breaker question


Old 11-24-05, 08:05 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Exclamation breaker question

all of a sudden the lights started flickering on a particular breaker. At first it was only once in a while then it started to do it to the point that I had to go to the panel and check it out. When I arrived at the panel, I heard the breaker sparking. I immediately switched that breaker off. I noticed burn marks on the panel where the breaker was connected.

I have since shut off that circuit, the rest of the house's circuits seem fine.

Will replacing the breaker do the trick or has the wiring along the circuit become bad or compromised? Could it be a single bad connection such as a bad ceiling fixture? The house was built in 1973 with a 100-amp panel and good 12 gauge wire.

Anyone with a guess as to what's wrong?

Thanks, Veronica.
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Old 11-24-05, 08:15 PM
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I would replace the breaker, they are usually less than $10. It may just be the screw that holds the wire in place has come loose and would explain the arcing. But if signs of burning are present I would replce the breaker just to be safe.
On the other hand, you could possibly have a fault somewhere in the circuit causing the breaker to overheat, but not trip because it is defective? An amp reading would determine this for sure.
Start with the breaker
Old 11-25-05, 12:14 PM
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I'm assuming the wire was connected, but the breaker was loose on the buss bar and was arcing. You need to replace the breaker, and put the new one on a different spot on the buss bar. Install a "breaker blank" where the bad breaker had been. Just buy one that is made for your type of panel and breaker size. The buss bar has been damaged where the breaker overheated it, and you should no longer use that connection point. There's not anything wrong with the wiring on the circuit - you just had a loose connection where the breaker wasn't seated properly on the buss bar.

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