For questions generally relating to safety devices used to automatically stop the flow of electric current in the event of a fault condition.

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4
votes
2answers
7k views

How can I determine which outlets belong to which circuit?

I'm putting in a powerline Internet adapter for my house (something like this). My mom said it has two circuit breakers, but she has no idea how the house is divided between them. Going across ...
1
vote
1answer
170 views

Is it safe to replace a GFCI breaker with an arc fault breaker?

We recently had our electrical panel replaced/upgraded and I noticed that our GFCI breaker was replaced with an Arc Fault breaker. Is that safe? Are GFCI breakers obsolete now?
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Does this arc fault breaker manage one or two circuits?

I recently tested our breakers to see what was mapped to what. In the process of doing this, I noticed that our arc fault breaker is handling a LOT. Specifically: 4 bedrooms 2 bathrooms Family ...
2
votes
2answers
398 views

Did I damage the breaker by incorrectly wiring a generator?

During a power outage I attached my generator incorrectly (I have never done this before - I just was not paying attention). Anyway, I crossed the ground at the box with the black. When I turned on ...
7
votes
7answers
8k views

How is it that two breaker switches control the same things?

Forewarning: I don't know that much about electrical terms, so please excuse any mistakes I've possibly made. I recently moved the TV in my living room and ran a new line for the electricity to the ...
4
votes
2answers
699 views

When replacing a circuit breaker in the service panel, how can I determine which neutral is associated with the hot wire?

In my service panel I would like to upgrade two standard circuit breakers with AFCI breakers. AFCI circuit breakers differ from standard circuit breakers in that you attach the hot an neutral to the ...
0
votes
2answers
154 views

What is this single pole switch to empty ceiling box blows breaker when switched on

I would appreciate some help thinking through what are the possible problems in the following situation? A newly wired circuit from breaker box ( 20 amp 12 AWG wire) to front of the house (longest ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

Why does my circuit breaker trip with any small load, even after replacing the breaker?

I have a 20A 240V GFCI breaker in my main breaker box going to a conduit to another breaker box outside. All worked well last summer. Now, when I put any load (weed-eater, light, etc.) on an outlet ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Why did my circuit blow after replacing a switch?

I replaced an older switch yesterday on an existing line of recessed lights. There are five lights on the one switch. On the same breaker; but different switch, there are 7 more recessed lights (all ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Can I install two GFCI receptacles on a multiwire branch circuit?

I am wondering if I'm using a 10/3 teck cable to power two 20 amp GFCI receptacles for a temporary power situation, can I use two separate single pole 20 amp breakers at the panel for each receptacle. ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Why does this switch throw the breaker when turned on?

I volunteered to help a friend with an electrical problem she was having - two of the receptacles in her bedroom did not work. All the receptacles that I looked at had two black wires and two white ...
1
vote
1answer
222 views

Why is one half of a subpanel not working?

I have 12/3 wire running out to my garage. I have a double 20 amp breaker in main box and a subpanel with two single 20 amp breakers in the garage with black to one breaker and red to the other. The ...
4
votes
2answers
28k views

What are the differences between SDS, SDS Plus, and SDS Max drills?

Basically I had to use a breaker last weekend, it was clear I did not need the “heavy duty” as I did not have 6” of solid concrete, but the descriptions of the other options confused me.
6
votes
1answer
354 views

Is it okay two breakers are controlling the same outlets and appliances?

To be specific, we recently had some electrical work done. The electrician added a second panel. He left without labeling anything. So today I've been testing outlets and switches trying to figure out ...
0
votes
0answers
86 views

Terrarium electric board

[hope this isn't off topic for this board] I'm doing a DIY electric board for my terrarium: in case something goes wrong at least the whole electric circuit won't switch off. My current setup is a ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

What would cause an AFCI breaker to trip under no load?

I have an AFCI Breaker that trips with 0 load - nothing plugged in, no lights on. To test that power is getting to the room, I turn on the overhead CFL lights (very light load) and flip the breaker. ...
8
votes
4answers
986 views

How can I automatically disconnect a coffee maker and space heater without tripping the building's 20A circuit breaker?

