless water heater... That breaker seems to be working cause on each positive wire going out of the breaker has 119v on top wire (black) the bottom red wire is getting 135v but here is the kicker (same reading for the dual 40amp top right) but even those breakers are working and the leads going out have power, it seems neither the water heater or stove are working. The bottom left and bottom right 15amp breakers gets 1.5v (give or take) when the dual 60 amp breaker is OFF but when that 60amp breaker is ON those 2 bottom 15amp breakers gets 135v....

The other 2 15 amp breaker (one dual, one single) are NOT effected when that 60 amp breaker is on or off...

It's almost like that 60amp breaker is acting as a main shut off for the 2 bottom 15 amp breakers....

What does the above mean? I will try to post a Pic of the sub panel.
OK update...

The inside panel, the dual 60amp breaker that controls the tankless water heater... That breaker seems to be working cause on each positive wire going out of the breaker has 119v on top wire (black) the bottom red wire is getting 135v but here is the kicker (same reading for the dual 40amp top right) but even those breakers are working and the leads going out have power, it seems neither the water heater or stove are working. The bottom left and bottom right 15amp breakers gets 1.5v (give or take) when the dual 60 amp breaker is OFF but when that 60amp breaker is ON those 2 bottom 15amp breakers gets 135v....

The other 2 15 amp breaker (one dual, one single) are NOT effected when that 60 amp breaker is on or off...

It's almost like that 60amp breaker is acting as a main shut off for the 2 bottom 15 amp breakers....

What does the above mean? I will try to post a Pic of the sub panel.

Are you measuring the voltage between the hots and ground bar, or the hots and neutral bar?


The unequal readings of 119V and 135V are puzzling. You shouldn't see a voltage above 125V, unless you are measuring across the two hots, and then it should be 240V.



If you turn off all the breakers in the subpanel, and measure the incoming feed wires (each hot to neutral, each hot to ground, and hot to hot) what do you see?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK update...

The inside panel, the dual 60amp breaker that controls the tankless water heater... That breaker seems to be working cause on each positive wire going out of the breaker has 119v on top wire (black) the bottom red wire is getting 135v but here is the kicker (same reading for the dual 40amp top right) but even those breakers are working and the leads going out have power, it seems neither the water heater or stove are working. The bottom left and bottom right 15amp breakers gets 1.5v (give or take) when the dual 60 amp breaker is OFF but when that 60amp breaker is ON those 2 bottom 15amp breakers gets 135v....

The other 2 15 amp breaker (one dual, one single) are NOT effected when that 60 amp breaker is on or off...

It's almost like that 60amp breaker is acting as a main shut off for the 2 bottom 15 amp breakers....

What does the above mean? I will try to post a Pic of the sub panel.
OK update...

The inside panel, the dual 60amp breaker that controls the tankless water heater... That breaker seems to be working cause on each positive wire going out of the breaker has 119v on top wire (black) the bottom red wire is getting 135v but here is the kicker (same reading for the dual 40amp top right) but even those breakers are working and the leads going out have power, it seems neither the water heater or stove are working. The bottom left and bottom right 15amp breakers gets 1.5v (give or take) when the dual 60 amp breaker is OFF but when that 60amp breaker is ON those 2 bottom 15amp breakers gets 135v....

The other 2 15 amp breaker (one dual, one single) are NOT effected when that 60 amp breaker is on or off...

It's almost like that 60amp breaker is acting as a main shut off for the 2 bottom 15 amp breakers....

What does the above mean? I will try to post a Pic of the sub panel.

Are you measuring the voltage between the hots and ground bar, or the hots and neutral bar?


The unequal readings of 119V and 135V are puzzling. You shouldn't see a voltage above 125V, unless you are measuring across the two hots, and then it should be 240V.



If you turn off all the breakers in the subpanel, and measure the incoming feed wires (each hot to neutral, each hot to ground, and hot to hot) what do you see?

Well the 125amp breaker in my 200amp box which is first in line to feed the power to the red was reading 120v on one leg and 35v on the other.
Off to go get a new square d 125amp breaker and should solve the issue.
One of the legs was burnt on the breaker.
I did test both legs that feed the breaker and they were both good. So this 125amp breaker shorted out from what seems to be not fitting correctly into the box as it came lose kind of easy off the panel.
But pretty sure it burnt out the water heater and stove in the process.
We will see when I get back.
The entire shed has a bunch of messed up readings. Turning light switches on and it's shutting down other circuits that are on separate lines.
 

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wNCmountainCabin
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this looks like a sub-panel from a 'thru lug' Main Panel, probably in the main house, which has it's own MAIN BREAKER to control both...

while it's odd that one breaker seems to be 'controlling' others, it sounds more like a 'Neutral' wire that may not be making correct contact, either the main incoming Neutral from the Main Panel, or a Neutral within this panel.
 

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While you have the breakers all shut off inside, take some voltage readings in the outdoor panel. Read the each leg coming into the panel and each leg coming out of the 125A breaker.

Edit: sounds like he found it. I didn't see post 16 before posting.
 

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retired framer
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From screw to screw on a 240 breaker



240 volts in the suite?
240 volts at the sub panel at the house?

240 volts at the breakers in the main panel feeding the sub?
 
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