Need help with breaker tripping

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  #1  
Old 09-14-15, 05:36 PM
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Need help with breaker tripping

I have a breaker that trips whenever it wants to. It is a 20 amp unit that runs the bathroom fan, lights, and a ceiling heater unit. Lights are on one switch, heater and fan on a double switch. Some mornings everything works fine. This morning as soon as I turn on heater unit, breaker trips. This afternoon everything worked fine. It can work fine for weeks the start acting up. Usually worse when weather is cold. I made sure that connections were tight this am but still tripped. It has a yellow trip check button. I'm dazed and confused.
 
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Old 09-14-15, 06:05 PM
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Sounds like there is a intermittent ground fault problem. Try not to use the fan and see if the problem goes away.
 
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Old 09-14-15, 06:32 PM
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Only Trips when heater is used. Doesn't matter if fan and lights are off
 
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Old 09-14-15, 06:36 PM
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You need to look for a neutral close to a ground either at the switch to the heater.
 
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Old 09-14-15, 08:24 PM
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I would remove the ceiling grill and unplug the heater unit. See if the breaker trips when you turn the heater switch on.

My guess is the heating element is touching ground. Possibly an insulator issue.
 
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Old 09-15-15, 11:11 AM
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I made sure that connections were tight this am but still tripped. It has a yellow trip check button
If you mean a yellow test button, that would be a GFCI circuit breaker. The lights, fan and heater are not required to be on a GFCI protected circuit unless possibly if the fan/heater unit might be located over the footprint of the tub/shower and the manufacturer's instructions require it. The easiest thing to do would be to replace the GFCI breaker with a regular one. Is the required wall receptacle on this circuit too? If so, replace the duplex receptacle with a 15A GFCI receptacle. This will not fix anything if you have a ground fault, but all will work. If the fan/light/heater are properly grounded, you still have the safety of the ground to trip the breaker if you have a direct short.
 
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