+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default Dead 30 amp circuit/wiring question

    Hi,

    I'm hoping someone can give me some guidance, although I will have an electrician do the work. I bought a treadmill and checked the circuit panel for the outlet I plugged it into. The circuit for the outlet is actually two circuit spaces connected together with a 30 amp circuit breaker. The treadmill outlet is the ONLY thing connected to the circuit.

    After about the fifth use, the treadmill apparently cooked the breaker. It didn't even trip the breaker: it just died. I checked the outlet and discovered it's rated at 15 amps, and the wiring looks to be 14/2.

    It seems I need to run 12/2 line from this outlet back to the panel and replace the 14/2 wire. However, I'm not sure what to do with the two spaces in the panel. Do I remove the 30 amp breaker and just use one space for the 20 amp line and leave the other space open? That seems to make the most sense. I guess i'm mostly confused as to why a 30 amp breaker was hooked up with 14/2 wire.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,503

    Default Re: Dead 30 amp circuit/wiring question

    What is the amperage rating of the treadmill ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Dead 30 amp circuit/wiring question

    Oh right. The front of the treadmill has a 15 amp circuit breaker built into it, so I imagine it's 15 amps. Manual also says it's "for use on a nominal 110-volt circuit." It has a 3.0 hp drive motor which is a moderately sized motor for a residential treadmill. 3.5 hp tends to be your larger treadmills.

    I'm just surprised though that at start up this thing would only draw 15 amps. I would think it would draw more than that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Dead 30 amp circuit/wiring question

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmurr33 View Post
    Hi,

    I'm hoping someone can give me some guidance, although I will have an electrician do the work. I bought a treadmill and checked the circuit panel for the outlet I plugged it into. The circuit for the outlet is actually two circuit spaces connected together with a 30 amp circuit breaker. The treadmill outlet is the ONLY thing connected to the circuit.

    After about the fifth use, the treadmill apparently cooked the breaker. It didn't even trip the breaker: it just died. I checked the outlet and discovered it's rated at 15 amps, and the wiring looks to be 14/2.
    The wire is rated for 15 amp supply and the breaker at 30 amp which could mean the breaker is fine . What may have happened is the wire may have overheated and probably *opened* at a junction somewhere.
    Bottom line --- that condition is completely dangerous and could have started a fire.

    It seems I need to run 12/2 line from this outlet back to the panel and replace the 14/2 wire. However, I'm not sure what to do with the two spaces in the panel. Do I remove the 30 amp breaker and just use one space for the 20 amp line and leave the other space open? That seems to make the most sense.
    Yes , that's pretty it. Also, you need to cover the *open* space on the panel cover --- not only for code but for safety.


    I guess i'm mostly confused as to why a 30 amp breaker was hooked up with 14/2 wire.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Dave
    As to why this was this way --- obviously whomever wired this didn't know what they were doing and how dangerous it is --- or care.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Dead 30 amp circuit/wiring question

    Canuk, thanks for your reply. I just checked the wire and found a small section of it where the label hasn't worn off, and it's actually 12/2. I'm positive of that. So I had a 15 amp outlet, on 20 amp wire, connected to a 30 amp circuit breaker. I have a tester that confirmed there's no current in the wire. Also, I found that the wire runs straight from the outlet to the panel, with no junctions in between.

    So i figure the circuit breaker must be cooked. To be on the safe side though, I'm wondering if I should replace the wire? By the way, this house (built in 1961) is an electrical nightmare. I've found far worse in this place.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Dead 30 amp circuit/wiring question

    Just discovered that my dryer is on the same circuit, which now explains why it's a 30 amp breaker. The dryer is working, which means the breaker is obviously working. When I hold my tester to the wire for the outlet, I get nothing, so perhaps the wire overheated and melted somewhere.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Dead 30 amp circuit/wiring question

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmurr33 View Post
    Canuk, thanks for your reply. I just checked the wire and found a small section of it where the label hasn't worn off, and it's actually 12/2. I'm positive of that. So I had a 15 amp outlet, on 20 amp wire, connected to a 30 amp circuit breaker. I have a tester that confirmed there's no current in the wire. Also, I found that the wire runs straight from the outlet to the panel, with no junctions in between.

    So i figure the circuit breaker must be cooked. To be on the safe side though, I'm wondering if I should replace the wire? By the way, this house (built in 1961) is an electrical nightmare. I've found far worse in this place.
    Alrighty , it's a straight run of 12/2. The 12 gauge is only allowed to be protected by a maximum 20 amp breaker , though it can be used on a downrated circuit protected by a 15 amp breaker. In your case that 12/2 was supplied by a 30 amp breaker --- for what and how long before you discovered it.

    You tested for current in the wire --- where did you test -- at the receptacle end ?
    For all you know one of the conductors ( hot or neutral ) could be burned open or broken.
    Unless you test for current coming out at the breaker itself at the panel that's really a way of saying the breaker is toast.

    Regardless , that 30 amp breaker needs to be replaced with either a 15 or 20 amp breaker with the appropriate sized cable run and new receptacle installed

    If it were me , I wouldn't take a chance on reusing that existing 12/2.

    2 cents worth.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Dead 30 amp circuit/wiring question

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmurr33 View Post
    Just discovered that my dryer is on the same circuit, which now explains why it's a 30 amp breaker. The dryer is working, which means the breaker is obviously working. When I hold my tester to the wire for the outlet, I get nothing, so perhaps the wire overheated and melted somewhere.
    Ah !
    So , we have a 30 amp double pole breaker suppling a dryer.
    Someone got the bone head idea of tapping off the dryer circuit -- likely tapped into the dryer receptacle J-box -- to run another circuit.
    That might be where the *open* circuit is. Probably a burnt or broken splice connection.

    Then you won't be removing anything from the panel.
    If anything you would be running cable to the panel and adding a breaker.
    Last edited by canuk; 03-29-2012 at 10:26 PM.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    boston,ma
    Posts
    114

    Wink Re: Dead 30 amp circuit/wiring question

    I would remove the dead line, just make sure it is not connected somewhere else in panel, keep the 30 amp breaker if it is feeding your elec. dryer , and add a new 12/2 run to the panel and add a new 20 amp breaker with a 20 amp gfci if located below grade in basement, if not then use a 20 amp rated duplex recepacle. Good Luck!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,621

    Default Re: Dead 30 amp circuit/wiring question

    Something is not right here. If you have a breaker taking up 2 spaces it's a 240 volt breaker, if you have 2 breakers tied together it's probably a multi-wire branch circuit. Either you have traced the wrong cable or there is something teribly wrong here.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

Posting Permissions

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