Breaker Keeps Tripping, with normal use help!

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  #1  
Old 03-17-06, 07:39 AM
Kev72
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Breaker Keeps Tripping, with normal use help!

My situation:

The breaker in the fuse box keeps tripping under normal use and I am not sure why it's doing this.

The breaker in question is a 60 A breaker. What is on the circuit: Washer and Dryer, garage door openers and garage lights, basement lights.

What keeps happening is: when I try to wash clothes and dry at the same time, the breaker switches off. None of the other lights are on at the time. I then go downstairs, flip the breaker back on, start up the dryer again, and it's usually fine after that. The only thing that is drawing power from the same circuit is the garage door openers (always on). It's extremely frustrating because it seems I can't even run the washer AND dryer at the same time.

What could be the cause and what can I do to remedy the situation? Could it be that the breaker is too low threshold? (i.e. if I replace it with a higher rated breaker would that help?) Other problems with the electrical system I might not be aware of? Too much overall load on the circuit?
What are the hazards of using this circuit? Should I just call a certified electrican?

Thanks!
Kev72
 
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  #2  
Old 03-17-06, 07:52 AM
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Location: Central New York State
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I hope that this breaker feeds a sub panel, and that the sub panel has breakers for the various loads you mention.

What size breakers are in the sub panel that actually feeds these loads, and is the dryer an electric dryer or a gas dryer?

Your problem could be a bad breaker, or it could be a problem at the sub panel.

Start by describing the rest of the setup.
 
  #3  
Old 03-17-06, 08:16 AM
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if I replace it with a higher rated breaker would that help?
It would help burn down your house.

When you say 60-amp breaker, do you mean that it says "60" on the handle, or do you mean that it says "30" twice?

As Bob says, we need more information.
 
  #4  
Old 03-17-06, 09:05 AM
Kev72
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Originally Posted by John Nelson
It would help burn down your house.
OK... let's try to avoid that ^^

I'll have to look again when I am home, but from memory, it's a dualpole (?) breaker with white 60 on it. Dunno if this means 2 x 30 ? (I am not very well versed in electrical terminology). Basically, in laymans terms, the breaker is what I call a "double wide". Looks like 2 breaker switches (or takes up 2 slots) with one 'handle' bridge.

As for sub panel.... I gotcha.... The breaker that keeps turning off is in the main panel in the basement. There is a sub-panel in the garage, but I have not investigated this panel, so I don't know for sure what size the breakers are in the sub-panel.

The dryer is electric.

Again, I'll have to see if I can round up more information when I get home from work.

Thanks for the input so far! *(At least now I know how to avoid burning down the house.... )*
 
  #5  
Old 03-17-06, 10:00 AM
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Location: Central New York State
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Thew 60 amp 240 volt breaker feeds a sub panel. Unless you have another one somewhere, it would be the sub panel in the garage.

The dryer, the washer, the basement lights, the garage door openers and the garage lights (plus anything else you may have missed) are powered from the sub panel in the garage.

You are either drawing more than 60 amps through the breaker in the main panel, or the 60 amp breaker is going bad.

Report back on the size of the breakers in the sub panel. Specifically, the size breaker for the dryer (which should be a 240 volt breaker) and the size of the breaker feeding the washer.

Then try turning off all the breakers except for the washer and dryer. Then try running both these appliances at the same time to see if the breaker trips.

If nothing has changed recently, I'm think that the 60 amp main breaker panel breaker is going bad. However, it could be other things as well.
 
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