100amp service tripping


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Old 03-25-17, 10:34 AM
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100amp service tripping

Hello,

My detached garage has a separate panel that runs from the house. It is a 100amp service.

When out in the garage it seems when I have the 1500watt heater going (on a 30amp circuit) and when I run tools(no particular one and not always) it will trip the 100amp breaker in the house. When I come in to flip it back there is an odd smell as well associated with the trip.

I have run my table saw with dust collection going and my air circulator for example and not tripped this. It always seems to happen if I have the heater on that it will trip the 100amp breaker. Today I had music going, the heater small shop vac attached to my chop saw and when I fired up the chop saw and started in on my cut did I trip.

It always trips it in the house and seems to always have the smell associated with it.

Any ideas what might be causing this? Is this the heater where the issue reisides?

Why also does it only trip it inside?

Any help would be great.

Thanks.
 
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Old 03-25-17, 10:40 AM
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Only the sub panel breaker is tripping..... not the house main.... correct ?

It sounds like a defective 100A breaker as it's tripping prematurely.
It may also be a loose connection where that breaker attaches to the bus bars in the main panel.
 
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Old 03-25-17, 10:51 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply.

The house breaker is NOT tripping. It is only the house 100 amp breaker that is tripping.

So you think that smell is probably the breaker?
 
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Old 03-25-17, 11:28 AM
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It is only the house 100 amp breaker that is tripping.

So you think that smell is probably the breaker?
In your house panel it sounds as if there could be a problem which could be a bad breaker, but it could also be a loose connection of the feeder in the lugs or a loose connection of the breaker to the bus. An examination of the house 100 amp breaker may reveal the problem. I would recommend to first check the terminations at that breaker and then removing the breaker to examine it and the bus. A problem bad enough to make a bad odor usually will also leave signs of heat damage.
 
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Old 03-25-17, 03:32 PM
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There are a few statements from the original poster that need clarification.

My detached garage has a separate panel that runs from the house. It is a 100amp service.
The word service has a very specific definition in electrical work. It is the point where the utility's wiring ends and the customer's wiring begins. It generally includes the overhead drop or underground lateral, the meter and the main circuit breaker. If the OP means he has a 100 ampere circuit breaker in his service panel (the main panel containing the main circuit breaker) feeding the circuit to the garage that would be a 100 ampere feeder, not a service.

So, what is the SERVICE main circuit breaker rating?

... I have the 1500watt heater going (on a 30amp circuit)...
What voltage is this heater? Is it plugged in or hard-wired? 1500 watts at 120 volts should be on a 20 ampere circuit and if it is 240 volts then it should be on a 15 ampere circuit. If it is a plugged in heater (not hard-wired) then the circuit cannot be more than 20 amperes unless it has a special plug/receptacle precluding using the receptacle as a general purpose receptacle.
 
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Old 03-25-17, 05:43 PM
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Thanks for the responses and it seems like an easy thing to replace the breaker and try that.

@Furd, lets see if i can clarify this information best I can. I will include a picture of the panel in the house where the breaker is tripping. Perhaps i should have used sub panel? The garage simply has a break from the main panel in the house as you can see powering it. Does that help?

I think this is the heater being used or a very similar model.

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...VkYaAl3s8P8HAQ

It was from Northern tool some years ago and has a very similar plug to the one this one requires as well. 6-30p. Does that help @Furd and does that help others too verify a bit better if there was any uncertainty that I should try and replace the breaker firs?

Thanks again.

Picture of house panel and pointing at breaker that is tripping
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Old 03-25-17, 05:53 PM
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Even the specifications of the heater call for a 20 amp overcurrent protection, so at 30 amps, it could be heating up too much. I would check/change the 100 amp house breaker. What size breaker do you have in the garage, or is it a lug panel? Can we see a picture of the inside of that sub panel?
 
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Old 03-25-17, 06:07 PM
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He was being a little nitpicky as far as the terms.. It's pretty clear from what you said in the post that the garage has a subpanel.

So yeah if it has the same plug as that, it requires a 30A circuit but it's only drawing 20A. And that being the case, not knowing the size of your dust collector (assuming it's not a huge one, maybe the 2HP Harbor Freight one?) it's doubtful you're using over 80A between everything else to trip that breaker. Just go ahead and replace it.

Even the specifications of the heater call for a 20 amp overcurrent protection, so at 30 amps, it could be heating up too much
No, it says it draws 20A. It comes with a 6-30P, which means it requires a 30A circuit.
 
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Old 03-25-17, 06:24 PM
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Before changing the breaker..... turn it off and remove it from the panel. Look at the clips on the back of the breaker. Make sure they aren't discolored. Check to make sure the two screw terminals on the breaker are also tight.

Any connection heat can cause the breaker to trip prematurely.
 
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Old 03-25-17, 06:49 PM
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Caught the 6-30 after I posted. Thanks for the catch.
 
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Old 03-27-17, 06:45 AM
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I will change out the breaker and if i have continued issues hit the forum up again.
 
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Old 03-27-17, 07:27 AM
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A 1500 watt heater cannot draw 20 amps, let alone enough to require that 30 amp plug. Even if considered a continuous load it is less than 16 amps at 120.
 
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Old 03-27-17, 01:37 PM
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The one he linked to is 4800W. Very likely he was thinking the wrong number when he made the post.
 
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Old 03-27-17, 04:13 PM
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That would certainly make a difference .
 
 

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