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Old 02-04-2006, 04:30 PM   #1
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A breaker sets off

Greetings,

The symptoms of the problem are - both batteries are discharged to about 8 volts, lights are dim and the furnace is not working, neither is the hot water heater, nor any power outlets in the bedroom.

Upon investigation found out that one breaker in the bedroom sets to "off". I set it to "on", and it immediately resets to off no matter how many times I try. This has happened a few weeks ago, and then went back to normal for a while, now happening again. When the breaker is "on", everything is working, including Univolt and power outlets.

What can explain this strange behavior? What can I do about it?
Could moisture have something to do with it, I have lots of condensation in my unit.

BTW, it's the breaker on the very bottom of the breaker set. (There are about 5 of them there)
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Old 02-04-2006, 05:12 PM   #2
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It could be a bad breaker. They do wear out from time to time. Or, it could be a real short so be careful. Try disconnecting everything and then throw the breaker on. Plug each thing in and see if it trips.
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Old 02-04-2006, 05:43 PM   #3
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I had AC problems this past summer, and had a breaker replaced, which fixed it. I don't however remember which breaker it was, if it was the same breaker.

It's the one on the very bottom of the breakers, which sets off.

I turned all breakers to "off". Then turned on the troublesome breaker. No problem. Then started turning all the other breakers on, one by one. When I got to the 3rd one from top, it tripped the bottom, troublesome breaker.

What does this mean? Which breaker should I replace? The bottom one, or the one in the middle?
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Old 02-04-2006, 05:48 PM   #4
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I had a similar problem. All breakers were replaced. They are not that expensive. If one went bad, the others may be waiting to follow.

No more problem.

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Old 02-04-2006, 05:58 PM   #5
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Where do I get them, Home Depot, or Lowes?

And how do I pull out the wire (actually 2 wires)going into the breakers? I undid the screw, but the wire wouldn't come out.
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Old 02-04-2006, 06:19 PM   #6
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While my advice will hold true for either situation, I never figured out for sure if you were talking about AC breakers or DC breakers. I leaned toward DC.

If so, you can probably purchase them at an automotive parts supply house. If they are AC breakers, Lowe's, HD, etc. Any RV parts house can sell you either.

Regardless, you need to take an example of the breaker you need to the place you go. You will need to post a pic of your breaker-in-question for help in getting it out.

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Old 02-04-2006, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipso_facto
Where do I get them, Home Depot, or Lowes?

And how do I pull out the wire (actually 2 wires)going into the breakers? I undid the screw, but the wire wouldn't come out.
remove the screw all the way. you may find the wire was curled under the head of the screw.

heed tom's advice and take the old breaker(s) with you for an exact replacement. (i'm 99% sure they are square D style)

john
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Old 02-04-2006, 07:08 PM   #8
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Ipso,

If you have a VOM meter, you can test the breaker once you take it out. Set the VOM to ohms and place on lead on each terminal of the breaker. You should get a reading showing continuity with the breaker on. If you switch it off, you will get nothing. If you get no reading with the breaker on, it is defective and must be replaced.
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:00 PM   #9
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Here are some pics. First, the breakers in the bedroom. The one that trips is circled.

Second pic is the panel in the front of the unit, above the Univolt switch. I fear it may have something to do with the problem, as lately I have been getting a lot of condensation, and I see some leaked right onto the panel. Could this have shorted out something?
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:04 PM   #10
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That is your GFCI breaker, yes condensation may be playing a part in it. But those breakers are notorious for going bad. We have to use them in our jobsite power boards and I usually keep a bunch on hand for when they break or go bad. You will most likely have to completely unscrew the screw to get the wire out. Be very careful when you go to reinstall the breaker and get it lined up properly or you will break the plastic lug off the back, then you can throw the breaker away and get another one.

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Old 02-05-2006, 12:42 PM   #11
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What is the GFCI breaker?

I tried to remove it, undid the screw, but it wasn't obvious to me how the wries comes out of it. Do I just pull on the wire?
And where do I get it?
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipso_facto
What is the GFCI breaker?

I tried to remove it, undid the screw, but it wasn't obvious to me how the wries comes out of it. Do I just pull on the wire?
And where do I get it?
GFCI Ground Fault Circuit Interupter you are required by code to use them anywhere there is a chance of an electrical device coming in contact with water. Bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor recepticals are the norm. If you mean the white curly wire, you will have to disconect if from the other end, it is permanently attached to the breaker. The other wire should just gently pull out. If those are Square D, and they look to be, you should be able to get them at just about any home center, Lowes, Home Despot etc.

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Old 02-05-2006, 02:12 PM   #13
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Thank you, I will see what I can do.
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