Sorry for the newbie question but I have a circuit breaker (Hager Series MP-E – Magnetic Switch Bipolar 30 A Curve) in my house that absolutely never tripped. This is the main CB in my house. Usage patterns of electric appliances has not changed and this thing started tripping for no obvious reason. Also when it trips it remains in the "on" position, you have to manually set it to "off" and then back to on again.

My question is, if I replace it will it change anything or I need to look somewhere else for the cause?

enter image description here

Thank you!

  • I think this question belongs to another sub forum. Anyway appliances break, so can wiring, maybe you plowed a screw into a cable or whatever inside a wall. It is usually pretty rare that circuit breakers triggers by a glitch. Troubleshooting short circuits that happens once in a while is difficult, but maybe start noticing what kind of appliances is running when it happens is a good start. Could also be an outside lamp that shorts when it rains. – Linkyyy Feb 27 '19 at 11:53
  • It may happen. With a relatively low tripping counts the CB gets worse and worse, afterall it's a very fine mechanical device. Also a brand Hager, I had never heard of maybe it's a cheap stuff. – Marko Buršič Feb 27 '19 at 12:16
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    Some breakers DO have to be switched to the off position manually before they can be switched on again. What's the actual part number on it? Post a picture if it's not obvious. – Finbarr Feb 27 '19 at 13:09
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    @MarkoBuršič Hager is a good make - German iirc... – Solar Mike Feb 27 '19 at 13:56
  • @Finbarr here it is: imgur.com/a/ip0SBHN – Serban Feb 27 '19 at 15:41

Don't assume it is the breaker...

I had a tripping fault that was intermittent, spent a huge amount of time looking for it...

Eventually it became so frequent that I disconnected room by room every single appliance and eventually found the culprit - a washing machine that was failing when under load and hot...

So, it may not be the breaker - it could just be doing its job and keeping you safe from faulty equipment... You need to investigate.

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Aircon filter was clogged. Thanks everybody for the tips!

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    Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for answering your own question; would you add some details so future visitors can benefit from your experience? Thanks. – Daniel Griscom Mar 12 '19 at 16:06

Since you show a pic of a breaker that is used in hundreds or millions of industrial panels controlling equipment 24-7 for 30+ years I would say possibly it could be the problem. I have rarely had breaker problems that a replacement was the fix other than GFCI, AFCI breakers (from the photos this is not an FPE stab lock or zinsco). I would verify the load on the breaker prior to replacing it (but they can go bad - some brands won't trip and some trip too soon). A bit more info would help provide a better answer. I thought I should add this breaker is not normal for the US, but more common on the other side of the pond, or equipment built there and imported,

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There is clearly a malfunction in this breaker, and for safety sake, you should change it.

Breakers are an electromechanical device, and therefore there is the chance of itwearing over time. We can only speculate the cause of the fault, so I wouldn't worry too much, and change the breaker. If the fault is elsewhere, you will have improved the situation anyway, as there is a clear fault in the old breaker, and you will be able to move to the next step of finding the fault in the wiring or equipment, if there is one.

For the less google prone, here is what OPs breaker looks like (according the part number given) Breaker

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    If the fault is elsewhere, how can you say the breaker is also faulty? – Solar Mike Feb 27 '19 at 14:00
  • @SolarMike you say that the breaker trips, but stays in the on position, that is not how the breaker should work. It should always move to the off position, when it has tripped. That should in theory point that that is the fault, but, you might also have another fault, that might have caused the breaker to fail. Breakers like that are really cheap, so it is really worth changing.. – Elmesito Feb 27 '19 at 14:34
  • I did not say that the breaker stays in the "on" position... And I have seen some where the handle always stays at the top whether "on" or "off"... as they are spring loaded... – Solar Mike Feb 27 '19 at 14:35
  • sorry, I mean it is written in the question – Elmesito Feb 27 '19 at 14:36
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    Every household breaker I have ever used has the actuator stay in the "on" position, but an indicator (a red spot behind a plastic window) shows that it has tripped. You have to manually move the actuator into the OFF position before turning it back ON again. In my experience this seems like standard operation for most breakers, at least here in the US. I can't speak for other countries. – DerStrom8 Feb 27 '19 at 15:25

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