Light circuit without breaker

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Old 09-28-09, 05:12 PM
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Light circuit without breaker

I have a kitchen light circuit which tends to blow out light bulbs on a more frequent basis than it should. I checked the breaker box to find the breaker for this circuit and found that there is no breaker for this circuit. What is going on here? Is the breaker defective and not turning off? Is the circuit wired incorrectly and somehow bypassing the breakers?
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:15 PM
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Explain how you determined there was no breaker.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:17 PM
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I turned the breakers off one by one and the light never turned off.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:18 PM
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Are you saying that you tried every breaker in the panel and the light stayed on?

It is possible, but hopefully unlikely, that someone wire this circuit into the main lugs. If so this should be fixed and will not be a DIY job as the lugs are hot all the time unless there is a disconnect ahead of the panel or the meter is pulled by the power company.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:22 PM
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Yes. There are no circuit wires directly connected to the main lugs. I'm thinking that a breaker is defective. I will check each breaker.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:27 PM
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How old this system is now ?

And did you try to kill it with the main breaker off ? if so then one of the breaker may malfuction however if you have split buss you will need to turn off all the breakers there some where it is hook up to that breaker some case one of the two pole breakers { I have see that couple of times like that }

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:33 PM
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I have actually encountered this problem but it was so oddball I'd be surprised to see it again. Had wires from two different circuits in the same box. Insulation had failed and wires from the two circuits were cross feeding each other. I am not saying that is your problem. Just to eliminate that as a cause though turn off all individual breakers in the main panel except the main breaker. Does the light go out? If so then you know two or more breakers are feeding it.

If it does go out start turning the breakers on then off again one at a time till the light comes on. Mark that breaker and turn it off and continue till you find any other breaker that turns it on. Of course the hard part if you find two breakers that both supply it is finding out why. Normally I would just say 15 and 20a breakers need to be checked but in this case I say all.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:36 PM
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The house was built in 1977. It's a 200 amp service with a Siemens breaker box. I haven't tried turning off the main yet.

"there some where it is hook up to that breaker some case one of the two pole breakers { I have see that couple of times like that"

I'm didn't understand what you meant by the above statement. Please clarify.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by katmando View Post
The house was built in 1977. It's a 200 amp service with a Siemens breaker box. I haven't tried turning off the main yet.

"there some where it is hook up to that breaker some case one of the two pole breakers { I have see that couple of times like that"

I'm didn't understand what you meant by the above statement. Please clarify.
Let me rephase it again .,,

what I mean that sometime you will find a circuit will be on the two pole breaker something you can't find it on single pole breaker.

some case someone used a unused two pole breaker and only used one pole of it { yeah it is legal to use this but really can confuse someone down the road especally if the breaker box is not well written down all the circuits or left the circuit chart empty { unwritten }

This is true with some pretty crowed breaker box and Ray also bring up good point possiblty a crossover circuit.

That why Ray suggest turn off two breaker at time that useally catch it.


Merci,Marc
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:43 PM
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I have turned off each breaker individually, but I have not turned alll of them off at the same time. Ray2047, that's a good suggestion, but I'll have to wait until tomorrow to try it.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:47 PM
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There is the other way you can try is turn off all the breakers then turn it on one at the time when you see that subborn luminaire come on make a note which one it is then turn it off then work it way up if come on at diffrent breaker then you know you got crossed over otherwise check the two pole breaker also if that come on on two pole breaker you will have to check little more deeper what that circuit goes.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
There is the other way you can try is turn off all the breakers then turn it on one at the time when you see that subborn luminaire come on make a note which one it is then turn it off then work it way up if come on at diffrent breaker then you know you got crossed over otherwise check the two pole breaker also if that come on on two pole breaker you will have to check little more deeper what that circuit goes.

Merci,Marc
Hey Marc, no copying my post.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:56 PM
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Thanks guys. I will try your suggestions and report back tomorrow.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 05:57 PM
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And there's the old forgotten subpanel answer.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Hey Marc, no copying my post.

MDR !! (LOL!! ) Ray sorry about that


Merci,Marc
 
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Old 09-29-09, 11:14 AM
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Well, I think I finally figured it out. There were two circuits that controlled the lights in the kitchen. My guess is that the clown who did the original electrical work laid out two circuits, but at some point in the wiring he incorrectly connected the two circuits to each other. Thus I was feeding 220V to the combined circuit and blowing out a lot of light bulbs.

My solution ==> I disconnected one of the circuits and closed it off in the breaker box. I then calculated the load on the combined circuit which came out to about 2000 watts or 16.7 amps. That's just slightly higher than the maximum 80% of a 20 amp load. I have all incandescent bulbs on this circuit. If I selectively replace them with compact fluorescents, I should be well under the 16 amps.

I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF SOMEONE CHECKED MY LOGIC AND TOLD ME THAT I DID THIS CORRECTLY.

I know, I know, I could replace ALL of the bulbs with CFL's and reduce my electrical bills even further. I'm not totally sold on the CFL's. The light just isn't as good (but it is getting better) and I have a serious problem with disposal issues. I think most of these bulbs will eventually deposit their mercury into our landfills because people are basically lazy and will not do the right thing even if the govt has a responsible disposal program everywhere.
 
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Old 09-29-09, 05:18 PM
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Maybe so but really to track it down you have to check each kitchen luminaire circuit to double check the supply source at all the junction box I know it will take time but one way or other you will find it.

My issue is that when you disconnect one " crossed circuit " somewhere you may overloaded and what you should do is make a map of the whole layout so you can able find it more easier.

What else that both breaker been on ? { like control living room or other rooms ? }

Merci,Marc
 
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