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littleitalygem
Pushmatic breaker tripping

I am renovating a 1903 house with a Pushmatic box.

A breaker that controls three ceiling lights has tripped several times. Most of the time, I discover this when the house is empty and few to no electrical items are in use.

The ceiling lights are new and have the right wattage of light bulbs. An electrician inspected the contractor's installation.

The house has a variety of wiring: knob and tube and at least two generations of Romex.

Any clue what's happening? Thanks!

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Pushmatic breaker tripping

Could be a nail through the wiring someplace, a piece of broken insulation on a wire allowing it to short, a bad connection that is loose or corroded, or something on the circuit you haven't found yet. Just some of the possibilities.
Jack

Re: Pushmatic breaker tripping

all good ideas above.....I believe push o matics are a bolt in breaker the screw could be loose on the buss bar. Loose connections take a while to heat up and trip breakers also so check that also if the breaker continues to trip after swapping it with another breaker

djohns
Re: Pushmatic breaker tripping

If the breakers " bolt onto " the bus bar , you will need to turn the main breaker OFF to prevent the screwdriver shaft from becoming energized when you tighten the screws .

Re: Pushmatic breaker tripping

The answer:

An electrician discovered that the wiring to the kitchen light backfed into the circuit for the three ceiling lights.

The kitchen light wiring looked more complicated than usual, so I had left it without a light until I had an electrician out to install it.

Occasionally, people would flick the kitchen light switch out of habit, even though there was no light, and it was tripping the breaker for the other lights.

Thanks for all the input!

dhvozza
Re: Pushmatic breaker tripping

I would highly recommend an electrical upgrade.If I had three different types of wiring in my house,I wouldn,t sleep at night.Most people upgrade kitchens and baths,or floors and trim.They only patch electrical issues.We put alot more stress on electrical systems than when your house was wired.I know that it sucks spending money where you can't see it,but you have to do it from time to time.I need a new roof,but would rather spend the money on new appliances.:)

Ernie_Fergler
Re: Pushmatic breaker tripping
dhvozza wrote:

I would highly recommend an electrical upgrade.If I had three different types of wiring in my house,I wouldn,t sleep at night.Most people upgrade kitchens and baths,or floors and trim.They only patch electrical issues.We put alot more stress on electrical systems than when your house was wired.I know that it sucks spending money where you can't see it,but you have to do it from time to time.I need a new roof,but would rather spend the money on new appliances.:)

I too agree along those lines. A new service and load center will pave the way for future upgrades no matter what or where the upgrade. And not really a major expense when you look at the big picture.
When you think of it, can you put a price on peace of mind?

Re: Pushmatic breaker tripping

You may want to consider an infrared survey also

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