Microwave tripping circuit breaker


Old 09-21-05, 07:50 PM
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Question Microwave tripping circuit breaker

My husband and I recently purchased a condo, the original building was built in something like the '20s, but it went condo in the late '90s. The last owner had the circuit breaker installed, so technically I don't know how old the wiring in the condo is, but I do know the circuit breakers were installed sometime in the last 10 years.

The circuit our microwave is on is connected to our office so that nearly every time anything is in the microwave, it throws the breaker, turning off our computers and causing this: . I'm not sure if it's affecting the refrigerator or not. Clearly there's too much on this one circuit, but I don't know what would be involved in solving the problem. Would the installation of a new GFCI on the microwave's outlet do the trick? The one that's currently on there never gets thrown, just the breaker. Or would it be a "quick" job for an electrician to swap a few things around on the breaker? There's a slot for another breaker so could that work?

I don't know anything and I don't want it cost a fortune to fix! So please help!

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Old 09-21-05, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario Canada
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Get a dedicated circuit and outlet installed for the microwave oven.
Old 09-22-05, 04:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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A GFCI receptacle has nothing to do with and does not care about an overloaded circuit. You are tripping the breaker because you have too much plugged in and turned on at the same time.

Call an electrician and have him or her evaluate the situation and make recommendations. The most likely solution will be a dedicated circuit for the microwave. While there is a chance that this may not be too involved, you should understand that it might be and expect to have to do some drywall repair after the work is done.
Old 09-22-05, 09:10 AM
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Location: The Colony, Texas
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Given the age of the building and wiring, I think I already know the answer to this, but... Is there another plug in the kitchen that the microwave could be plugged into that is on a circuit that isn't as overloaded?

Newer high power microwaves use almost all the capacity of a 15 amp circuit so there isn't any solution other than a new circuit that will allow you the luxury of the latest technology, but there are slower lower power microwaves available that might work better in your situation. One that states it has around 600 watts of cooking power would take longer to cook, but use much less of the capacity of the circuit.

Doug M.
Old 09-23-05, 05:56 AM
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The microwave is one of those giganto over the stove ones, so no, there's not another plug that can be used. Thanks for the help.
Old 09-23-05, 06:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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You need to have a dedicated circuit run for this microwave. The installation instructions probably indicate this, so it should not be a surprise.
Old 09-26-05, 03:58 PM
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A surprise for the people who made the original purchase, no, a surprise for the people who purchased the condo, yes.

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