Bad breaker?

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  #1  
Old 12-20-04, 01:53 PM
GregN
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Bad breaker?

Just a quick question. Here is the series of events: I have a switch in my basement for a light under my porch that I am using for the x-mas lights so i can just flip them on and off, so i turned them on, added a few of those circular lighted trees, then pluged in a work light in the basement on the same circuit, then a space heater. The breaker flipped, not suprising. Now the breaker will not flip back. So is it bad? or do i have a short?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-20-04, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by GregN
Just a quick question. Here is the series of events: I have a switch in my basement for a light under my porch that I am using for the x-mas lights so i can just flip them on and off, so i turned them on, added a few of those circular lighted trees, then pluged in a work light in the basement on the same circuit, then a space heater. The breaker flipped, not suprising. Now the breaker will not flip back. So is it bad? or do i have a short?

Did you unplug the space heater and work light before you tried to reset the breaker? It sounds like the breaker did its job. You're no doubt exceeding the max amps of that circuit breaker.

If it still won't reset with the heater/light unplugged then maybe consider whether the breaker is bad.


Space heaters use LOTS of amps. The small ceramic heaters can use 10-12 amps (or more). Then say the work light is 500 watts...That's another 4+ amps. The big 1000 watt work lights (like the tripod double work lights) are in the 8-9amp range. Then there's the matter of whatever else including your christmas lights is on the circuit.

If the heater/light doesn't tell you the number of AMPs it draws, divide the Watts it says it draws by the voltage (120 volts). That gives you the AMPS. Amps=Watts/Volts.
 
  #3  
Old 12-20-04, 02:22 PM
GregN
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I definitely exceeded the amps, i wasn't thinking straight when i plugged in the light and the heater. I have unplugged everything on the circuit and all the lights are off. The breaker switch is still stuck in the off position. when i try to turn it on it will not stay. How do i test it?
 
  #4  
Old 12-20-04, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by GregN
I definitely exceeded the amps, i wasn't thinking straight when i plugged in the light and the heater. I have unplugged everything on the circuit and all the lights are off. The breaker switch is still stuck in the off position. when i try to turn it on it will not stay. How do i test it?
Does it GO to ON, then flip itself, or is it never allowing you to get it to the ON position?

Be sure to push the breaker ALL the way to OFF, and then try to push it to ON. It may simply be in the "tripped" position. Some breakers can't go from "tripped" to ON without first being pushed all the way to OFF.
 
  #5  
Old 12-20-04, 05:18 PM
GregN
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I finally gave up and went to the hardware store to get a new breaker. Funny thing is that when i tried to remove the old one, i used a little more force to dislodge it and the breaker finally went ALL the way to off, and then it went back on. so i flipped the main and it works. I think i'll keep the new breaker for spare parts anyway, it was only 12$. Thanks for all the help, and boy did i learn a lesson. Blow up santa is back up, and the rest of the lights look great. Next time i'll put on a sweatshirt instead of plugging in the space heater. Thanks again. G
 
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