Circuit Breaker or something else?

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Old 06-19-11, 01:20 PM
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Circuit Breaker or something else?

The power in my detached garage without warning failed. The garage is on a 20A circuit breaker that also has one single socket on it in the house (close to wear the underground conduit goes to the garage.) After further investigation, I found that the indoor socket was also dead. Inside the garage, there are also 2 15A breakers. I replaced the 20A breaker in the house yesterday and it made no difference. However, my tinkering showed something that may help track the problem.

When I replaced the 20A socket, I turned off the two 15A in the garage and the indoor socket worked. In the garage, I turned on the two 15A and could tell that some power was on. However, when I turn on things (lights, tv, etc.) the power stays on for about 5 seconds and then all power is lost again.

I have not yet replaced the 15A breakers in the garage and hoped I could run it by the experts on here first. If one of 15A breakers in the garage is gone, would the power fail as it's doing?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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Old 06-19-11, 03:14 PM
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Garage

Sounds like a short circuit in the garage. With the breakers off, check all wiring connections.

What equipment, lights, etc. do you have connected in the garage?
 
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Old 06-19-11, 03:24 PM
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Why short circuit?

Thanks for the advice.

I figured if it was a short circuit that nothing would come on, but when I turn power on, I can get power for about 5-10 seconds before it fails.

For what it's worth, the breakers are also never tripped.
 
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Old 06-19-11, 08:22 PM
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I suspect a loose connection somewhere.
 
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Old 06-19-11, 09:14 PM
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Loose connection?

Loose connection at the breakers? Or at one of the sockets?

There really is nothing plugged in all the time except a cable box for the tv. The rest of the outlets are not regularly plugged in, or active, when the power fails.

Hmm...
 
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Old 06-19-11, 09:19 PM
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The rest of the outlets are not regularly plugged in, or active, when the power fails.
But power passes through them so all the receptacles need to be checked and any back stabbed wires moved to the screws.
 
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Old 06-19-11, 09:25 PM
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I just want to clearify this question I know you mention 20 amp breaker is that is a single pole or duex (two ) pole breaker ??

That will make the diffrence on how we can slove the issue.

Second thing you mention 15 amp breakers so I am pretty sure that is single pole breakers if so then you should have a GFCI receptale at first point of the circuit run.

( just keep in your mind the code will only allow one MWBC {multiwire branch circuit } to any detached building. but if this garage is attached then you can discharge my recent comment but just keep it in your mind with any other detached buildings )

Most common cuprit is usealy loose connection or backstabbed receptales that is the top two items I get all the time.

Merci,
Marc
 
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Old 06-20-11, 08:09 PM
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Yes, the breaker in the house is a single pole 20A, as you deduced. I don't know how any of the receptacles came loose? I'm unsure if it's a factor but we had a terrible rain near the time that the power failed.
 
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Old 06-21-11, 09:21 AM
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Did you look for a tripped gfi in the house or outside? It could even be in a crawlspace.
 
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Old 06-21-11, 07:47 PM
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I did check and none of the outlets are GFI's.

I talked with an electrician today and he thought that the problem may be in the neutral wire in the underground conduit. I'm no electrician, but I don't know how he could come up with that given what little information I told him.
 
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Old 06-22-11, 06:52 AM
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Failure

I'm unsure if it's a factor but we had a terrible rain near the time that the power failed.
Water could definitely be a factor. Can you figure out where water might getting into the wiring?
 
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Old 06-22-11, 05:19 PM
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Been following and each time I review this thread, I wonder how you can have two 15 amp single pole breakers fed from one 20 amp 120 volt circuit.

The garage is on a 20A circuit breaker that also has one single socket on it in the house (close to wear the underground conduit goes to the garage.) After further investigation, I found that the indoor socket was also dead. Inside the garage, there are also 2 15A breakers.
Is it possible there is more than one power source to the garage?
 
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Old 06-22-11, 08:29 PM
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Been following and each time I review this thread, I wonder how you can have two 15 amp single pole breakers fed from one 20 amp 120 volt circuit.
Both circuts could be fed from the same 20A circut and both legs jumped. It's 10A short, however.
 
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