Breaker keeps tripping

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  #1  
Old 03-27-11, 04:00 PM
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Breaker keeps tripping

My wife and I bought a house where the light in the master bedroom was working for up to about 6 months. Then, the breaker would trip everytime we turned it on. Then it started working again for a short period of time. It seemed at first that the working/not working coincided with the change of the seasons from summer to winter and so we thought maybe our outdoor waterfall switch may have been on the same circuit and since we unplugged the waterfall with the onset of winter that there was an insufficient wattage issue and the waterfall electrical demand was too draining. Well, now the waterfall is unplugged and the master bedroom light is back to flipping the breaker everytime we try to turn it on. The light flickers for a splt second and poof all the lights in the bathroom won't work until I go downstairs and flip that switch again. Thanks in advance for all the feedback, hope my description makes sense as I'm a layperson and don't have a great electrical vocabulary.
Mike
 
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Old 03-27-11, 04:04 PM
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Sorry quick edit

Sorry quick edit, I meant master closet. It's on the same switch as the bathroom lights/fans.
 
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Old 03-27-11, 04:13 PM
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Welcome to the forums! If it is intermittent, it is possible you have a bad breaker. Does your expertise allow you to remove the cover to the breaker panel and change a breaker? If not call in an electrician. If you can, then replacing the breaker may provide relief. If not, then you have to dig deeper.
 
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Old 03-27-11, 04:22 PM
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So is the waterfall on the same circuit as the light ? or not ?
 
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Old 03-27-11, 04:50 PM
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It appears they are are different, adjacent circuits. I'm a competent kind of guy, and...I've never done anything do it yourself wise with something electric.
 
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Old 03-27-11, 05:11 PM
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Another quick question

Sorry have another question from my investigation here. I was looking at the breakers and I could hear the buzzing of electrical current, fairly loud and noticeable, and I did not remove the cover as well. I don't recall hearing it that loud before. Is that just normal and it's the first time I've paid attention or indicative of something else?
 
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Old 03-27-11, 06:32 PM
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Sorry have another question from my investigation here. I was looking at the breakers and I could hear the buzzing of electrical current, fairly loud and noticeable, and I did not remove the cover as well. I don't recall hearing it that loud before. Is that just normal and it's the first time I've paid attention or indicative of something else?
It could be arching, which is bad. What company panel do you have?
 
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Old 03-28-11, 05:35 PM
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Buzzing and sizzling sounds are common to failing Zinsco loadcenters. Does your panel say Zinsco or Sylvania on it anywhere? If so, you need a new panel PRONTO! If it's another brand, you have some bad connections in the panel and possibly burnt bus connections. Regardless, you need an electrician.
 
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Old 03-28-11, 08:20 PM
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It says General Electric Gold Series on it. The buzzing lasted for 1-2 minutes and I haven't heard it since that time. Could that just be from an electrical current associated with operating one particular circuit at the time I was looking in the breaker box? I will still contact an electrician. Wondering what the possible problems are and what kind of potential costs I'm looking at?
 
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Old 03-29-11, 05:37 AM
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A doorbell transformer mounted on or near the panel could also be making the buzzing noise.
 
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Old 03-29-11, 09:04 AM
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You may have a pinched wire in one of the bathroom light fixtures or switches that is intermittently shorting out. It is normal for breakers to make a buzzing noise when they are on the verge of the trip limit (overload). The seasonal issue may be coincidence, or may be related to humidity or condensation in an electrical box worsening a short.
 
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Old 03-29-11, 06:49 PM
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Well, I did have an electrician out today. He took off the both the breaker cover and the light switch cover in the master closet for a full inpsection. He determined it was most likely that the breaker was bad. He's going to change it out Thursday and see if that fixes the problem. Thanks you guys for all your feedback and I will keep you posted also.
Mike
 
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Old 03-31-11, 04:36 PM
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Well the electrician did a very thorough job. He removed the light switches, cans and light fixtures to check out the wires and make sure nothing was touching or compromised. When that all panned out okay, he changed the breaker out and the lights turned on without difficulty. Thanks again for all of the collective responses and expertise provided here. Much appreciated.
 
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