Microwave trips breaker

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-18-12, 03:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
Microwave trips breaker

Everytime I use my microwave the lights go out and I have to reset one of the breakers in the box. Can someone tell me if this is a problem with the microwave or a problem with the breaker panel or a problem with the wiring in my house? If it's as simple as replacing the microwave then I'd rather do that than spending a lot of money on an electrician. I'd like to have some idea as to what I'm dealing with so if I do have to call an electrician I won't be given false or inaccurate information.

Thanks
Mink
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-18-12, 03:28 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,664
So what else is on the circuit? Is it a 15 amp or 20 amp breaker? Have you tried it on a different circuit?

Everytime I use my microwave the lights go out
If this is in a kitchen it should be plugged into one of the 20a counter top receptacles. There should be no lights on those circuits.

Above assumes a counter top microwave not a built in.
 
  #3  
Old 07-18-12, 03:50 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,361
A built-in microwave should be on a dedicated circuit. I suspect yours is wired where a kitchen exhaust hood was. These are typically on a lighting circuit.
 
  #4  
Old 07-18-12, 04:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
The microwave is a built in, not a countertop model (it's built into the wall), the stove is on the other side of the kitchen. Do you think I will run into the same problems if I just replace the microwave with a regular countertop model and putt on a shelf in that space in the wall?
 
  #5  
Old 07-18-12, 04:48 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,664
Do you think I will run into the same problems if I just replace the microwave with a regular countertop model and putt on a shelf in that space in the wall?
The problem probably isn't the microwave. It is the circuit it is plugged into. Since you have not given us details on the loads on the circuit or size of the breaker even a smaller microwave might trip the breaker if plugged in at the same place.

Is this a new install or has it been working up till now without tripping the breaker. If it is a new install you need to get who ever installed it out to correct his mistake. If it is an old install that just started doing this it could be something new added to the circuit, a bad breaker, or a fault with the microwave.
 
  #6  
Old 07-18-12, 04:53 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
I don't know anything about circuits or what else is on it...I don't even know how to check to see what's on the circuit, I have no knowledge of this stuff, I'm a single female who bought this house 6 months ago, the problem has been happening since I bought the house....and the microwave is not new, I can tell it's a very old style....so I'm fairly certain this wasn't recently installed. There's an outlet in the kitchen also that if I plug something in to that (coffee maker or toaster, etc.) and use the microwave it also trips the breaker.
 
  #7  
Old 07-18-12, 04:57 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,664
Bottom line the kitchen probably needs rewiring. We can help you do it yourself if you want. I would suggest you buy the book Wiring Simplified available at Home Depot, Amazon, and other places so you know the basics.
 
  #8  
Old 07-18-12, 05:12 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
I'll get the book and see how complicated it is and what's involved....I don't have much confidence in my ability to do something like this though. Thanks for your help.
 
  #9  
Old 07-18-12, 06:44 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,361
There should be a dataplate on the microwave that tells how many watts the oven draws. If you can post that more info can be given.
 
  #10  
Old 07-18-12, 06:51 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
In addition,
Is it a 15 amp or 20 amp breaker? (from post #2
Knowing both the power requirements of the microwave and the power available on the circuit may help us give you better advice.

The rating of the circuit breaker should be clearly stamped into its handle.
 
  #11  
Old 07-26-12, 06:24 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
Your Opinions Please ???

OK, so I had two electricians come in and assess the problem witht he microwave in my basement and they determined that everything in the kitchen is on one 15 amp breaker (the microwave, dishwasher, fridge, stove, all outlets, lights, pot lights). They told me that each of those major applicances would need to be on it's own separate line. They said there is no more space in the breaker box, so one of them said they'd have to put in a subpanel, the other guy said no that's not the way to go that he could split the breakers to make two out of one. I don't know who's right and who's wrong and which is the best way to go.

Also, someone told me that because my house is only 100 amps that I really should have it upgraded to 200 amps....

Because I am not knowledgeable in any of this stuff I really want some ideas on what I should do to resolve this problem and not risk running into other electrical problems later on.

The house is a raised bungalow. There is a kitchen and washroom on the main floor and a finished basement apartment, two people in all living in the house, me living alone on the main floor and a tenant living in the basement. Someone said that because this is technically considered a two family home then 200 amp service is necessary....any advice or responses to that???

The prices they're quoting me to do this stuff is much higher than I had expected, 3000.00 to put the microwave, dishwasher, fridge and stove on their own separate lines, and 6000.00 if I want to upgrade to 200 amp service. Does this sound reasonable or is it outrageous? I'm in the Toronto (Canada) area.

I'm so frustrated with this, as I don't have the knowledge to make educated choices and the people here on this forum is the only soucre of non-biased info I have.

Would really appreciate everyone's thoughts and opinions and advice on this...

Thanks
Maxine
 
  #12  
Old 07-26-12, 07:15 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,664
Half breakers can be used if your panel is approved for that and is the cheaper solution. However given the number of circuits a subpanel might be a more desirable solution. We can help you do either of these two things yourself for a few hundred dollars as stated earlier.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-26-12 at 09:58 AM.
  #13  
Old 07-26-12, 09:15 AM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
someone told me that because my house is only 100 amps that I really should have it upgraded to 200 amps...
In general, upgrading to a 200A service is needed when a heavy load such as central air conditioning is added. That said,
Someone said that because this is technically considered a two family home then 200 amp service is necessary...
may be a reference to a local requirement. You will need to check with your local agency that permits apartments to answer this.

Upgrading the service is not a DIY job. As Ray suggested, we can help you safely install a subpanel or exchange some full size breakers for tandem breakers to add more circuits in your existing panel. A subpanel, in addition to allowing you to add a larger number of circuits, might also allow you to separate the apartment loads from the main floor or main floor loads, depending on how the branch circuits are run.

We may be giving you a lot of information to absorb. Please post back with any questions, including any requests for clarity.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'