I recently asked for help because my dishwasher was tripping the circuit at random points in the cycle a few times last week. It was suggested to switch the breaker for another to see if it was a faulty breaker causing the issue since the appliance was new and well under 20amp power requirement: Faulty breaker? Older than the others?
So i finally started the process of switching the GFCI breakers today (after not using the dishwasher the rest of the week). The neutral wire on the breaker in question is burned! It has even burned into the coil on the breaker, which the neutral was touching. The live wire is fine.
In the picture, i have reinserted the neutral in the correct way, under the metal plate. But when i took it out originally, it was attached between the screw and the plate - you can see this bit of the plate is burned too. All the other breakers seem to have the wire screwed in correctly. Seems pretty dangerous to have left this breaker badly installed since it seemed to have created a fire risk.
For now i have put it back with the breaker switched off. I assume this is safe since now there is no power running to the neutral wire.
So could it have been an incorrectly or loosely installed neutral wire causing the shorting? I guess in this case, I can cut back the burned neutral wire and replace the breaker with a new one. Or could it be something else - do i need an electrician to investigate?