My small office has a 20A breaker and we have to run a space heater in the winter or else we freeze to death. Whenever someone turns on the coffee maker, the office circuit breaker trips and ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What ampacity circuit breaker would I need for an 18 amp electric heater?

What ampacity circuit breaker would I need for an 18 amp electric heater? Here's a link to the model (IEP-4024), it's North American, 240 volts, 4000 watts, installing it outdoor.
1
vote
0answers
569 views

Why do I have a 3 wire/double pole breaker for kitchen receptacle?

I am switching my kitchen receptacle to a GFI; it has 3 wires. I'm pretty sure I have to break the bar between the two hot screws, thus making the top and bottom on a separate circuit. What is the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How can two different breakers both turn off the same circuit?

I have a 40 yr old home with circuit breakers. While looking for the breaker to turn off a circuit (I was replacing a light switch), I found that two breakers, on the same side of the bus, but ...
0
votes
2answers
8k views

Where in the breaker box should I terminate the neutral wire from my dryer circuit?

I am looking for an answer to something I am lost about, hopefully I can fins some help. I recently moved into a new home. The previous owners had a gas dryer and no outlets for an electric dryer. I ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What are my options to repair a broken tab on a bus bar?

My A/C went out this week. The problem was a broken tab on a bus bar with cut power to one phase of the 220v circuit. My HVAC guy was able to get me going again by swapping the A/C unit to the dryers ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

What could be causing a new 20 amp dedicated circuit supported by a GFCI breaker to trip?

I installed a dedicated 20amp circuit home run to support a single duplex outlet in a bathroom. The GFCI breaker is wired correctly. However, When I plug in a load such as a light a the breaker ...
3
votes
1answer
352 views

How difficult would it be to replace these fuses with circuit breakers?

I had a fuse blow last night. While the short-term plan is just to replace the fuse wire, in the longer term I'd like to switch them out for circuit breakers for the added safety but mostly for the ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Why is the circuit breaker for my furnace stuck in the off position?

The breaker for my furnace is stuck in the off position. We were away for the winter and had someone shut it off, and now the breaker won't turn on at all. We shut off the thermostat upstairs thinking ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

How Do I Power A 220 Water Heater Off Two 110 Breakers

First off I know this is not the best idea. To start my 200 Amp Main has suffered a partial failure and as it is old (60s) and unusual it will be very hard or impossible to replace it. Since the main ...
3
votes
2answers
569 views

Why does the breaker keep tripping on a circuit with two rooms' lights and a sewer pump?

I have a circuit-breaker that is connected to lights in two rooms, and to a sewer pump in the basement. I had the sewer cleaned out and the pump inspected, and no problems were detected. I then had ...
4
votes
1answer
239 views

Can I wire a secondary 240V breaker box for lab equipment from Europe?

I have a dental lab in Europe and might want to move it to the USA. Some of the equipment rates as high as 4kW, and the the total maximum draw is 15kW for the whole lab. Can I wire a secondary breaker ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does the breaker trip occasionally after I installed a new light fixture?

We bought a house a couple of years ago with a covered light fixture box in the ceiling (a blank cover over a wired box and a blank cover over the switch box). I recently modified a plug-in pendant ...
6
votes
7answers
7k views

How important is circuit breaker breaking capacity?

All else being equal circuit breakers can have different "breaking capacity" - it's the maximum current which the breaker can disconnect and it's typically several thousand amperes. The idea is that ...
6
votes
4answers
23k views

How can I tell if a circuit breaker is worn out?

I was installing a light and tripped the breaker (in retrospect, should have turned the breaker off before starting). When I finished installing it I reset the breaker and tried the light switch. ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the primary function of the main breaker in a breaker box? How does it differ from other breakers?

Location: California | United States I'd like to better understand the roles of main breakers and sub-breakers. Why are there multiple levels of breakers? I suspect that sub-breakers are intended to ...
10
votes
3answers
13k views

What is electrical code for number of wires in a breaker?

