Breaker tripping


Old 07-15-15, 06:46 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 12
Breaker tripping

Good morning,

I have a Square D 15 Amp Single-Pole Combination Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupting (CAFCI) Circuit Breaker that tripped about 2 months ago. The breaker runs the electrical in 2 bedrooms - nothing else. I unplugged everything in the bedrooms (tvs, computer, chromecast) and shut off the overhead light. I reset the breaker and all was good.

This past Monday, I plugged in the vacuum in one of the bedrooms and tripped the breaker (I usually plug the vacuum into the hall wall socket but since someone was still sleeping , I plugged it into the bedroom wall socket instead).

I unplugged everything, shut off the lights, went downstairs and reset the breaker. Back upstairs, turned on the overhead light in one bedroom and the light went on for a split second, then off - tripped breaker again. I did this about 5 times and realized it was not going to work. BTW, I made sure there was nothing plugged into anywhere in either bedroom.

On Tuesday, I went to Lowe's a bought a new breaker. Installed, tried the lights again - tripped.

Checked the wiring in the switches for both bedrooms - tightened up the screws holding the wires. Tried again - tripped breaker. Was getting late so I called it a day.

The house is 6 years old. I did not purchase it new - have only been living there about 4 months. One of the bedrooms was being used by the previous owner, one was not.

Any suggestions before I call the electrician? Should I check every outlet to make sure no wires are touching?

thanks so much!
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Old 07-15-15, 06:52 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,515
You were on the right track. In addition to checking the connections at all of the switches, you also need to check the connections at all of the receptacles and light fixtures. If there are any push-in "back stab" connections on the receptacles, move those to screw terminals instead. Check any wirenut connections for tightness on the nut and by tugging on individuals wires to see if they're loose. Remake any if they look suspect.

Another reasonable possibility would be rodent damage to wiring in the walls or ceiling or condensation collecting in a junction box due to humidity or an HVAC issue, or potentially damage to a cable if you have recently hung pictures with nails in the area.
Old 07-15-15, 06:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 4,238
All it takes is one loose wire to trip a GFI.
I would have started checking the outlets first for loose wires, making sure there not back stabbed, if there metal boxes make sure all the screws are screwed all the way in including the unused one's and not touching the side of the boxes.
Old 07-15-15, 07:53 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 12

Thanks for the info . I will check all the boxes tonight and hopefully find the issue.
Old 07-15-15, 08:07 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,385
All it takes is one loose wire to trip a GFI.
I assume you meant a combination AFCI.

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