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Discussion Starter #1
I was sitting at my desk today and the breaker for the office area tripped.. I turned it on and about an hour later it tripped again.. I noticed when it was on the surge protector and UPS i have both showed ground fault errors. I picked up a outlet tester and it showed Hot and Neutral reversed as the error. I opened up each outlet in the room and not one was reversed (white was on silver, Black on gold). I have been in my attic several times and know which outlet is the main and how it is running throughout the room. I unhooked the main outlet and verified it is getting power on the neutral wire with a contactless voltage tester. I then when to the breaker and noticed that the neutral wire was getting voltage when the breaker was off and not the black wire.. I am not sure if this is supposed to be the right way or not, but I found it odd that this is the case.. Any advice?

Here is a video of me testing the breaker..


If I am doing something wrong please let me know, also could the breaker be causing the issue?
 

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I can't tell for sure but it looks like it is reversed. The black wire should be on the gold screw and the white wire on the silver screw.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
It appears you might be right.. I cant tell on the other breakers if the screw is light / dark (silver / gold).. but on this one I can..

Ill change it in the morning, hopefully everything goes well..

Side note: I have never heard of a AFC Breaker, and it appears that is what this is..

Thanks for the help!
 

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Pull the breaker and look at to see how it is labeled. There will almost certainly be some marking showing one side as load power and the other as neutral.

MJ
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I switched the wires on the breaker and the test light went green WhooHoo!!, I plugged everything back in and about 10 minutes later the breaker tripped again. I have unplugged everything from the line to see what might be causing the breaker to trip and for now I only have my laptops plugged in.. (This is my office area) I will one at a time plug something in and let it run for a little while to see what is causing it to trip..

I have attached the tester reading before and after, in case anyone cares..
 

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What devices do you have plugged into this circuit?
Laser printers are big power hogs. It could be a combination of ALL the stuff you are trying to run, not just one device.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
All of this is on the 20AMP breaker.

I do have a color laser printer plugged in normally..

I think I got everything listed.. I am not sure why this all of a sudden started happening, I haven't added anything to the circuit in several months.

Normal plugged in items, not all are turned on at the same time. When it tripped the breaker today, only the items in the Office area below were plugged in..

Office Area: 1 surge protector and 1 UPS
TV
Speakers
TiVo mini
Printer (Only on when printing, but always plugged in)
Paper Shredder (Plugged in, but only used when needed)
Lamp (LED) (On from 8-5)
2 Laptops (On from 8-5)
Desk fan (Only on when needed)
Elliptical (Not plugged in unless in use)
Power-line networking Device

Kids area:
Fish Tank:
1 LED light (Plugged in, but only on between 7-12 at night)
1 Air pump (always on)
1 Diffuser (Only turned on at night)

Kids desk: 1 Surge Protector
Desk Lamp (LED) - (Only on when the kid(s) are home) Maybe 3-8PM
Laptop (Kids) - (Only on when the kid(s) are home and using the laptop)Maybe 3-8PM
Radio - (Only on when the kids are home)Maybe 3-8PM
Under bed lights (LED) - Almost always on

Closet Light + Light switch
 

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This isn't a basic breaker. It's an AFCI, GFCI, or both. Read the manual, there may be a way to find out why it tripped (i.e. whether overcurrent or fault).
 

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I am not a fan of these things. To many false trips and expensive to replace. They can and do trip with normal arcs caused by equipment connected to them. It looks like a whole box full of them and probably no option except to replace the silly thing.

I don't have any in this house and don't plan to have any.
 

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You have quite a bit of electronics on this circuit.
Whilst this looks ok from a amperage stand point.
Some incompatibility issue with some if these units,
and afci / gfci breakers could be the problem.
The best way is to establish a pattern as to when it tripps
Then unplug some things on that circuit and see what happens !
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So it has been fine all day.. I have been plugging in back things as the day went on and it hasn't tripped yet.. I did remove a few items I don't use very often (chromecast and a Pivos media player) they arent even on the list I provided earlier as I completely forgot about them as they are rarely used.. Maybe one of them was causing the issue. Anyway it appears to be holding fine now..

Thanks for all the help, again I am not sure how long the breaker had been configured in the state it was in.. I have lived here for almost 10 years and I never touched the panel, aside from turning things on / off..
 
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