Another breaker trip question

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Old 11-29-16, 07:19 PM
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Another breaker trip question

I've been searching, but haven't found a answer yet.

About me: I'm not a electrician. But I know enough about how it works. I have previously rewired my old house upgrading a 60 amp fuse box to a 200 breaker box meter included. Then wired the entire house and passed the city inspection.

My issue: Wife and I bought a house a little over a year ago. House was built in 1914. One of my requirements of moving was a 200 amp box, I lost that argument. This house was upgraded to a 100 amp box. House is a little over 3000 square feet. 100 is a bit small. But, everything worked and I figured I would upgrade eventually. I know it is needed.

Fast do wear a year and I am beginning to work out in the garage some. It is powered by a single 20 amp breaker ran from the house. I ran my own gas line for heat in the garage and found the line. Direct burial NOT in conduit. I didn't disturb or break the line in any way. So garage is heated by a gas heater with a thermostat. 3 overhead lights, the T-8 style for now. Just replaced the garage door opener with a new 1.5 hp on one double door. There is also a exterior motion sensor light.

Working in my garage I am using wood tool. Router 8 amp, planner 15 amp, table saw 15 amp. Only running one thing at a time.

Suddenly the garage breaker starts tripping. Okay, I'm overloading it. Unplug all unnecessary whatevers. Trips. Not sure what to do, keep working, trips. Go inside to reset and somehow it has also tripped the main 100 amp breaker. Reset everything and clean up.

Trips overnight. Only thing on would be the heater and possibly the sensor light.

Trips today while at work. Heater is only thing on. Think maybe maybe a bad breaker. I replace with one I have left over from the last house.

Go out to dinner with wife. All good. Come home park car in garage. All good. Let wife inside, walk back to garage...and tripped. Heater, garage opener, and sensor light on.


Sorry for the long story, but wanted to give all the details. WITHOUT going out and replacing the meter and box tonight, what gives?!? I'm getting lost.
 
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Old 11-29-16, 07:23 PM
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Is the buried cable NM or UF?
 
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Old 11-29-16, 07:34 PM
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Just to be clear: It is tripping the 100 main or the single pole 20? If it is tripping the main, it is likely a short circuit. I have seen short circuits happen that it will bypass the branch circuit breaker and trip the main breaker, sometimes both.

Turn off the garage breaker to disconnect the circuit. Run an extension cord to tempory the garage door opener so you can at least park some cars.
 
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Old 11-29-16, 07:35 PM
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I know enough, not all. I know there is a difference between the two as well.

I can't see enough writing on what is visible, but it is sheathed gray. Not the normal yellow.
 
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Old 11-29-16, 07:37 PM
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but it is sheathed gray.
Gray is good. That is UF. Does not require conduit but should be buried 24" unless it is GFCI protected, then it is 12".
 
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Old 11-29-16, 08:17 PM
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Run the extension cord like Tolyn said and then disconnect the feed to the garage where it first enters the garage. If breaker keeps tripping then likely a short in the UF. If it stops tripping...problem in garage.
 
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Old 11-29-16, 08:18 PM
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It trips the 20 single pole breaker. Once it has tripped the 100 main. At that time I was running tools and then the dishwasher was on and the house furnace as well. Then all the little things that are on. I figured I overloaded the main at that point.

As for depth, I found it at maybe 6 inches.
 
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Old 11-29-16, 08:21 PM
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Tolyn and carbide. I can disconnect and cap the wires where it comes in as a "test"? Hadn't thought of that. Will do.
 
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Old 11-30-16, 04:51 PM
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I highly doubt the main tripped just because of things you were running. A dishwasher, furnace, and other home small items will not even come close to tripping a 100 amp main breaker. I still think it is a short circuit.
 
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Old 11-30-16, 05:45 PM
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Forgot to mention there is a gfci on the garage, an outlet style. If it ever trips it shuts down the whole garage.

I came home and the breaker was tripped. Reset and I tripped the gfci. Went for diner and came home to a tripped breaker.

Assuming I need to replace the line from the house now. I swear I didn't hit it, but maybe I did and didn't realize it.
 
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Old 11-30-16, 06:17 PM
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If you disconnected the garage from the UF cable where it comes into the building, then your issue is with the UF cable.

I would use this opportunity to run a larger circuit to the garage and install a sub panel. Perhaps a 120/240 volt, 30 amp circuit would suffice. If you want to go big, you could do 60 amps as well.
 
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Old 12-01-16, 06:46 AM
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I would love a sub panel. If I did a 60 amp, I would have to do at least two of the double pole single breakers to free up space as my box is full.

I will look and figure it out, but what gauge wire for the 60 amp?
 
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Old 12-01-16, 06:58 AM
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At 100 feet or less one white, two black #6 and one # 10 green THWN on a 60 amp breaker. If you use UF cable 6-3 on a 50 amp breaker
 
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Old 12-01-16, 08:47 AM
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Thank you all for the help!
 
 

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