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Author Topic: 15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping  (Read 6466 times)

Mike Sokol

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15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping
« on: August 04, 2015, 07:02:38 am »

This is from a DIY site about troubleshooting home circuit breakers tripping. They linked to my NSZ blog but have not contacted me directly. All I could say would be "Duh"... :o

Mike

=======================================

We have a 15 amp breaker that keeps tripping. This is something that just started happening. This is what feeds off that breaker: livingroom lights, 2 TVs, kitchen lights, fridge, washer, dryer, master bedroom, guest bathroom, laundryroom lights, all porch lights, and a new gas heater with an electronic ignition and fan. This is a 1977 doublewide mobile home. What could suddenly cause this to happen and is it dangerous?   
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Mike Sokol
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: 15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2015, 07:36:28 am »

If the question, "is it dangerous?" is referring to the 1977 doublewide the answer is yes. Most likely that circuit is wired though the cheapest backstab devices they could find.  If you have that much on one circuit my question is how many of those devices show serious signs of overheating.

At least the kitchen small appliance circuit (s??) is/are separate! 
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Mike Sokol

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Re: 15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2015, 08:04:13 am »

If the question, "is it dangerous?" is referring to the 1977 doublewide the answer is yes. Most likely that circuit is wired though the cheapest backstab devices they could find.  If you have that much on one circuit my question is how many of those devices show serious signs of overheating.

At least the kitchen small appliance circuit (s??) is/are separate!

On one of the trades forums where I've been linked to, cable TV installers are advised to test mobile homes for hot-skin voltage before touching them. Apparently some have corroded or missing neutral-ground bonds, so the frame and body of the mobile home becomes energized up to 120 volts. A number of cable installers have been shocked, and IIRC at least a few of them electrocuted (died) while standing on the wet grass and touching the side of the building.
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Mike Sokol
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Keith Broughton

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Re: 15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2015, 08:14:20 am »

Quote
This is something that just started happening.
Really!?!
And they can't think of anything they might have plugged in recently? (sheesh)
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Steve M Smith

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Re: 15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2015, 08:24:42 am »

Is it dangerous?  Not when it has tripped!


Steve.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: 15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2015, 12:30:29 pm »

What could suddenly cause this to happen...?

They answered their own question:

...and a new gas heater with an electronic ignition and fan

Apparently they don't understand circuit loading and what might cause a circuit breaker to trip. We take that understanding for granted, but I guess that's not something they teach in school, so perhaps we shouldn't be so hard on them!
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Keith Broughton

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Re: 15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2015, 01:00:00 pm »

They answered their own question:

Apparently they don't understand circuit loading and what might cause a circuit breaker to trip. We take that understanding for granted, but I guess that's not something they teach in school, so perhaps we shouldn't be so hard on them!
You make a good point.
Most people don't understand you can't have a toaster, kettle and microwave running at the same time on a 15 A cct.
Thankfully, cct breakers work to save them :)
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Mike Sokol

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Re: 15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2015, 01:05:11 pm »

Apparently they don't understand circuit loading and what might cause a circuit breaker to trip. We take that understanding for granted, but I guess that's not something they teach in school, so perhaps we shouldn't be so hard on them!

Amazingly, I've done a lot of education in the RV industry where the idea of voltage drop and heating of overloaded extension cords is poorly understood. For instance, a number of RV lifestyle writers told me that my video on extension cord overheating was news to them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZznobYGF_c

So yes, most people assume that if you can plug it in and it comes on, it must be safe. Since the plugs of USA wiring are not fused like their UK counterparts, you can easily wire up something that will allow you to dump 30 to 50 amps down a 16 gauge extension cord rated for maybe 13 amperes. Every year in the US we have lots of space heater fires caused by hooking up an 1,800 watt electric heater on a 16 or 18 gauge extension cord. That's a recipe for an electric fire.
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Mike Sokol
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Steve M Smith

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Re: 15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2015, 01:46:27 am »

Are there no fuses in your extension cords either?  The most common type here is a fused 13A plug at one end and four 13A sockets at the other end.  There is usually a fuse at the socket end too so even if we were to cut off the plug and put an industrial 16A unfused plug on it, the cable is still protected to 13A.


Steve.

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Keith Broughton

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Re: 15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2015, 06:02:33 am »

Are there no fuses in your extension cords either?  The most common type here is a fused 13A plug at one end and four 13A sockets at the other end.  There is usually a fuse at the socket end too so even if we were to cut off the plug and put an industrial 16A unfused plug on it, the cable is still protected to 13A.


Steve.
Nope. No fuses.
It opens up the possibility of grossly overloading extension cables by uninformed users.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: 15 Amp Circuit Breaker Tripping
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2015, 06:02:33 am »


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