Mixed up circuit wiring trips breaker!!


  #1  
Old 07-29-14, 08:25 AM
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Mixed up circuit wiring trips breaker!!

I just bought a 1950s duplex. It has two separate service/meter panels. Apartment #1 and Apartment #2 have a total of 10 outlets and 6 switches each for each apartment. One breaker on Apt #2 runs the family room outlets and bedroom. The other breaker runs the bath and laundry area switches and outlets. That's how it was originally wired and it works fine.

Here's the problem: as soon as I turn on the 2nd breaker on Apt #1 it trips. I tested this circuit, the 2nd breaker powers nothing and keeps tripping when I turn it on. So I have ONE breaker that runs all 10 outlets and 6 switches in that Apt.

I'm thinking someone, at some point, wired the two circuits together (joined the two circuits through an outlet by mistake) or mixed up some wiring on Apt #1. How do I figure out the problem and separate the circuits on Apt #1 like Apt #2? Thanks in advance!!
 

Last edited by Don_Juan; 07-29-14 at 09:00 AM.
  #2  
Old 07-29-14, 08:37 AM
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So everything is live if # 1 is on and # 2 is off?
 
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Old 07-29-14, 09:06 AM
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Hi Mitch. Yes, if I turn on only the "left" breaker in the panel on Apt #1, ALL of the lights and receptacles go on in that Apt. If I leave that breaker on and try to turn on the 2nd breaker for Apt #1, it trips. If I shut of the "left" breaker on Apt #1 and turn on only the 2nd breaker, it powers nothing. I would like two separate circuits like I have in Apt #2 and I assume someone mixed up some wiring in Apt #1 since the 2nd breaker trips.
 
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Old 07-29-14, 09:10 AM
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OK, thanks. And breaker # 2 does not trip if # 1 is off?
 
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Old 07-29-14, 09:32 AM
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Correct. The 2nd breaker does not trip if the 1st is off. The 2nd breaker does not provide power to any outlets or switches when on. Then it trips if the 1st is on and I try to turn on the second.
 
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Old 07-29-14, 09:37 AM
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I'd start by looking at what is powered by the second breaker in the other unit and see if you see anything different in the unit where both breakers cannot be on simultaneously.

Tedium, but it sounds like the list is not that large.
 
  #7  
Old 07-29-14, 10:09 AM
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I checked. I haven't found anything that looks like it's wired different in Apt 2. It's like breaker 1 and 2 in Apt 1 are powering the same circuit. Hence the 2nd breaker trips. Any way to figure out what they did? Remove outlets 1 by 1 and disconnect 1 by 1? It is there another way?
 

Last edited by Don_Juan; 07-29-14 at 11:39 AM.
 

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