Circuit Breaker & Wire Size Question

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  #1  
Old 06-27-06, 01:43 PM
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Circuit Breaker & Wire Size Question

Hi guys,

Great forum!


I was having problems with my dryer, shutting down after a few minutes of run time, that was resolved by placing the correct 30-amp breaker in the panel (confirmed 30-amps via manuals). I also made sure I had the corrert wire size (10 ga) already installed.

However, when I examind the other breakers I saw a 30-amp breaker running on 12 or 14 ga wiring. That circuit, feeds outlets in one bed room, 2 out-side lights, and a ceiling fan in the living room. Needless to say, the electrician or previous owner didn't know what they were doing because every time one attempts to turn on the ceiling fan, the 30-amp breaker trips. I believe that he attempted to obtain the power for the fan by utilizing one of the "out-side" lights because that one doesn't work either.


In any case the ceiling fan question will be for another day.

I know the wiring for that particular breaker is wrong so should I match the breaker to the correct wire size? Or what should I do?

Your expert advise will be greatly appreciated,

Thank you in advance.

Jay

p.s. I already disconnected and capped the wiring to the ceiling fan in the front room
 
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Old 06-27-06, 01:49 PM
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15 amp breaker, use 14 gauge wire or larger.
20 amp breaker, use 12 gauge wire or larger.
30 amp breaker, use 10 gauge wire or larger.

If a 30 amp breaker is tripping due to turning on a fan, there is something terribly wrong in paradise. If the wire to the 30 amp breaker is only 14 gauge, you don't have a breaker, you have a 30 foot long fuse, and it will burn in two before the breaker senses the need to trip, except in a dead short.
Match the wire size to the appropriate breaker size, and have that fan and light checked out.
 
  #3  
Old 06-27-06, 01:50 PM
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Yes. You need to immediately replace the circuit breaker with the correct size. It should be 15 amp if 14 gage wire or 20 amp if 12 gage wire, but it must be all 12 gage wire.

Unfortunately, all too often ignorant or just plain stupid people replace a breaker with a larger one if they continually trip the breaker. The correct solution, of course, is to split the circuit into two or more circuits.
 
  #4  
Old 06-27-06, 02:45 PM
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thank you for your quick replies,

I will change the breaker according to the wire size.

And will start researching on how to add a circuit to get the ceiling fan working.

I believe that there was a light there originally that was replaced with the ceiling fan and added to the out-side light circuit


I also believe that the out-side light is causing a dead short, becasue I have power (120v measured) to the switch terminal going to that light. And when I flip the switch the breaker trips (fan disconnected).

Thank you very much,

I;m sure I'll have more questions
 
  #5  
Old 06-28-06, 12:21 AM
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I also believe that the out-side light is causing a dead short, becasue I have power (120v measured) to the switch terminal going to that light. And when I flip the switch the breaker trips (fan disconnected).
Could be why the 30 amp breaker. A misguided attempt to fix the problem. I'm wondering how the switch is wired. Newbies have been known to wire neutral and hot across a switch. If you describe the wiring in the box the experts here may be able to help.
 
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Old 06-28-06, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047
Could be why the 30 amp breaker. A misguided attempt to fix the problem. I'm wondering how the switch is wired. Newbies have been known to wire neutral and hot across a switch. If you describe the wiring in the box the experts here may be able to help.
Ray and others, Humbly I speak for myself. None of us are experts, we are trained Proffesionals (experts sounds cool though), and we, as everyone else in their chosen path, learn everyday.
Thank you for your trust and respect,
 
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