Trip that breaker


Old 09-20-04, 04:11 PM
TomZ1's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 174
Trip that breaker


While undertaking a rewiring project, I ran into a small snag when I finished the circuit and then turned it on at the breaker. Snap. It immediately tripped. I reset it and it tripped again.

I then killed the power and...long story short...found the problem was with a porcelain lampholder. I removed it and everything was fine.

But it raised a question in my mind...

How many times can a breaker trip (even a new one) before it should be replaced?

If it helps....Square D HomeLine 20A single pole breaker.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-20-04, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Bella Vista, AR
Posts: 57
Breakers, as with anything else that has moving parts, will not last forever. In general however, if you just have a 15 or 20 amp breaker and it trips because you shorted it out or a device failed and shorted it out or whatever the circumstances are, most breakers can withstand many trips without going bad. However, that also depends upon how severe the short was and how hot the breaker got. All breakers are rated for a certain maximum current (amperage) they can withstand without failing, and if a short causes enough current to pass that limit, the breaker will most certainly fail, and could even explode. As for the short you had, it seems just like a common fault and should not cause any trouble. The trouble starts to happen when you are working with voltage up in the 277 and 480 range. There you have bigger wires with less resistance, and allot more current. If you cross phases somewhere down the path or blow and large piece of equipment, the result can be catastrophic. I wouldn't worry about your breakers, as long as they don't trip daily, you should get plenty of good use out of them.


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