+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Bad breaker??

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    S/W Michigan
    Posts
    10

    Default Bad breaker??

    I'm having a strange problem with the breaker/circut in my garage wiring. About 3 years ago I ran all new wiring to my attached garage. I ran 2 circuts, one for lights & one for outlets. The lights are fine, but I'm having trouble with the outlet part now & cant find the cause.

    I was working in the garage last week and all the outlets went out. I figured I"d tripped the breaker, so I went in to check it & it hadnt tripped. Then all of the sudden the outlets started working again. I blew it off, then the same thing happened again. I reset the breaker (flipped it off then back on). It happened once more, so I shut off the breaker & started looking for the cause. A week later & I still dont have a clue whats going on!

    Here is everything thats on this circut-
    7 outlets
    2 outdoor motion flood lights (each with two 75 watt bulbs)
    14/2 wire
    15 amp breaker
    *the only things continuously plugged in are a small clock & a garage door opener.

    I've checked every outlet, all the wiring itself in the garage (unfinished garage, easy to check ) and all the bulbs in the floodlights outdoors. I swapped in a different breaker & everything seems fine, but the questionable breaker works fine in another slot in the breaker box. I'm not convinced the breaker is the cause since its working in another circut. I'm really concerned that the breaked did not trip, even though the power went out a few times!

    I should be able to test the breaker with a OHM meter correct? Is there anything else I should be looking into? This is the wet/snow melting season here in Michigan-is it possible one of the outdoor floodlights could be getting wet?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Bad breaker??

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick M. View Post
    I'm having a strange problem with the breaker/circut in my garage wiring. About 3 years ago I ran all new wiring to my attached garage. I ran 2 circuts, one for lights & one for outlets. The lights are fine, but I'm having trouble with the outlet part now & cant find the cause.

    I was working in the garage last week and all the outlets went out. I figured I"d tripped the breaker, so I went in to check it & it hadnt tripped. Then all of the sudden the outlets started working again. I blew it off, then the same thing happened again. I reset the breaker (flipped it off then back on). It happened once more, so I shut off the breaker & started looking for the cause. A week later & I still dont have a clue whats going on!

    Here is everything thats on this circut-
    7 outlets
    2 outdoor motion flood lights (each with two 75 watt bulbs)
    14/2 wire
    15 amp breaker
    *the only things continuously plugged in are a small clock & a garage door opener.

    I've checked every outlet, all the wiring itself in the garage (unfinished garage, easy to check ) and all the bulbs in the floodlights outdoors. I swapped in a different breaker & everything seems fine, but the questionable breaker works fine in another slot in the breaker box. I'm not convinced the breaker is the cause since its working in another circut. I'm really concerned that the breaked did not trip, even though the power went out a few times!

    I should be able to test the breaker with a OHM meter correct? Is there anything else I should be looking into? This is the wet/snow melting season here in Michigan-is it possible one of the outdoor floodlights could be getting wet?

    Thanks in advance!
    I'd guess a loose connection, perhaps up at that garage door opener receptacle. Could be a penetration somewhere anywhere, rodent chewing, etc.

    Short, fault, arc. Objectional current or continuity issue.

    Some of those motion detector outside lights from the big box stores can cause all kinds of troubles when the original lamps go bad.

    Unconditioned space ambient temps and humidity - shouldn't be regular NM-B. 2008 NEC spells out more clearly what the code actually said for years but DIYers never fully "got it". Should we assume w/ground? Any bundling issues?

    Those other garage receptacles should be GFCI protected, and at least 12 awg on 20 amp OCPD.

    The garage door opener receptacle likely should be on its own dedicated circuit, its fastened in place even if powered via a cord and plug.

    What other device was plugged in when this even occured? If you don't have a bonded EGG the device might be the trigger.
    Last edited by Gray Watson; 03-09-2009 at 06:14 PM.
    SPAM: never liked it from a can, can't stand it on a board forum. This board needs MODERATORS!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    S/W Michigan
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Bad breaker??

    Thanks Gray!

    Putting that garage door on its own breaker is on my 'to do" list for the summer!

    At the time all his started happening I also had one of those "dual spotlight" worklights plugged in, this one actually-

    http://images.lowes.com/product/805673/805673011311.jpg

    Never really had trouble with it before, but its still possible(?) I dont really use it that often, just too bright!

    The outside floodlights are older & I cant even remember the last time I changed bulbs in them, gotta be over 2 years ago. Replacing those fixtures are also on the 'to do" list for the summer, lol. Everything is properly grounded, all connections were tight and looked good also.

    Since I've probably already used too small wire (14 awg) can I still add GFCI receptacles to the existing wiring? Theres never really a lot being plugged into the seven outlets in the garage, I just put them all over so power would be close by. I totally agree, GFCI outlets would be a good idea.

    I've also considered just adding a new circut just for the garage door & the two outside lights, would that be a good idea or is it best to just have the opener all by itself? I think you already answered that but it was a thought...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Bad breaker??

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick M. View Post
    Thanks Gray!

    Putting that garage door on its own breaker is on my 'to do" list for the summer!

    At the time all his started happening I also had one of those "dual spotlight" worklights plugged in, this one actually-

    http://images.lowes.com/product/805673/805673011311.jpg

    Never really had trouble with it before, but its still possible(?) I dont really use it that often, just too bright!

    The outside floodlights are older & I cant even remember the last time I changed bulbs in them, gotta be over 2 years ago. Replacing those fixtures are also on the 'to do" list for the summer, lol. Everything is properly grounded, all connections were tight and looked good also.

