can a circuit breaker deteriorate over time


Old 01-23-07, 11:51 AM
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can a circuit breaker deteriorate over time

ive recently started haveinng problems with my circuit breaker to my room

one day early winter when it started to get cold i plugged in a electric heater


also my pc was plugged in 750w

lights tv ect ~200w

after about a hour my breaker tripped so i reset it

kept happening so i unplugged the heater

still happens.. never happened before

slowly day by day the past 2 months i have to unplug more and more things

now im down to my pc and ONLY my pc plugged in

i tried to tell my father the breaker is deteriorated and needs to be replaced.. but he INSISTS that breakers dont deteriorate they either work or they dont and i need to get rid of my pc 650w

please tell my dad breakers do in fact deteriorate.. the breakers in our house are over 30 years old
Old 01-23-07, 11:59 AM
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Breakers can and do go bad.

However, I suspect a different problem.

I suspect that your use of the space heater (never a good idea on anything except a dedicated circuit) weakened or further weakened a loose connection, and that the circuit is experiencing this problem because of the loose connection.

I would swap this the feed for this circuit with the feed for another circuit of the same amperage (same breaker size) and see if the problem persists with the breaker or with the circuit.

If the problem persists with the circuit then look for and correct a loose connection on the circuit.

If the problem persists with the breaker then replace the breaker.

In either case I would do this NOW rather than wait any longer. It is not good to allow breakers to continually trip. It either indicates a bad breaker or a fire waiting to happen.
Old 01-23-07, 12:54 PM
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Breakers absolutely do go bad; some brands and models are more prone than others. What is the brand name of the circuit breaker, and is there any information printed on the breaker such as the model number? Does the breaker have a TEST button in addition to the toggle switch?

I agree with racraft that you probably have a weak connection somewhere along the circuit -- possibly at the breaker itself which may be overheating.
Old 01-25-07, 01:31 PM
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Use the heater in 500-750W mode, if it has it.

I prefer heaters that have that, and my desk heater has that, and is used on 750W mode with no tripping, until my brother turns it on to full 1500, even after I keep telling him to use the heater only in 750W mode, but he keeps forgetting.

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