53

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". Note also that all of this advice applies to panels labeled "Federal ...


43

Yeah, the problem is your work methods. When you hit a problem, you're not stopping to iterate on the problem until it's fixed, as you should. You are ignoring it and dashing off to do yet other work. So now you have a set of compound problems that are all interacting with each other. You seem to think that one thing breaking breaks another thing, for ...


37

Was the bozo that wired those circuits trying to burn your house down? Assuming that the wires are 10AWG (i.e. 30A), this is a major problem indeed as the wires can overheat badly from excessive current draw before the breaker ever notices something is wrong! Think of what a live toaster element inserted into your wall would do... As to the Code, your ...


33

Is there too much voltage/amperage going through this circuit? There is most likely too much voltage, as ArchonOSX commented. How? You miswired it and got 240V. You can check this using a voltage tester. Shouldnt the 15-amp breaker switch keep this from happening? No, the job of the breaker is not to block too much voltage but to disconnect the ...


33

Paralleling is NOT Allowed You can't do this (except under very limited circumstances that don't apply to your situation). The problem (ignoring the code violation) is that if one of those wires breaks (disconnected at any point between device and breaker) then all of the current will flow on one wire, which is not safe as it would put all 20A on one wire. ...


33

Some brands of GFCI’s trip on power loss. I first found this when putting them in on a bathroom sink outlet that was switched. Every time the light switch was turned off the GFCI tripped when the switch was turned back on. I switched brands and the problem went away. I think this was an early safety that today some new GFCI’s make you press test then reset ...


32

Wrong socket! Wrong socket! Wrong socket! That obsolete, dangerous NEMA 10 socket is bad news anywhere you see it. You wired this? Never use a NEMA 10 socket ever again. It should not have been sold to you, and make them take it back. It is illegal except for exact replacement of a broken one. Do these look like your numbers? That is wild-leg delta. ...


31

The problem is that all of those outlets and fixtures are on a single circuit. That means a single cable. The circuit breaker is merely the beginning of that circuit run. What you need is more wire, not just more breakers. You would have to run a separate wire from one or more of those outlets and fixtures to the panel box, and then you could add a new ...


30

There is something you can do: Do not turn on both appliances at the same time! This is relatively straightforward for the combination of a heater and toaster. Unless you are a toast making factory, the toaster runs like 3 minutes per day. During that time, turn off the heater.


27

This is a breaker lockoff device The gizmo on your water heater breaker is a lockoff that's designed to let you turn the breaker off, then attach a padlock with a 1/4" shackle (or a lockout tag with padlock(s) on it), so that you can then lock the padlock, stick the key in your pocket, and be sure that some bozo isn't going to flip the breaker back on while ...


27

Stop what you're doing. Hire a licensed electrician. I may well be downvoted for this, but I think it needs to be said. You're messing around with wiring that's a hundred years old and not up to modern codes without proper training, and you're liable to burn your house down. Electricity is dangerous, and you've already managed to create at least one ground ...


26

Oh dear. This is a foogly mess. First, you did the right thing by punching that main panel breaker down onto a single. The problem is with the subpanel; it is very badly misconfigured by a guy who cut a lot of shortcuts. First, it is illegal to double-tap neutral bar screws like that, unless the panel's labeling or instructions say they are intended ...


25

Like Captain Kirk said when he sensed a trap, "It's never a bad time for a battle-stations drill". It's never a bad time to go through and thoroughly inspect your Grounding Electrode System to assure it's in good order. You may have gotten blindsided by something like the water company severing your water pipe ground by inserting a plastic smart meter.


24

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 ...


24

Breakers and fuses are designed to be the weakest parts of the circuitry. It is their feature. Period. They are designed to fail safely. Fuses burn literally, breakers safely discontinue the circuit. If they are oversized, they may not be the weakest points anymore. In case of failure they won't be the first to burn - it may be the most expensive device ...


24

First, the article writer is arm-waving. A lot. A device which is destroyed when you sever power is a defective device. What he's trying to say is that breakers themselves are not made to be used as switches, and particularly, they're not made to interrupt high-current-drawing loads (like your water heater when cycled on). Except when they are. As ...


24

The fact that this one breaker is regularly tripping could mean that that breaker is worn out. These have a lifetime. Replace it with a new 15 A breaker of the same type. These are very cheap. In the short term analyze what the loads are in those rooms. Can you replace any light bulbs with LEDs? Are there any high power appliances which could be replaced ...


24

An underwater GFCI doesn't matter That is to say, it doesn't perform any useful function underwater. It does nothing to prevent the water from being electrified, which is its one job. Here's how a GFCI is laid out. As you can see, if water can get to the "Line" side of the device, then it electrifies the water. And the GFCI cannot do a thing about it. ...


23

Yes an electrician can fix this. I would suggest a second 20a circuit be pulled in. Since you said toaster oven (in a kitchen) there should be 2 20 amp circuits for the small appliances already. 3000w / 120v= 25 amps so you really don’t have many options as you are limited to 20 amp circuits. Depending on the type of service panel and if it has space may ...


22

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 ...


22

That's fine. The breaker protects the wire, and it's always allowed to use larger wire than you need, so bumping the breaker down to 15A is legal. Based on your anticipated load, it sounds like you won't have a problem with the breaker tripping. The one issue you may have is if you intend to run a space heater on one of the shed outlets sometimes -- ...


22

They are Multi-Wire Branch Circuits This is a wiring strategy that depends on North America's system of having "neutral in the middle" of 240V, giving two legs of 120V. A circuit can be wired so that it brings out both legs, giving a single circuit which is effectively two 120V circuits which share a neutral and ground. This provides a savings in wire,...


22

To answer the actual question here : The maximum sub-fuse is 40A. So upgrading to 40A seems logical. No, the 40A device you're looking at is probably this one : This is a GFI/RCD trip device and its main purpose is to provide ground fault protection for the dwelling. It does have a 40A rating, but this does not impact your user load calculations in ...


21

Per the National Electric Code (assuming you are in the US), #8 is for up to 40A, the Minimum Circuit Ampacity (MCA) was 32A, so there was no issue with the wire size he initially selected. The MCA rating is based on the 125% factors already, so you do NOT need to do them again if you already have that number available to you on the nameplate. Bottom line, ...


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

Boy, that's a classic. Is it a GE? It's fine, just replace the offending breaker, and have your electrician check the others while he's there. The looseness is in the breaker, not the panel itself.


19

I would go to 240V power instead of thick wire First I would contact the manufacturer of the heater and see if they make a 240V version instead of 120V. Then I would run it as a 240V circuit instead of 120V, at what is typically half the amps. When you double the voltage and halve the amps, useful power is the same, but you reduce losses by a factor of 4. ...


19

You're going to careen headlong into NEC 110.2. All equipment must be approved. You want a conductive ammeter. OK, because of the exigencies, that's going to be a large enclosure that will need to mount past your main breaker. You can't insert that between your main breaker and buses in your panel, because your panel isn't listed for that. That means ...


19

Why run the heater if the toaster oven is on? When the toaster oven is on, it also is putting 1500W of heat (about 4000 BTU) into the room. Therefore it is redundant to the heater, and you don't need the heater at those times. You can turn it off. Someone raised an issue about toaster oven heat being delayed heat. Since your other heater is a radiator ...


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