Circuit breaker acting funny

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Old 11-20-16, 09:48 AM
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Circuit breaker acting funny

I apologize in advance if I sound stupid. I have a circuit breaker that goes to the electric in my shed. It's labeled "20" as most of the other breakers are. But instead of sitting pointed to the middle of the breaker box like the rest are, this one is positioned kind of in the middle. So I flipped it completely outward (assuming that turns the circuit off). Then I pushed it back all the way to the middle to the on position. But after a split second, the breaker automatically pops to this middle position (which I can't manually move it to).

Any idea why this is happening? Also, to be clear, there are two breakers for the shed - this one and another which is fine. In the shed, the light works but I just noticed the outlet isn't working so I'm assuming this weird breaker is for the outlet. But is there any wisdom as to why that's happening, or how to troubleshoot/fix? Thank you!
 
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Old 11-20-16, 09:50 AM
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Nothing weird about it..... you have a short on that circuit and the circuit breaker is tripping to protect you. Don't keep resetting the breaker. You need to determine where the short is.
 
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Old 11-20-16, 09:55 AM
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I flipped it twice. Hope that not going to cause serious harm. Won't do it anymore. The outlet is an exterior outlet. It looks like the cover that protects it from the elements popped off some time this week, and we did have some rain. If there's a short, Im confident that's the cause.

I guess, I'll rephrase the question of this thread then. If I have an exterior outlet and there's a short from it getting wet, is there a fix that anyone can do for that?
 
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Old 11-20-16, 10:22 AM
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If you feel that the receptacle is the cause.... pull it out of the box and inspect the wiring.
If the wiring looks ok... disconnect the receptacle and retest the circuit.
A rusted receptacle won't usually cause a regular circuit breaker to trip.

I didn't ask originally... is this a standard circuit breaker or one with a test button on it ?
 
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Old 11-20-16, 10:30 AM
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No test button, unfortunately.
 
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Old 11-20-16, 11:52 AM
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to be clear, there are two breakers for the shed
Unless it is attached to the house ot one is only for a light on the outside of the shed there shouldn't be. Code say one power source only to a detached structure. To bring it to code one of the lines to the shed may need to be abandoned even if you fix the one that is tripping.

Back to troubleshooting after you do Petes suggestions try disconnecting the wire to the breaker and see if you can reset the breaker with the wire disconnected.
 
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Old 11-20-16, 01:22 PM
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Thank you. I will look into the two breaker thing. I am just going by the label on the breaker box from the previous owners. It passed inspection when we bought it, but I am getting estimates after the new year for unrelated electrical work in the house. So I will bring this up to see what they say, I would never have known otherwise. Thank you!
 
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Old 11-20-16, 01:31 PM
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It passed inspection when we bought it,
Home inspectors are not electricians and usually have minimal knowledge of somethings.
 
 

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