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I recently moved a treadmill to workout room. Whenever the treadmill is in use, it trips the breaker shortly after starting up. I figured this is because the workout room also shares a circuit with another room that uses outlets for heated blankets and electronics. I decided to put the workout room on its own breaker with the exception of sharing an outlet which runs the heated blankets. I'm not sure when but sometime during the night the breaker tripped. To my knowledge only the heated blankets were running. The treadmill definitely was not running and this has never happened before moving the treadmill to the workout room.

The breaker I installed is a 15amp combination AFCI/GFCI breaker and neither the AFCI or GFCI tripped. It looks like this is due to overloading the circuit. How can I find the source of the problem?

NOTE: The treadmill has been runnning on a 15A circuit in a different room. The treadmill previously had an issue with shutting off after 5-10 minutes of use. The treadmill screen/panel would reset and just freeze up. I was told it was due to a fried/bad board from not lubing the belt. Haven't used the treadmill until it was moved to the new room.

  • Did you check the power requirements for your treadmill? It may be greater than 15A in which case it's not surprising that the breaker is tripping. – jwh20 Jun 10 at 16:58
  • A combination AFCI/GFCI, then the treadmill could be showing a fault once it starts to get warm... – Solar Mike Jun 10 at 16:58
  • maybe it's not the treadmill, but a timing coincidence and a problem with the blankets. – dandavis Jun 10 at 17:04
  • @jwh20 I'm not positive on the treadmill but it was previously running on a 15A circuit. Also I should mentioned that the treadmill just got fixed for having an issue where it would just shut off after about 5 minutes of use. – Programmer Jun 10 at 17:32
  • @Programmer I recommend that you check your owner's manual and/or the label that specifies the power reqts. Note that some treadmills require a 20A dedicated circuit. This is not to say that it won't work on a 15A circuit, and just because it works doesn't make it OK, but that it MAY require more than a 15A circuit can safely provide. Note this manual from a Precor model: precor.com/sites/default/files/manuals/… – jwh20 Jun 10 at 17:48
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You need to know what's all on these circuits and what they pull. There's no substitute for this.

So it comes down to looking at the manual for every appliance on the circuit. Considering of course that the appliance shouldn’t draw if it's off.

You can also use a Kill-a-Watt to directly measure; pay closer attention to VA than watts.

Once you've done your tally, you will surely discover an obvious problem, like 23A of loads on a 15A circuit. Rearrange as necessary.

  • I unplugged the treadmill last night and the breaker did not trip. I don't have a Kill-a-watt yet to verify what it's pulling but I'm guessing that it is using power even when it's not turned on. Could it be using that much power to trip a 15A breaker even when it's not turned on? How is my electric bill not ridiculously high? – Programmer Jun 11 at 16:09
  • Any chnce it's the electric blnkets? – Harper Jun 11 at 16:19
  • I'm thinking no since they run most nights and nothing has gone wrong with them. Once I get the Kill-a-watt I will find out for sure. – Programmer Jun 11 at 17:31

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