Breaker keeps tripping

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  #1  
Old 05-18-05, 01:07 PM
david7775
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Breaker keeps tripping

Hello all,

I have a problem with the breaker to my master bedroom tripping. It usually only happens when I add one more item to all the items I have plugged up in there, usually the vacuum cleaner. I have my TV, DVD, VCR, Satellite receiver, stereo system, computer system with APC, satellite internet, three printers, a couple of lights, digital camera and dock and probably a couple more items all on this breaker. I have a GE breaker box and this is a GE 15 amp breaker. I would like to upgrade this breaker to a 20 or 30 amp breaker.

I realize that I probably should call an electrician to do this for me, but I'm trying to learn all I can about this area so that one day I can do this myself. Also, it's hard to even get an electrician around here to make a service call. They are all so busy with new construction. Our area is growing rapidly.

I have read all the posts warning to make sure the power is cut to the breaker and even then to be extra careful. Just for discussion and learning purposes, can I replace this breaker with a higher amp breaker, assuming the breaker box overall can handle more amps? Do most new houses run a typical bedroom with a 15 amp breaker? Can anyone tell me additional information related to upgrading a breaker?

My house, built in 1999, is 3,600 sq. ft with two 1800 sq ft levels, a main floor and a finished basement. I have two identical breaker boxes on each floor and neither has a main circuit breaker in their box. On the outside of the house, I have a box on either side of the meter , each containing only a service disconnect switch, which I assume is the main breaker for each floor.

Thanks in advance for the lessons in home electrical. If I need to provide anymore info, please let me know.

Thanks again,

David
 
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  #2  
Old 05-18-05, 01:14 PM
pgtek's Avatar
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Location: north Carolina
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hi
15 amp breaker run on 14/2 wire and 20 amp breaker required 12/2 wire.
you might have to call an electrician to run the wire and upgrade your breaker
 
  #3  
Old 05-18-05, 01:37 PM
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The reason you are tripping the breaker is you have too much load on the circuit. A vacuum cleaner allone is 10-13 amps. You need to add a new circuit and breaker. I would put all the computer equipment onto a new circuit. I might even consider two new circuits for the computer and the audio/video equip.
A 15 amp breaker is likely wired with #14 wire. You can not upgrade the breaker to a 20 amp if any of the wrie on the circuit is #14. A 30 amp breaker is never allowed to control a standard wall duplex receptacle.
 
  #4  
Old 05-19-05, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by david7775
I have plugged up in there, usually the vacuum cleaner. I have my TV, DVD, VCR, Satellite receiver, stereo system, computer system with APC, satellite internet, three printers, a couple of lights, digital camera and dock and probably a couple more items all on this breaker.
Your circuit could be overloaded, especially if any of those printer are laser printers. Rather than upgrade the existing circuit, you should install a dedicated circuit for the office-type equipment.

Originally Posted by david7775
Just for discussion and learning purposes, can I replace this breaker with a higher amp breaker, assuming the breaker box overall can handle more amps?
No. The breaker can be changed to a 20A breaker if and only if the entire circuit is wired with 12 gauge wire. Your circuit almost certainly is 14 gauge wire which has a maximum ampacity of 15A.
 
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