tandem breaker


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Old 11-13-07, 01:32 PM
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tandem breaker

i have a tandem breaker. one switch is a 15 amp and other is a 5. the 5 amp controls microwave and lights in kitchen. the 5 amp seems to trip way too often and i think it is the microwave drawing too much current. Can i put the microwave on a separate 10 amp breaker of its own, and replace the tandem w/ a single 15 for the lights? And can i do this without having to wire from panel to the microwave.

thanks
 
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Old 11-13-07, 02:11 PM
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You must be misreading the breaker as 5 and 10 amp breakers are not standard by code or manufactured for standard loadcenters.
What kind of breaker is it? How old?
You probably have a twin 15.
 
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Old 11-13-07, 03:20 PM
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I'll bet that 32cent is not in the United States.
 
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Old 11-13-07, 04:42 PM
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I too suspect a non-North American poster. I sure wish people would indicate in their profile where they are from.
 
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Old 11-13-07, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 32cent View Post
the 5 amp controls microwave and lights in kitchen.
Did you really mean to say that the intended purpose of the 5 amp circuit was to control at least 1 outlet and lights? I don't think a microwave could have ever been an intended member on this circuit, as I think most microwaves are in the 800-1000 watt range, or well over 5 amps alone, at least according to USA 120 voltage.

And actually, as an afterthought, I can't see how anyone could have intended that even an outlet was on 5 amps, either. What if someone plugged in a toaster, or ??
 
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Old 11-13-07, 10:34 PM
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the other possible is if this OP is in the NA area i think he may misread the breaker handle marking sometime the ink can fade out on it.

most eurpoean breakers never have twinner type at all.

Merci, Marc
 
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Old 11-14-07, 09:07 PM
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Assuming that what you have is a two-pole 15 amp breaker (looks like two separate breakers with a handle connecting the switch part), you can probably turn it into two separate breakers. The exception would be if there's anywhere on the circuit where both hot wires are connected to one device. In that case it's unsafe to make the two hots independently switched.

Breaker sizes are determined largely by the size wire attached to them. If the wire hooked to that breaker is 14 gauge, a 15 amp breaker is all you can use. Swapping out to separate breakers would reduce the nuisance, but the microwave would still trip the one breaker. If the wire is 12 gauge, it can handle a 20 amp breaker. If you put in a 20 amp breaker but the wire is only 14 gauge, you greatly increase the chances of the wire overheating and causing a fire.

A microwave alone won't trip a 15amp breaker unless the breaker is old and failiing... I'd take a good look at what else is on that circuit and see if you can't reduce the load.
 
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Old 11-15-07, 01:13 PM
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Thank you mukansamonkey, that is what I needed. That makes sense( a little) I am new to electricity as you can tell by my description. I had never heard of a 5 amp breaker but i couldnt see any evidence of a 1 being rubbed off.

Now that you are explaining the wire, i am switching a fixture w/ 14 awg wire, but all i have to switch it is 12 gauge, am i ok to do that as long as the wire is not going to be hooked into the breaker i will be fine right? Am i thinking straight on that.

again thanks for the help.
 
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Old 11-15-07, 04:33 PM
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Hmmm, well you said you didn't want to replace the existing wire going to the microwave. So the size of the new breaker would be determined by the existing wire. If you're willing to run some new wire then by all means run 12AWG and put it on a 20amp breaker. If you use existing, and it's 14AWG, then you're stuck with a 15 amp.
 
 

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