15 amp breaker trips without breaking


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Old 06-01-08, 01:21 PM
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Question 15 amp breaker trips without breaking

Hi,
We seem to have a electrical issue in our kitchen. Our fridge is on a 15 amp circuit with 5 counter recepticles and also 2 recepticles in the basement (one which feeds a sump pump) and 2 outside GFI recepticles which are generally not in use. Is this too much?

I've already replaced the 15amp breaker with a new one.

Once in a while the circuit still will blow but the breaker does not trip. What does this indicate? Would it be a problem to boost it to 20amp or should I get an electrician to split the load up on this circuit? Thanks for any help on this.
 
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Old 06-01-08, 02:06 PM
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This must be rather old as it does not meet any code in existence for more than thirty years.

You MAY NOT increase the size of the circuit breaker unless all of the wiring in this circuit is a minimum of #12 copper. Since it already has a 15 ampere breaker it MUST be assumed to be smaller than #12 until proven (by inspection) to be #12 or larger.

You can split the load to one or more new circuits but you will have to follow current code when doing so. This can be a DIY job.
 
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Old 06-01-08, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by vctaillon View Post
Once in a while the circuit still will blow but the breaker does not trip.
You comment here does not make sense. Could you expand? Are you saying the GFI's trip but the breaker does not?

Breakers trip due to too much current flowing through them. GFI's trip due to an imbalance of current.
 
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Old 06-01-08, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by vctaillon View Post
Once in a while the circuit still will blow but the breaker does not trip.
If the breaker is not tripped how do you get the power back? Sounds like you might have a loose connection somewhere.
 
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Old 06-01-08, 04:42 PM
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I have isolated which circuit it is........

Originally Posted by joed View Post
If the breaker is not tripped how do you get the power back? Sounds like you might have a loose connection somewhere.
I have isolated which circuit it is. I know it's not tripped because it's not orange, however when I reset it the power comes back on. I've heard pops or clicks sometimes at the main board. Like I said earlier, I've changed it out to a new one and made sure the snaps are tight. Power still goes out every once in a while.
 
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Old 06-01-08, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
You comment here does not make sense. Could you expand? Are you saying the GFI's trip but the breaker does not?

Breakers trip due to too much current flowing through them. GFI's trip due to an imbalance of current.
The GFI's are on the same circuit and no they don't trip. Nothing trips. The circuit breaker looks normal in the main box. Simply we are in the kitchen, and the power goes and off goes the fridge. I run down to the circuit box and reset the untripped breaker ( I know which one it is) and the power comes back on.
 
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Old 06-01-08, 04:51 PM
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The house is 45 years old............

Originally Posted by furd View Post
This must be rather old as it does not meet any code in existence for more than thirty years.

You MAY NOT increase the size of the circuit breaker unless all of the wiring in this circuit is a minimum of #12 copper. Since it already has a 15 ampere breaker it MUST be assumed to be smaller than #12 until proven (by inspection) to be #12 or larger.

You can split the load to one or more new circuits but you will have to follow current code when doing so. This can be a DIY job.
The house is 45 years old, most of the original wire is aluminum. if the breaker breaks half way, what does that indicate?
 
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Old 06-01-08, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by vctaillon View Post
I know it's not tripped because it's not orange, however when I reset it the power comes back on. I've heard pops or clicks sometimes at the main board.
Make sure you've screwed the circuit wire down properly, sometimes the wire can go in the wrong spot on a breaker and cause poor connection. Sounds to me like when you do any physical movement to your panel (ie reseting a breaker) your wiggling a loose connection, you could also have a loose neutral wire....

nova_gh
master electrician
 
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Old 06-01-08, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by vctaillon View Post
The house is 45 years old, most of the original wire is aluminum. if the breaker breaks half way, what does that indicate?

It indentcated that the circuit breaker tripped due from either overload or short circuit.

Do not reset the breaker until you know what causing the breaker to trip in first place if overload all you have to is unplugged hevey power useage device.

But with short circuit this is more serious matter you have to deal with it.

Now you mention alum wire in your house.

I just want to make sure you understand there is two diffrent type of alum wires you see there.

If the wire look like plastic coating and the wire itself is all silver no copper colour at all then you got the legit alum wire there.

But however.,, if the wire look like cloth with rubber coating then you got copper tinned wire then you got legit copper wire.

Anyway with alum wire it will be little more tricky to do the safe proper connecton or termating them.
There is not many products in the market is approved to termated or connecton with alum wires.

{ IF you used the purple wire nuts please let me know there is a safe way to do this }

If you have leigt tinned copper wire then you can termated in standard way as modern copper wires is now.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 06-02-08, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by vctaillon View Post
I have isolated which circuit it is. I know it's not tripped because it's not orange, however when I reset it the power comes back on. I've heard pops or clicks sometimes at the main board. Like I said earlier, I've changed it out to a new one and made sure the snaps are tight. Power still goes out every once in a while.
You reset it and the power comes back indicates the breaker is tripped. You have an overload on that circuit. Some of the devices need to be moved to another circuit.
What type of items are you using on the circuit? How many watts?
 
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Old 06-02-08, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by vctaillon View Post
The house is 45 years old, most of the original wire is aluminum. if the breaker breaks half way, what does that indicate?
Some breakers have a window that turns red/orange when the breaker trips, others, click off to a middle position. Some breakers are easy to see when they are tripped, others look like they are still on.

By the fact that you turning the breaker off then on indicates that it is in fact tripping. There are too many things on this circuit and is causing the breaker to trip.

Not only is this a nuisance, but also considering that it's aluminum wiring, you should probably have a licensed electrician come out and inspect this circuit in particular. Aluminum wiring is known to loosen up over time, especially with often used circuits. As stated previously, current code would not allow a circuit to be used throughout the kitchen and house this way because of the draw of the fridge and other kitchen appliances.
 
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Old 06-05-08, 06:21 PM
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thanks for feedback

Originally Posted by Zorfdt View Post
Some breakers have a window that turns red/orange when the breaker trips, others, click off to a middle position. Some breakers are easy to see when they are tripped, others look like they are still on.

By the fact that you turning the breaker off then on indicates that it is in fact tripping. There are too many things on this circuit and is causing the breaker to trip.

Not only is this a nuisance, but also considering that it's aluminum wiring, you should probably have a licensed electrician come out and inspect this circuit in particular. Aluminum wiring is known to loosen up over time, especially with often used circuits. As stated previously, current code would not allow a circuit to be used throughout the kitchen and house this way because of the draw of the fridge and other kitchen appliances.
It's been about a week and the power in the kitchen has remained on. It does look like there is too much on this one circuit. We will have to split it up and add more 15 amp circuits.
 
 

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