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26

The surge suppression in most consumer grade power strips includes a metal oxide varistor (MOV) placed across the line at the supply side of the power strip: These devices suppress voltage spikes by conducting energy across the line when the incoming voltage exceeds a preset threshold determined by the manufacturer. Wikipedia has a good description of ...


23

If your device is drawing too much power, and is causing the breaker to trip. It means the device is too large for the circuit, and the breaker is doing the job it was designed to do. Making an "automatic breaker turner on-er" is not likely the best solution. There's two possibilities for why you'd trip the thermal protection of a circuit breaker. If the ...


21

Concurring mostly with Some Guy's answer here -- the reason why I take an aggressive tone in my other answers regarding FPE is because many of the OPs are coming to us because they want to do something to the breaker box, such as adding a new circuit or replacing a breaker that "died". Trouble Brews in the Panel I will start by linking my main source here, ...


20

I'm sorry, but from the tone of your question, and the fact that you even suggest plugging this motor into a regular 15A receptacle tells me you are so far over your head your only valid option is to hire a pro to wire this. This is NOT a simple DIY job and you cannot simply ask questions to get every little detail out of an internet message board to do this ...


20

As @Ecnerwall says, definitely not safe / legal / advisable. My guess is that the guy kept tripping breaker #4 (maybe too many power tools in the garage?) and decided to share the load with another breaker by adding the extra wire. Approximately half of the current will flow through each breaker, effectively creating a 40 amp breaker. EDIT: in fact it's ...


18

You cannot get 220VAC from one leg in your panel. You must have two isolated 120VAC legs to do this. Using two single pole breakers on one leg will still only give you 120VAC. Why can't you have the main breaker replaced? You should be able to buy a replacement breaker without replacing the whole panel. Also, have you tried manually setting the magnets in ...


18

Sounds like there are two options. Option one is to replace the existing breaker because you think its defective. This option is good if you know that you're not using enough power to trip the breaker so something else must be going on. However, it doesn't sound like this is the case. Option two is to run a new dedicated circuit to the room to handle the ...


16

Alright, now that you found the blatant 240.8 violation: 240.8 Fuses or Circuit Breakers in Parallel. Fuses and circuit breakers shall be permitted to be connected in parallel where they are factory assembled in parallel and listed as a unit. Individual fuses, circuit breakers, or combinations thereof shall not otherwise be connected in ...


15

A tripping breaker is either faulty, undersized for the load, or trying to save your life. If it's faulty, then you can replace it with a new one and the problem will go away. If you're unfamiliar working inside of a breaker panel, then I recommend getting a professional for this. If it's undersized, you need to move some load onto a different (possibly ...


14

Double Taps With most devices you can only have one wire per screw terminal, however, some breakers do support multiple wires under terminals. If the device allows multiple taps, it must be listed for the purpose. NEC 2008 110.14 Electrical Connections. (A) Terminals. Connection of conductors to terminal parts shall ensure a thoroughly good ...


14

There should be a snap to it; the contacts are spring-loaded so that they make or break contact quickly, reducing any arcing that might occur as they approach or separate. Arcing can still happen, but there's less opportunity for it than if the contacts were moving at the speed that you're moving the switch. Like any mechanical device, they can wear out ...


14

Not an uncommon problem. I have had a lot of problems with GFI's the last few years myself. There are a few likely causes: A fault still exists and will not allow the GFI to reset. The GFI tripped due to an overload and the differential circuit was damaged, thus the outlet is now toast. This seems to be a common complaint with standard 15 amp GFIC's. they ...


14

Uh, NO!!! That was a hamfisted moronic code violating idiot wiring job done by a guy who said "hold my beer and watch this!" Rip it out and look around for other work this guy may have done while three sheets to the wind.


13

If you need a receptacle that can accept a grounded plug but don't actually have a need for grounding, you have two options: (1) a GFCI-type receptacle marked with the words “No equipment ground,” and (2) a three-prong outlet protected by an upstream GFCI and marked with the words “GFCI protected” and “No equipment ground”. See section 210-7(d)(3) of the ...


