Random circuit breakers tripping

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Old 12-29-20, 08:09 AM
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Random circuit breakers tripping

I am living in a house that is just under a year old and am experience erratic, random circuit breaker trips.

- this started about 8 months ago when the circuit for the laundry washer/drier would trip when NOT in use. I would discover the tripped circuit in the morning. the appliances would run fine after reseting the breaker. The builder's electrician replaced the breaker. There was one more random trip on this circuit the next week, but then things were okay for 7 months.
- last month the above mentioned laundry washer/drier circuit breaker started to trip again. So far it has happened about 4 times in the last 4 weeks.
- 2 days ago, we woke up in the morning to find the dishwasher and garbage disposal circuits had tripped when NOT in use.
- yesterday, every circuit i mentioned had tripped when we woke up in the morning, again when NOT in use.
- Yeserday, during dinner, the circuit for the kitchen lights tripped (while IN USE). This breaker I was not able to reset; it stayed trip despite switching on and off. The builder's electrician came by today and determined this circuit tripped because of an issue with the dimmer control on the circuit. A few minutes after they left, this circuit tripped again.

I am really frustrated about this. Does anyone have any clue as to why this could be happening? Please keep in mind this is a relatively new build still. It seems to me that all the occurrences are related, however, the kitchen lights problem might conceivably be different because that was the only circuit that tripped while it was on, and that's the only one I can't reset.

Any help would be appreciated.
 
  #2  
Old 12-29-20, 08:58 AM
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Since this is a new home I would escalate it with your builder. Obviously you have gremlins and they are going to have to dig deeper to find the culprit. I would document in writing every time the breakers have tripped and under what circumstances in case you need to file a warranty claim or file a suit against the builder to get it resolved properly.
 
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Old 12-29-20, 12:16 PM
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Eaton breakers? They have had history on this but did fix them.
 
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Old 12-29-20, 12:41 PM
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These are mostly CAFCI breakers, which could trip due to arc or shorts. With the issues you're experiencing, they are probably arc trips, but many breakers nowadays have some type of indication as to the reason for their trip.

What kind of breakers do you have?
 
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Old 12-30-20, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for your replies. The majority of the breakers are Square D "dual purpose" (GFCI / AF). The breaker for the kitchen lights that went while one was on are on GFCI breaker.

Our builder's electrician came by. They replaced every breaker with a new one to ensure the random trips are not related to the breakers. As for the kitchen lights, this was found to be due to a "loose wire" in one of light fixtures and this was addressed. One hour has passed since they left, and the kitchen lights haven't tripped again. Crossing my fingers.

Still not sure what caused all the other breakers to trip while things weren't on. I'm really hoping it was due to a bad product stock.

I was wondering if issues on the electrical grid could have caused them to trip while thing were on.
Would people recommend getting the electrical company's surge protector to be put on the electrical meter; $10/month and they're always sending promos for it.

 
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Old 12-30-20, 02:46 PM
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One thing not mentioned yet... if you have "close" neighbors, i.e. exterior walls within 10 feet, you may be experiencing EMI/RFI. This can be especially true if a neighbor transmits rf (cb/amateur.) There are several well known brands of both outlets and breakers that still to this day have issues in the presence of interference.
 
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Old 12-31-20, 10:59 PM
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Would people recommend getting the electrical company's surge protector to be put on the electrical meter; $10/month and they're always sending promos for it.
I do recommend surge protectors, since everyone these days has a lot of electronic equipment in their houses. Though if it were me, I would get something like this (this is the one I've installed a handful of times):
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Intermat...0RC3/203954915
It connects to a DP 30A breaker and will pay for itself in a year compared to the power company's surge protector.

None of them will protect against a direct strike - and I always use surge protector powerstrips at expensive devices too, but it's cheap insurance against transient surges.
 
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Old 01-01-21, 10:29 AM
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We found out that the power company can send signals out over their lines and will trip, in this case Square D cafi, even when the unit was not in use. Stopped a few weeks later.
 
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Old 01-04-21, 05:41 PM
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Thanks everyone for the replies and suggestions. Itís been 5 days since the electrician replaced all the breakers. There were no incident until this evening when we discovered the breaker for the dishwasher/garbage disposal had tripped. Annoyed and confused by this.
 
  #10  
Old 01-04-21, 05:54 PM
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I would call the POCO, ask for a project manager in the distribution division, and ask if there is PLC ( power line communication) in your area. The answer you get may drive the next question to SqD.
 
 

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