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Turning on copier trips circuit breaker


HandyEnough's Avatar
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07-13-17, 12:55 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Turning on copier trips circuit breaker

Hi, Guys.
Sorry if this should have been posted somewhere else, but...

First, I'm an IT professional (computers, networking, etc).
A client has a large, floor-standing, printer/copier/scanner device that they want me to connect to their home network, etc.

However, when they turn it on, it blows the circuit.
We can flip the circuit in the circuit breaker, and that's fine, but when we turn the copier on again, it does the same thing....and so on.

Is there an obvious problem (like, maybe it's not the correct type of outlet for the copier device or something?) that anyone can point out, or will this take some more, lower-level troubleshooting?

Thanks for whatever info you can provide. :-)

 
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07-13-17, 12:58 PM   #2 (permalink)  
Sounds like the circuit is overloaded.

What else is on the circuit, what's the size of the breaker and the requirements of the copier?

 
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07-13-17, 01:03 PM   #3 (permalink)  
Is the copier running on and tripping an AFCI breaker?
That would be a circuit breaker with a pushbutton on it.


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07-13-17, 01:04 PM   #4 (permalink)  
Check what else is on the circuit, but home network? As in residential? As with 15 Amp circuits?

I'm wondering if the printer might not require a 20 Amp circuit, as normally found in commercial?

 
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07-13-17, 01:59 PM   #5 (permalink)  
Any laser printer with a heat fuser has a pretty big current draw as that fuser warms up. It's possible this circuit already has too much load and cannot handle the additional demand of the copier. Do you have another unloaded circuit at the client's site you can test plugging in the copier to rule out whether this is a supply problem or a malfunction in the copier?

Most large appliances and electronic equipment have a nameplate somewhere on the machine that lists electrical requirements. Can you inspect the copier and see if some of that information is there? Perhaps the manufacturer has specific electrical requirements.


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07-14-17, 12:36 PM   #6 (permalink)  
When the OP returns I believe we will find that the copier requires a 20 amp circuit and has a 20 amp plug requiring a 20 amp receptacle. If so, this would be one of the rare occasions that a 20 amp receptacle might be needed in a home.

 
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07-14-17, 01:17 PM   #7 (permalink)  
If it has a 20 amp plug and it's plugged in, it would have to be a 20 amp receptacle, would it not?

 
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07-14-17, 02:41 PM   #8 (permalink)  
Correct, a 20 amp cord requires a 20 amp receptacle.


All answers based on National Codes. Please check with your local building departments for local amendments.

 
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07-14-17, 03:08 PM   #9 (permalink)  
Well, I dunno if my Brother printer is just getting old, but it would dim the lights and reset my PC in this house. That's with nothing else on the circuit turned on. 15A breakers but all 12ga wiring and regular 15A outlets. I had to initially run an extension cord to the bathroom across the hall to print. Real PITA.

I just picked up a new UPS and plugged it in there along with my PC and monitor and other system devices. No dimming, no resetting.

After the initial turn on/warm up it goes back to line power.

Needed an UPS anyway, so a cheap fix.


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07-14-17, 07:48 PM   #10 (permalink)  
Gunguy, your UPS likely compensated for the drop in voltage when your printer kicked in. I have seen that a few times with computers.


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07-14-17, 09:16 PM   #11 (permalink)  
Oh, I knew what it was. I was just proposing that as possibly an easy fix for his copier problem.


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07-15-17, 08:03 AM   #12 (permalink)  
Did the copier ever work properly, either on this circuit or another circuit?

Could be a touchy breaker, one that trips on just the slightest power draw over 15 (or 20) amps.

Could be a malfunction in the copier causing it to draw much more power than it did when new.

 
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07-15-17, 10:57 AM   #13 (permalink)  
If they are hiring an IT pro to connect things in their home...

...they probably have a LOT of gizmos and are overloading their circuits. For now try a heavy gauge extension cord (contractor 12 gauge for $100 at home improvement stores) and plug into an outlet in another room. Or move copier to another room.

For a permanent fix, they should have an electrician come out and install some new 20 amp circuits, one for the copier - others for other gizmos. Have the electrician take a look at what all they have and see what should be done.

Usually best to install new 20 amp circuits/outlets for "power hogs". Then that frees up the existing circuits for many less power hungry gizmos.

 
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07-15-17, 11:03 AM   #14 (permalink)  
We need to wait for the OP to come back and clarify the installation.


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07-16-17, 11:21 AM   #15 (permalink)  
If it has a 20 amp plug and it's plugged in, it would have to be a 20 amp receptacle, would it not?
Yes, very true, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the circuit is 20 amps. I have seen several times where a 20 amp receptacle was installed on a 15 amp circuit in cases just like this one where a new copier with a 20 amp plug was purchased.

 
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07-17-17, 08:06 AM   #16 (permalink)  
Good point, Joe - I assumed the wiring in the building was correct....

 
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07-20-17, 03:50 PM   #17 (permalink)  
I assumed the wiring in the building was correct....
That would be the logical assumption, but I have worked with the general public enough to know you cannot assume anything.

We need to wait for the OP to come back and clarify the installation.
Yep, the OP seems to be another one hit wonder.

 
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02-13-18, 11:22 PM   #18 (permalink)  
OMG....I'm so sorry, guys.
This project went away, and then I spaced off this thread that I created to ask about it.
Will read your responses now to at least learn from what was shared.

 
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