Microwave causes two circuits to shut off

Old 07-31-03, 12:06 PM
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Microwave causes two circuits to shut off

Hi guys,

This is the first time I have been posted here. I tried to find some information by doing a search but did not find anything answers to my specific problem.

Here is the background. I recently had my kitchen remodeled and the microwave got moved to a different outlet. The circuit that the outlet is on has a corless phone and a dishwasher. In the ajacent living room the TV and associated Hometheater equipment is plugged into an outlet on a different circuit. This has been the setup since April with no problems.

Recently(within the last month), and this is the part that has me stumped, when the microwave is running and the TV is on, both circuits shut off. In the breaker box, the kitchen breaker trips to the middle, and the living room breaker stays in the on position. To reset the circuits both breakers need to be turnd off and back off together.

Any ideas.

Old 07-31-03, 02:16 PM
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The fact two breakers trip lead me to wonder about a shared neutral between the two. The first suggestion would be to check and tighten all connections from the receptacles in question right back to the panel paying attention to how they are wired and the neutral not reversed at some point (neutral on silver screw and hot on brass one). Multiwired systems are the most dangerous when miswired. Post back and let us know what you have found.
Old 08-01-03, 09:09 PM
P Michael
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This is a Sherlock Holmes case.
There is no reason for the TV breaker having to be reset when another breaker trips.
Your main clue is that there was recent remodelimg and the problem developed after that. Have the remodeling electrical contractor investigate this problem.
Please post back the solution.
Old 08-02-03, 12:01 PM
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The DW and the M-W on the same circuit suggests a possible over-load.

Switch "Off" the CB for the DW/M-W circuit. Note the rating of the CB.

These are the possibilities;

(1) DW, M-W Off, TV On

(2) DW, M-W, TV, Off

(3) DW, M-W, TV ,On

(2) indicates the TV is on the same circuit with the DW/M-W
(3) indicates a possible connection or "cross" between two circuits protected by different CB's.
Old 08-05-03, 06:03 AM
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Thanks for the tips. I was camping this weekend so I will try to do some investigating this week. I will post back with my findings.

Old 08-06-03, 06:29 AM
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Ok I opened up the breaker box last night and took a look inside. I am no closer now then I was before. There is no obvious sharing of the neutral. Although both neutrals are beside each other and the screws are pretty close so I guess it is possible they are shorting. It was pretty dusty in there as well. I did not want to touch anything because I am in a condo and the main shut off is in a locked door in the hall.

I played with the breakers and they work like they should.

DW MW off TV on. The Tv stays on and the MW and DW are off
TV off, MW DW on. MW and DW stay on and TV is off.

I guess I have to live with it until I want to have an electricial check it out.

Some other info that might be of interest. The circuit that has the TV on it has three light fixtures, a stove range hood and five outlets. One of the outlets has the TV(and other associated home theater electronnics).

The condo is wired with Aluminum wire.

Thanks for the help. If I ever get it figured out I will post the solution.

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