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l.bro
breaker

My breaker jumped . Why would it jump now when it never has before? I know how to reset it. That s the most I know about breakers. When should it be a concern? Could not using too many appliances at same time resolve this concern?

dj1
Re: breaker

Breakers jump for a few reasons. Some of them are:

1. Age. It could be too old, and just like an old switch, worn out.
2. Dirty. The contacts ae dirty.
3. Overloaded. Too much to bear, so it jumps because that's its job.

Reset it and if it jumps again replace with the same kind from the same mfg.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: breaker

Breakers also trip when the power company is having trouble supplying electric to all the customers and use "brownouts" to keep some power flowing at reduced amperage.

Turn the breaker all the way off then all the way back on. DOn't worry unless it happens again

Re: breaker

Good advice all. Also, does the front of the breaker feel warm to the touch after tripping? Which would be another sign of an overloaded circuit or loose stab on the back of the breaker.

I recenty had a 200A breaker tripping w/ only a 94A load. It got real hot (180 deg). Turned out that the stab was black from years of overload and had no tension.

Had to replace the entire backplane of the panel and breaker.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: breaker

Or it could be a lose connection somewhere in the circuit that has created a high resistant connection.

Jack

l.bro
Re: breaker

How long do breakers last? Is there maintanence to do and what kind? Do they only need replacing when they trip? If I need more power is it only a question of replacing the breaker with one of higher amperage?

Thanks

dj1
Re: breaker

- There is no set life time to a breaker. A new breaker can last an hour or 50 years.
- You replace breakers when they go bad.
- If you need more power you can't just put a larger breaker, unless you change the wiring and in most cases upgrade the panel, a process that requires getting a permit and be done by a licensed electrician.

Re: breaker

True dj and they can stand overloads (and being reset) for a long time but just a few direct shorts and the're ready for the trash can.

dj1
Re: breaker

Maurice,
I have a source for reconditioned/used breaker in perfect condition, near me. For old panels with expensive breakers (like zinsco), I use breakers that I pick at this place. They work fine and they are half off.

Re: breaker

Well, "Jumped" is certainly an unusual word to describe a breaker tripping. But I guess we know what you really mean.

The first thing to do is figure out what all is on that circuit...

Re: breaker

Very interesting dj, the Code makes us use the same brand breaker as the panel so, w/ obsolete panels we're left w/ the choice of replacing the panel or finding an obsolete breaker.

Eaton has come out w/ "classified" breakers which they say are OK to use in other mfr. panels but some inspectors don't like that and they're only available up to 50A.

Does your source have a web site you can share?

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