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fishlips

Troubleshooting 110V Circuit breakers

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We have a fairly new cabin and had an episode where a breaker kept shutting off last summer. After a call to the electrician and close to $200, he diagnosed it as a 'weak' breaker and replaced it. We now have another 15Amp breaker doing the same thing - it immediately trips when reset. I don't want to assume its another weak breaker and definately don't want to get shocked, but is there a simple method to diagnose this and possibly fix it myself? I have a fluke multimeter.

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The circuit is for 3 ceiling fans with 2 60W bulbs in each. Everything is shut off, but the circuit breaker immediately goes to the off position if reset.

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Unplug everything from that circuit. Does it still trip? If it does you either have a bad breaker or a faulty ground. If it were me at that point, I would buy a breaker, pull the old one out and put the new one in. If you're worried about a shock, turn the main breaker off before you do it.

If it works when you unplug everything and plug things in one at a time to see what is tripping. Once it trips it's either the item you are plugging in or the outlet. Try something else in that outlet. If it doesn't trip it's whatever you had in before. If it does trip, you have a short in the outlet. If you're comfortable doing it, turn off the breaker for that circuit and replace the outlet. If not, call an electrician.

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I would also suggest that you remove the light bulbs and check to see if the breaker will reset. On rare occasion, a light bulb will short out solid and result in tripping of the circuit breaker. As was said earlier, put back one thing at a time until you find which one is b/o.

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fishlips it sounds like something more then a weak breaker. I am living in a house built in 1979, and have not replaced a breaker yet. I'm not a sparky but it sounds like a dead short.

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Quote:
If you're worried about a shock, turn the main breaker off before you do it.

I'm suspecting there is absolutely no reason not to disconnect the power to the panel in this situation.

Bob

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