Breakers and amps, etc?

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Old 08-01-09, 04:30 PM
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Exclamation Breakers and amps, etc?

Ok so I live in a mobile home, the place is like an 80's model. The main breaker is rated at 200 amps, if I add up all of the amps on my box I got 495.

I have been having electronics go out slowly over time, including treadmills, tv's, stereos, computers, etc.

I never noticed the main breakers rating until today and was wondering if it needs to match what the household needs, and if so, am I at any high risk for damage/fire until I get this replaced?

PS.. oh and the main breaker doesnt seem to "trip" for anything and takes a ton of effort to turn on or off. Not sure if this helps or not.
 
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Old 08-01-09, 05:01 PM
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Your electrical panel is just fine. The sum of the breaker handles is irrelevant.
 
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Old 08-01-09, 05:02 PM
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You don't determine load by adding up the breakers because there is almost never a full load on any of the individual breakers. 200a is more then enough for most homes. You can Google for "load calculator" to determine how big the main should be but it is generally a product of square feet plus high amp loads like heat/AC, water heater, electric dryer, electric stove.

You might want to put the electronics on good quality surge protectors. Also check that the wires on the receptacles are on the screws not back stabbed into the hole in the back of the receptacle.

A stiff main breaker may be ok. Is it Federal Pacific (FPE) or Zinsco? If so then there might be a problem.
 
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Old 08-01-09, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
You don't determine load by adding up the breakers because there is almost never a full load on any of the individual breakers. 200a is more then enough for most homes. You can Google for "load calculator" to determine how big the main should be but it is generally a product of square feet plus high amp loads like heat/AC, water heater, electric dryer, electric stove.

You might want to put the electronics on good quality surge protectors. Also check that the wires on the receptacles are on the screws not back stabbed into the hole in the back of the receptacle.

A stiff main breaker may be ok. Is it Federal Pacific (FPE) or Zinsco? If so then there might be a problem.
The main breaker says Bryant. I've just been racking my brain trying to figure out what could be wrong for the whole place to keep killing my electronics like this...
 
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Old 08-01-09, 07:09 PM
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I agree with ray on getting good surge protectors. The good ones will also indicate proper grounding on them.

Jim
 
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Old 08-01-09, 07:30 PM
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While it may not be the primary cause any back stabs as mentioned in my first post may cause voltage fluctuations because the connection isn't as good as a screw connection.
 
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Old 08-01-09, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
While it may not be the primary cause any back stabs as mentioned in my first post may cause voltage fluctuations because the connection isn't as good as a screw connection.
I've replaced about 4-5 receptacles when I first moved in about 2 years ago and still getting the failures on those circuits, testers show its wired correctly, and its screw type.
 
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Old 08-02-09, 09:42 AM
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i suspect open neutral on ,multiwire circuit

are the circuits in question on a multiwire shared neutral circuits?
i have seen loose neutrals in panels in multiwire circuits where computers were plugged in in both circuits and one of them took the hit when the neutral was loose and arcing and the voltage can rise on the other leg.

this is especially true of multiwire AL construction, I have seen quite a few neutrals go loose in AL wiring residential panels

With an open neutral the voltage on one leg can rise to 240 volts while the other leg is zero or a combo depending on the load on the 2 circuits.

the loose neutral can be at the busbar, or in the first box in a multiwire run

and example of a open neutral in a mutliwire circuit

Electrical: An Illustrated Guide to ... - Google Books
 
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Old 08-02-09, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mikerios View Post
are the circuits in question on a multiwire shared neutral circuits?
i have seen loose neutrals in panels in multiwire circuits where computers were plugged in in both circuits and one of them took the hit when the neutral was loose and arcing and the voltage can rise on the other leg.

this is especially true of multiwire AL construction, I have seen quite a few neutrals go loose in AL wiring residential panels

With an open neutral the voltage on one leg can rise to 240 volts while the other leg is zero or a combo depending on the load on the 2 circuits.

the loose neutral can be at the busbar, or in the first box in a multiwire run

and example of a open neutral in a mutliwire circuit

Electrical: An Illustrated Guide to ... - Google Books
I'll definitely have to check that out later this evening. I'm willing to bet that's what is going on.
 
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