Circuit Breaker won't stop tripping


Old 06-24-13, 10:07 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Circuit Breaker won't stop tripping

I just moved in to a new apartment and have had an ongoing issue with the circuit breaker for half the apartment flipping. To name the biggest things plugged in, we have 3 mini fridges, a large fridge, a 1000W home audio system, a microwave, 2 5,000 BTU window AC units, and another 12,000 BTU AC unit. Since we moved in, the most common culprit we have found is the microwave. Sometimes when you use it, the circuit would flip and booom, there goes the power. Recently, it has been happening even without the microwave being used.

The next big thing is, the 12,000 BTU AC unit, a mini fridge, a desktop computer, a 32" flat screen TV are all plugged in to a 2 prong outlet using a (in my opinion) cheap grounding converter (tinyurl .com /pkckdbr). Does anyone know if this could be the issue, and if not, is there anything that we can do to figure it out what the issue is?
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Old 06-24-13, 10:15 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Welcome to the forums!

All those loads you listed are too much for "a breaker." What are you referring to when you say
the circuit breaker for half the apartment?
Some pictures would help us see what you have. See How To Include Pictures.

Also, have you been turning the breaker(s) all the way off before turning it(them) on? A tripped breaker isn't off, it's only tripped. It needs to be solidly switched off in order to be reset properly.
Old 06-24-13, 10:57 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 3
I definitely have been turning them off then on. I learned that the first time it happened because i called the electrician. but I attached a picture of the circuit box. The bottom one (one on the right, the picture is rotated CCW 90 degrees), by itself is the one that's tripping. I also drew a schematic of our apartment. Each part that is blue is a wall with outlets that are turned off due to this circuit tripping. Each room is about two times as large as a college dorm room, the empty space being hallways. Name:  Untitled-2.jpg
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Old 06-24-13, 11:14 PM
PJmax's Avatar
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Location: Northern NJ - USA
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When you say "new apartment"....... you mean new to you. I can see old cloth covered NM cable in your panel which is fairly old.

It looks like your apartment is starved for power. There are only 5 breakers for your entire place. You're either going to have to move around the high draw devices or have some new circuits run.
Old 06-24-13, 11:16 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Hahah! yes. new to me. It is a historic building in Cleveland, OH.

Thank you for all the information! I'm going to talk to my landlord and pray he can install some more circuits. But who knows.
Old 06-25-13, 04:43 AM
chandler's Avatar
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One circuit breaker was obviously removed for some reason. My bet is that cable is attached to an adjacent breaker, thereby doubling the load for that one breaker. Even if the landlord doesn't add circuits, the hole in the panel must be covered with an approved blank out plate for safety's sake.
Bottom line on this, too much (I mean waaayyy too much load) on a single breaker. And as an apartment, you can't touch it, so get the landlord involved asap.

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