13

As ChrisF mentions, any mechanical device causes some wear when it operates. With that said, let us start by checking with the National Electrical Code (NEC). NEC 2011 404.11 Circuit Breakers as Switches. A hand-operable circuit breaker equipped with a lever or handle, or a power-operated circuit breaker capable of being opened by hand in the event ...


12

There's no good way to do this. You could (in theory) get a spare electrical box, wire it into your main box such that it had access to more current than the breaker under test, and then install the breaker into that spare box, cause a short and watch it trip. Alternately, you could install the breaker, overload the circuit in question (borrow all the ...


12

Breakers are supposed to be good for a fairly large number of triggers, and they are supposed to fail open when they fail. Is there a chance that you were running at a heavier overall load when the second incident occurred? I'm thinking that if you were say within 10 amps of max on the main breaker just due to normal load (air conditioners, perhaps?), and ...


11

The main breaker is sized to trip before the total current draw of the panel exceeds either a) the current carrying capacity of the feed from the electric company, or b) the current carrying capacity of the breaker panel bus bar, whichever is less. So if you order a 100 amp service and your breaker panel is rated for 120 amps, then your main panel should ...


11

Probably. Here's a diagram of how a main panel and a subpanel are usually wired together: In this diagram: The main panel (on the left) has one breaker at the bottom that controls two outlets. The subpanel on the right gets its power from the top right two breakers in the main panel. Turning that pair of breakers off will turn off the entire subpanel. ...


11

One of my favorite code sections, which basically says RTFM... National Electrical Code 2014 Article 110 Requirements for Electrical Installations I. General 110.3 Examination, Identification, Installation and Use of Equipment. (B) Installation and Use. Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any ...


11

This is a fairly "common" issue, that typically occurs due to high resistance at the terminal. The high resistance can be caused by corrosion, or a loose connection. The high resistance causes heating, which causes higher resistance, which leads to more heating. Eventually the insulation on the wire starts to melt, and/or burn. Usually the heat will ...


11

You could not just have asked a question that would start a simple debate, like who will win the Superbowl next year. There is not a reason to replace the panel in a panic. It has worked this long, there is no reason to expect it to fail. Replace it when you can comfortably afford it. Yes, you almost certainly have FPE breakers. Instead you threw a ...


11

A "Range" is a freestanding combination oven/cooktop device.


10

If there's room in the panel, you could run additional circuits. If not, you could install a second panel, or try and free up space in the existing panel. If you have room for additional circuits, I'd recommend putting the A/C unit on its own circuit. Because through normal use, the A/C unit will introduce surges and noise on the line. This is undesirable ...


9

There should only be one wire per screw terminal. One of my wiring books says that some local codes allow splices inside a service panel, and some don't, so you should check with your local authority to make sure it's OK in your area. However, regular circuit breakers are only a few dollars, so even if it's allowed in your area, my advice would be to ...


9

Put your computers on a UPS, even a small one. Just protecting yourself from short power outages will save you a bunch of downtime. Even if you resolve your overload issue, this is still worth it. Most computer users today can get by with a laptop that's under $500, giving you built-in battery backup & portability in a compact, low-power package. Plug ...


9

If the #14 or #12 wire is a branch going to specific loads, then it is "safe" with respect to that load. It won't overload that wiring regardless of the breaker capacity use (or even if the breaker is bypassed entirely). However, this is unsafe in the context of changes in usage. The electrical code focuses on safety and rightly prohibits this. The ...


9

While I think you'll be smart to hire an electrician and consider replacing the whole panel... Circuit breaker boxes vary in style. You have to buy the correct replacement breaker for your specific box. To determine what you need, examine the box itself. Somewhere on the box will be the name of the manufacturer. Tip: "Square D" is not it. (Personal ...


9

Disconnect the power Start by turning off the breaker, and pulling the serviceman disconnect, which will typically look something like this. This will insure no electricity is flowing to the condenser unit while you're working. Open the unit Next you'll want to disassemble the unit, to allow access to the electrical parts. This will vary from unit to ...



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