Breaker keeps tripping, please help!!!

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Old 03-12-10, 07:36 PM
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Breaker keeps tripping, please help!!!

My home is a three bedroom house. The breaker for ONLY the second and third bedroom outlets keep tripping. All the ceiling fans and lights work in both rooms, just the outlets keep tripping. It is a 15 Amp breaker and it will trip immediately when I flip it back on. all the lights in the house get brighter then it flips. Nothing is plugged into any of the outlets, i unplugged everything. the house was built in 1996, could it be a bad breaker. It just started yesterday after i noticed my daughter night light quit working.
 
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Old 03-12-10, 07:52 PM
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A breaker that trips immediately indicates a dead short, not a bad breaker. Leave the breaker off until the cause can be found.

This may turn into an easter egg hunt trying to find where the problem is. Do you have any test equipment?
 
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Old 03-12-10, 08:20 PM
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It is a 15 Amp breaker and it will trip immediately when I flip it back on. all the lights in the house get brighter then it flips.
The part about the lights getting brighter doesn't make sense. Do the lights get brighter as you try to reset the breaker? Forgetting about the lights, I'd pull all of the receptacles one at a time. You'll probably find a ground wire touching a hot terminal on a receptacle in one of the bedrooms.
 
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Old 03-13-10, 01:17 AM
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I will check each receptale one at time to make sure there is no wire is not touching in wrong spot.

I know this may end up a easter egg hunt and yeah it will take time but some case it may be at the first one on the circuit.

Did you hang up any picture on the wall recent ?? or some repair to the wall as well ?

If the receptales check good then you may have to do little more digging in attic I know you will shudder on this word but some case you may have a critter or something in the attic can chew it { I know it can happend in both old home even pretty new homes as well }

Let us know how it come out on the recetapales first if ok then check the switches in case ya never know .,,

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 03-16-10, 10:34 AM
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Just a word from experience: Are you sure there isn't a receptical or light somewhere else that's on this circuit? Basement, storage area, garage, closet, bathroom...

I once spent 2 days pulling apart every receptical in my master bedroom because the breaker suddenly tripped. It would trip immediately when I tried to reset it even AFTER I had all the wires hanging out of the wall, disconnected and capped with wire nuts... I went into the outside storage closet to get a saw and smelled burnt electronics. The transformer for my outside lights had burned out and the plug in the closet was on the bedroom circuit...

Doug M.
 
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Old 03-17-10, 05:22 PM
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Man I have checked everything. I found that the doorbell was on this circuit so I replaced the transformer and button. Still tripping. I have double checked all the wires in each outlet box, and even replaced the breaker. I don't know what else to check, I have replaced everything!!!
 
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Old 03-17-10, 05:31 PM
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It's now time to get out your meter and start testing the wires between receptacles and between the first receptacle and the panel. Disconnect the wire from the breaker and the neutral and gound wires from the neutral bar before you start. You should be able to isolate the area where you have a short. There is a possibility you could have a nail in the NM cable or a staple that was driven too tightly on the cable when the house was wired..
 
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Old 03-17-10, 05:32 PM
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IF you don't have a meter you need to get one. Only $10 one is really all you need. Set the meter to ohms. With the power off at the panel, remove the wire to the breaker. Reset the breaker and see if it is ok. If it resets, then start testing the circuit with the circuit off. Start at what you thing is the middle of the circuit, about half way from the panel to the last device. Open the box and take apart the wires (this might be a good thing to make a diagram or take a pict so you can remember how it goes back together), with your meter read between the hot and neutral wires with each pair within a cable. If you get nothing, that is good. If you get almost 0, that is bad and that is your short. If you get something between 0 and nothing you have some other load (light, tv, etc.) on the circuit and need to remove it from the circuit.
 
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Old 03-19-10, 05:29 PM
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Everything is checking ok. I am at my wits end here. I hate to call an electrician because I have little money, but I dont think I have much choice.
 
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Old 03-19-10, 06:20 PM
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I like dougm's advice. Notice how you originally thought the 2 bedroom's outlets were only on the circuit. Take note that even a licensed electrician might be in for one of those, as mentioned, Easter egg hunts, and his meter will start ticking and cachinging like in a taxi. Keep looking, even outside.

Is this something that started recently for no known reason that you can think of? Think of anything you may have done, in and out of the house - to the house - that may have some bearing.

Tolyn's advice can cut your search efforts in half!
 
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