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Thread: breaker

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    126

    Default breaker

    My breaker jumped . Why would it jump now when it never has before? I know how to reset it. That s the most I know about breakers. When should it be a concern? Could not using too many appliances at same time resolve this concern?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,443

    Default Re: breaker

    Breakers jump for a few reasons. Some of them are:

    1. Age. It could be too old, and just like an old switch, worn out.
    2. Dirty. The contacts ae dirty.
    3. Overloaded. Too much to bear, so it jumps because that's its job.


    Reset it and if it jumps again replace with the same kind from the same mfg.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,509

    Default Re: breaker

    Breakers also trip when the power company is having trouble supplying electric to all the customers and use "brownouts" to keep some power flowing at reduced amperage.

    Turn the breaker all the way off then all the way back on. DOn't worry unless it happens again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: breaker

    Good advice all. Also, does the front of the breaker feel warm to the touch after tripping? Which would be another sign of an overloaded circuit or loose stab on the back of the breaker.

    I recenty had a 200A breaker tripping w/ only a 94A load. It got real hot (180 deg). Turned out that the stab was black from years of overload and had no tension.

    Had to replace the entire backplane of the panel and breaker.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,622

    Default Re: breaker

    Or it could be a lose connection somewhere in the circuit that has created a high resistant connection.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: breaker

    How long do breakers last? Is there maintanence to do and what kind? Do they only need replacing when they trip? If I need more power is it only a question of replacing the breaker with one of higher amperage?

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,443

    Default Re: breaker

    - There is no set life time to a breaker. A new breaker can last an hour or 50 years.
    - You replace breakers when they go bad.
    - If you need more power you can't just put a larger breaker, unless you change the wiring and in most cases upgrade the panel, a process that requires getting a permit and be done by a licensed electrician.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: breaker

    True dj and they can stand overloads (and being reset) for a long time but just a few direct shorts and the're ready for the trash can.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,443

    Default Re: breaker

    Maurice,
    I have a source for reconditioned/used breaker in perfect condition, near me. For old panels with expensive breakers (like zinsco), I use breakers that I pick at this place. They work fine and they are half off.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Manhattan
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: breaker

    Well, "Jumped" is certainly an unusual word to describe a breaker tripping. But I guess we know what you really mean.

    The first thing to do is figure out what all is on that circuit...

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