Tripping breaker

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Old 08-25-12, 10:36 AM
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Tripping breaker

I have a circuit in my house that includes a bathroom and parts of two adjacent bathrooms. The circuit includes at least one ceiling fan. Anyway, when my wife uses the hair dryer and the ceiling fan is on, a 15 amp breaker trips. For years we have just made sure that the ceiling fan is off when she dries her hair and it has worked ok, but she recently got a new hair dryer that trips the breaker after it has been running for a few minutes, even with the ceiling fan off.

Question - will replacing the breaker with a 20 amp breaker likely do the trick, and are there any codes I should know about if i do this?

Thanks.
 
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Old 08-25-12, 10:55 AM
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GF Receptacle

Have you checked to see if your ground fault receptacle is bad? That might be the problem, just a thought.
 
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Old 08-25-12, 11:20 AM
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A 1875W hair dryer will trip a 15A circuit breaker, as 1800W is 15A.
 
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Old 08-25-12, 11:41 AM
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Question - will replacing the breaker with a 20 amp breaker likely do the trick, and are there any codes I should know about if i do this?
You cannot replace a 15A breaker in your panel with a 20A breaker unless that circuit is completely wired with 12AWG conductors. It is extremely unlikely that is the case. The 14AWG wiring that was most likely used will not be adequately protected by a 20A breaker, and could fail, melt, or start a fire before the breaker tripped.

How many watts does your wife's new hair dryer draw?
 
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Old 08-25-12, 02:12 PM
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It is indeed an 1875 watt hair dryer. So what are my options?
 
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Old 08-25-12, 02:39 PM
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(besides get a lower wattage hair dryer)
 
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Old 08-25-12, 04:28 PM
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I'd run a dedicated circuit for the hairdryer.
 
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Old 08-25-12, 05:48 PM
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I'd run a dedicated circuit for the hairdryer.
I'd run a dedicated 20A circuit for the hairdryer.
 
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Old 08-25-12, 06:15 PM
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I'd run a dedicated 20A circuit for the hairdryer.
Thanks, Nash!
 
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Old 08-26-12, 06:46 AM
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It all just boils down to what you want to spend.....$500.00 to run a new circuit for the macho hair dryer, or return the behemoth and get a standard 1000 to 1200 watt dryer for $30.00
 
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Old 08-26-12, 12:45 PM
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Podunk opined:
spend.....$500.00 to run a new circuit
Actually cost less then $100 in materials and bring the bathroom up to modern code which requires a 20 amp circuit for bathrooms. Nothing in the post indicates this isn't a DIY job so I'm not sure where the $500 came from.
 
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Old 08-26-12, 05:24 PM
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I'm always up for a DIY project - so basically what I would be doing is replacing the present wire along the entire circuit with 12AWG and putting in a 20A breaker?

In my house it is pretty easy because it is an old house and I have access to all the wiring in the basement along the ceiling and/or in the attic. There would be some snaking involved but not a lot, I don't think...
 
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Old 08-26-12, 06:17 PM
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The breaker should hold around 125% for an hour before tripping.

If it is as easy as the OP makes it sound the new 20 amp circuit is definitely the way to go.
 
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Old 08-26-12, 06:47 PM
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so basically what I would be doing is replacing the present wire along the entire circuit with 12AWG and putting in a 20A breaker?
You could but it is not what I would recommend. I would leave the current circuit and just install a new one. Simpler and leaves power for other less demanding loads without taxing your new one.
 
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