US, Georgia I am adding some new ciruits to add some additional outlets. The closest place is to run a wire to the main panel box. My question is, can I connect more than one wire to a breaker and ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Can re-closing a circuit-breaker be dangerous?

I have a circuit breaker that keeps tripping. When i try to reset (close) it, it immediately jumps back to the open position with a noise that sounds a little scary. I have now stopped trying to do ...
9
votes
4answers
11k views

Why does my microwave keep throwing the circuit breaker?

I have a circuit that powers several things in my house: Kitchen microwave Basement lights Basement sockets Sump pump Recently, this circuit has been thrown with alarming frequency when I use the ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the purpose of a double pole breaker for separate 15A circuits?

My new house is done being built and I am going to come in and install my new gas range and dishwasher, both 120V 15A appliances. I got thoroughly confused looking at the breaker box because gas ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Why is my fuse board buzzing when I'm using the shower?

I have used an electric shower for years no problems, but all of a sudden my fuse board started buzzing when I use the shower. I replaced the shower with the same size unit and it still makes a ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I figure out why my breakers are tripping?

A few years ago, I installed a solid wood "pocket" sliding door for my workshop. It's on an exterior wall, so I had to add some thick sealing strips that keep the cold air from Wisconsin winters ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What does the latch position of a circuit breaker mean?

I bought a new home in December 2011. After some time the kitchen lights and the lights in the living room started to switch off randomly. Some days it would happen 3-4 times in a row. Other days it ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Multiple AFCI breakers tripping at same time [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What could be causing AFCI breaker and GFCI receptacle nuisance tripping? I have a new house. During the last couple of months I will find that multiple breakers will ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Blown fuse replaced, still no power

Yesterday a contractor was doing work in our bedroom. At one point he plugged in a hammering drill and when he used it it blew the fuse. We confirmed the 15amp fuse was dead but I didn't have a ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I determine if adding an air conditioner will overload a circuit?

I'm going to take advantage of some Memorial Day sales and pull the trigger on a portable AC unit for my "basement-ish" (bottom of windowsill is mid chest, rather than head height) apartment. Before ...
4
votes
3answers
16k views

How do I replace a GFCI receptacle in my bathroom?

we're remodeling our bathroom and were simply looking to switch out 20 year old light almond outlets and light switches for white. While I thought this would be easy I've run into a problem with the ...
2
votes
2answers
434 views

How much current should I expect this motor to draw when it's running steadily?

This fan lists its "Max. Amperage" as 3.2. I assume the motor draws that much when it's first turning on, then settles down to some lower current. How much current should I expect it to draw when ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Can i run my cables from the outside box to the inside breaker box through 2x4 studs?

I am turning our carport into a living room and we have a 100amp breaker box outside that feeds power into the breaker box on the inside of our house. the conduit is going to be in the way of the wall ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

Splitting a circuit breaker into multiple lines

I recently found out that several rooms in my house are apparently connected to one circuit breaker. Setup: My wife was in the bathroom drying her hair and I decided it was time to nuke lunch in the ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

GFCI outlet won't come on

I have a couple recently installed (By a professional licensed electrician) GFCI outlets outside a barn, both on their own circuit. Both have water trough heaters plugged into them - 1500 watts each. ...
1
vote
3answers
14k views

What did I do wrong??! Wiring error is tripping circuit breaker

Here's the scoop: There are 3 switches in my hallway. One switch on side A and two switches on side B. Side A switch controls same light as one switch on Side B. I replaced the switch on Side A ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

What information do I need to select a circuit breaker?

I am having 2 new lines run in my basement to power a workbench's tools and an unrelated computer station. I have room in my panel for additional breakers, and rather than tie into existing wiring, I ...
2
votes
1answer
393 views

How do I recognize which socket cover (fused or 3-pin) connects to which outlet?

I have two power outlets in this room, one is a normal 3-pin (UK) plate cover and the other is a fused (switched) plate cover (much like the one below). I've know removed them and wish to put them ...