I live in a apartment, it has a 100 amp main breaker. It trips usually everyday at 6 pm and sometimes a couple of times after the first.

The individual breakers don't.

The main breaker gets hot to touch.

The maintenance man has an amp meter. Checks to see it it getting overloaded. But the amps never go over 70. We turn everything on as when it tripped. Now they to the point they say they going to change the breaker box.

This is getting to be a pain in you know where. I thought there could be a short somewhere, but seems it would trip the individual breaker first. Those breakers are not even hot. Mind boggle.

  • 1
    What type of breakers are fitted to your panel Deb? This has the smell of a defective main breaker to it, but could also be symptoms of a deeper problem inside the panel. Jul 12, 2015 at 2:43
  • 1
    Why not just change main breaker?
    – Dan
    Jul 12, 2015 at 6:36
  • did maintenance man do the check at or near 6 pm? is this the apartment maintenance man? what is your reason to want to avoid letting them change the box?
    – Skaperen
    Jul 12, 2015 at 8:04
  • My first shot would be broken breaker. But, as I read all the comments, Skaperen's remark about check about the tripping hour seems important. Jul 12, 2015 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


This is a classic problem. The breaker connection to the buss is compromised/arcing/burned/etc. The fact that the breaker is getting hot and tripping under a load well below it's rating is clear evidence. This fact also says it is past the time when it should have been replaced.

Tell your "maintenance man" to get a real electrician in there NOW! This job is well beyond the scope of a maintenance man. It is almost a certainty that the enclosure/guts will need to be replaced along with the breaker itself.

I have photos of this exact situation from some of the ones I have done.

  • Well, I thank you. We will see, they replaced the whole box today. As I would saying what I was becoming to them, The maintenance man did finally contact a electrician and it is the box said they replacing tomorrow. It got bad today, daughter went to reset breaker again today. This time is was hours earlier about 2:00, Called management, owner and him. Wasn't happy as it shocked my daughter, and would not reset. Well, it 10:00 at night and then did do the box today. All seems to doing fine, so far.. knock on wood.
    – Deb
    Jul 13, 2015 at 4:55

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