    Since I've probably already used too small wire (14 awg) can I still add GFCI receptacles to the existing wiring? Theres never really a lot being plugged into the seven outlets in the garage, I just put them all over so power would be close by. I totally agree, GFCI outlets would be a good idea.

    I've also considered just adding a new circut just for the garage door & the two outside lights, would that be a good idea or is it best to just have the opener all by itself? I think you already answered that but it was a thought...
    Yes you should GFCI those outlets, just make sure you are using a 15 amp GFCI, not a 20 amp. The number of outlets should not be a problem, as it is just the opposite. As in it reduces the number of extension cords in use.
    I agreed to disagree with placing the garage door opener on a dedicated circuit. I don't think it is needed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,776

    Default Re: Bad breaker??

    Did you use the stab connections instead of wraping the wiring on the screws in the outlets etc? Did you check both the hot and the neutral connections?
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Bad breaker??

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick M. View Post
    Thanks Gray!

    Putting that garage door on its own breaker is on my 'to do" list for the summer!

    At the time all his started happening I also had one of those "dual spotlight" worklights plugged in, this one actually-

    http://images.lowes.com/product/805673/805673011311.jpg

    Never really had trouble with it before, but its still possible(?) I dont really use it that often, just too bright!

    The outside floodlights are older & I cant even remember the last time I changed bulbs in them, gotta be over 2 years ago. Replacing those fixtures are also on the 'to do" list for the summer, lol. Everything is properly grounded, all connections were tight and looked good also.

    Since I've probably already used too small wire (14 awg) can I still add GFCI receptacles to the existing wiring? Theres never really a lot being plugged into the seven outlets in the garage, I just put them all over so power would be close by. I totally agree, GFCI outlets would be a good idea.

    I've also considered just adding a new circut just for the garage door & the two outside lights, would that be a good idea or is it best to just have the opener all by itself? I think you already answered that but it was a thought...
    Nick M,

    You're welcome.

    That would depend on what the name plate on the equipment says about the device's rating - and the instructions.

    In lieu - 1/2 hp 9.8 amps 1/3 7.2 amps. Remember most have lights. The additional lighting has to be calculated as continuous loads @ 125%.

    You're subject to the 50% rule - cord set connected or not the device is attached to the structure.

    If the 2008 NEC is in place that opener's receptacle has to be GFCI protected the exceptions are gone from the 2008 NEC. Because it (the receptacle) is often difficult to reach should it be tripped or to test the work-around is to use a dead front GFCI for the dedicated circuit conveniently located in an accessible location such as near the man-door (such as near the overhead light switch) to protect a regular grounded receptacle up near the opener's mounted location.

    I think you know which circuit would better serve the exterior lighting.

    Regarding the light/lamp you were using, notorious issues with them in general having damage, loose connections, nicked insulation, case grounding on damp floors, etc.

    Recommenation: always use with a GFCI protected cord-set. These open both neutral and hot and are safer.

    You should be using a GFCI protected cord set for all of your electrical activities in the garage and sourced from the garage until you have proper protection and a properly bonded and isolated ECG in place.
    Last edited by Gray Watson; 03-10-2009 at 12:41 PM.
    SPAM: never liked it from a can, can't stand it on a board forum. This board needs MODERATORS!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Bad breaker??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Watson View Post
    Nick M,

    You're welcome.

    That would depend on what the name plate on the equipment says about the device's rating - and the instructions.

    In lieu - 1/2 hp 9.8 amps 1/3 7.2 amps. Remember most have lights. The additional lighting has to be calculated as continuous loads @ 125%.

    You're subject to the 50% rule - cord set connected or not the device is attached to the structure.

    If the 2008 NEC is in place that opener's receptacle has to be GFCI protected the exceptions are gone from the 2008 NEC. Because it (the receptacle) is often difficult to reach should it be tripped or to test the work-around is to use a dead front GFCI for the dedicated circuit conveniently located in an accessible location such as near the man-door (such as near the overhead light switch) to protect a regular grounded receptacle up near the opener's mounted location.

    I think you know which circuit would better serve the exterior lighting.

    Regarding the light/lamp you were using, notorious issues with them in general having damage, loose connections, nicked insulation, case grounding on damp floors, etc.

    Recommenation: always use with a GFCI protected cord-set. These open both neutral and hot and are safer.

    You should be using a GFCI protected cord set for all of your electrical activities in the garage and sourced from the garage until you have proper protection and a properly bonded and isolated ECG in place.
    I saw that 2008 change regarding GFCIs and the opener outlet. The NEC believes GFCI false trips are a thing of the past.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: Bad breaker??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Watson View Post
    I'd guess a loose connection, perhaps up at that garage door opener receptacle. Could be a penetration somewhere anywhere, rodent chewing, etc.

    Short, fault, arc. Objectional current or continuity issue.

    Some of those motion detector outside lights from the big box stores can cause all kinds of troubles when the original lamps go bad.

    Unconditioned space ambient temps and humidity - shouldn't be regular NM-B. 2008 NEC spells out more clearly what the code actually said for years but DIYers never fully "got it". Should we assume w/ground? Any bundling issues?

    Those other garage receptacles should be GFCI protected, and at least 12 awg on 20 amp OCPD.

    The garage door opener receptacle likely should be on its own dedicated circuit, its fastened in place even if powered via a cord and plug.

    What other device was plugged in when this even occured? If you don't have a bonded EGG the device might be the trigger.
    Gray,
    a couple of questions regarding the highlighted sections.

    What sort of problems with motion lights and why only the original lamps?

    Is a garage different for NM-B than inside a house where the NM-B is run through an attic? Are those enviorments for ambient temperatures and humidity different?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •