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All my circuit breakers tripped at the same time. Is this bad?

All my circuit breakers tripped at the same time. Is this bad?


Old 11-23-12, 11:39 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
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All my circuit breakers tripped at the same time. Is this bad?

Today I did the Xmas lights on the outside of the house. It's quite a bit but I've done more in the past without a problem. After several hours the entire house went down. Every circuit breaker was tripped. I've never seen this before. I would expect the Xmas light circuits to trip but not the whole house. Is this dangerous? Should I have it looked at by a pro?
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Old 11-24-12, 01:38 AM
PJmax's Avatar
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Location: Northern NJ - USA
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say what ?

Should you have it looked at by a pro ? .....YES.

I am a pro and I would have a hard time explaining it. What is the make of your panel ? Picture of the inside would be fantastic.

You're saying every breaker in the panel tripped ? The majority of the breakers are of the thermal magnetic variety in that part of the trip mechanism is activated by heat. It would take a great amount of heat to trip all the breakers at once.

I've been an electrician for many years and not only have I never heard of this happening before but I can't offer any rational reason for it to have happened.
Old 11-24-12, 06:07 AM
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Are you sure it wasn't just the main breaker and you unnecessarily reset all the branch circuit breakers thinking they were tripped before you tried the main circuit breaker? What size is the main circuit breaker.
Old 11-24-12, 06:37 AM
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Like PJ, I would certainly have not expected every breaker to trip. I am sure that there were circuits around the house that would not have been using anywhere near their capacity. I too vote with calling in some help.
Old 11-24-12, 07:47 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
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Thinking out loud here. It's possible the OP has an old FPE panel where the breakers operate the opposite of what I have always considered normal or in a typical fashion where the breakers are on when they are switched toward the center of the panel. FPE breakers switch to the outside of the panel when they are on. Regardless, the OP needs professional help if everything went off by either the main breaker tripping or a utility connection problem such as a bad neutral.

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