ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
ShoutChat
Recent Posts
Where is Everyone?
by luckyshadow - 11/21/21 10:14 AM
It's been an interesting career
by The Watt Doctor - 11/19/21 09:56 AM
Well I am back to stay (nearly 6 years)
by The Watt Doctor - 11/19/21 09:17 AM
Motor Load Relationships Between Fans and Pumps
by The Watt Doctor - 11/18/21 09:24 AM
GFCI's pops in large numbers
by dsk - 11/05/21 06:45 AM
New in the Gallery:
240/208 to a house
240/208 to a house
by wa2ise, October 9
Now you know.
Now you know.
by Tom_Horne, September 7
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 42 guests, and 13 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#220829 06/05/20 04:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 785
B
BigB Offline OP
Member
why the AFCI kept tripping. New house, finishing up a few odd items today when the floor cleaners came to me and said "soon as we try to use our vacuum in the front bedroom the breaker trips" Huh, must be your vacuum, nobody else has tripped a breaker yet, so I reset the breaker and try my shop vac, trips almost immediately. This circuit has been up and running for months with no issues, lights working fine, plugs work fine except for the vacs. I swapped the breaker with another, problem stays with the circuit. Went on to do some other things so I could ponder on it a while.

Next job, owner wants the bath wall sconce flipped over in the bath that goes with this bedroom, go in there to do that when I noticed a faint humming coming from the 110 CFM exhaust fan which is COMPLETELY COVERED WITH BLUE TAPE AND CAN'T GET ANY AIR. Apparently the tilers covered it to keep dust out, or maybe it was the painters. Once the tape was removed all was well. So the fan must have been really over-amping and the vacs were enough to throw the circuit over the edge, of course first thoughts are always a wiring error or bad AFCI now days.

Just goes to show, I have learned over the years when troubleshooting not to just rush in and tear everything apart right away. It usually pays to think about it for a while and reason things out.

Last edited by BigB; 06/05/20 04:46 PM.
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 785
B
BigB Offline OP
Member
20 years ago we would have grabbed the amp clamp first thing, what I'm trying to say is the AFCIs have changed the way we think about troubleshooting, we are much more conditioned to believe we have a wiring error than an overload which can lead to wasted time.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,672
Likes: 7
G
Member
It would be nice if all AFCIs came with diagnostics, an LED that comes on for arc faults and another for ground faults.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,412
Likes: 3
Member
BigB,
That's quite interesting, I would have suspected something like bad brushes/ commutator in the vacuum cleaner motor.

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 61
A
Member
That sounds very foul to me.
I looked up the first 110 CFM bathroom fan datasheed i could find and it has 0.2 amps nominal current. This would only increase a little bit covered up, if not decrease (depending on the fan design).
Where should it dispass all the heat. otherwise, it would bake the windings and hopefully trip the thermal protection.
I'm very sure there is another fault hidden somehwere in the house that tripped the AFCI.

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 785
B
BigB Offline OP
Member
Originally Posted by andey
That sounds very foul to me.
I looked up the first 110 CFM bathroom fan datasheed i could find and it has 0.2 amps nominal current. This would only increase a little bit covered up, if not decrease (depending on the fan design).
Where should it dispass all the heat. otherwise, it would bake the windings and hopefully trip the thermal protection.
I'm very sure there is another fault hidden somehwere in the house that tripped the AFCI.


All I can tell you is that as soon as I uncovered the fan everything went back to normal and the owners have been in there for a month now with no issues. Maybe it wasn't an overload but some other motor related phenomena that caused it it simulate an arc fault.

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 6
S
New Member
Trouble shooting tip:ALWAYS LOOK AT THE SIMPLE THINGS 1ST!!!
A shorted CFL almost cost me a reinspection fee

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,042
Likes: 3
Member
Had a service call once where the Bathroom Heater/Fan was tripping the GFCI Breaker.

After taking everything apart and reassembling twice and swapping out Breaker I found out there was a direct short in the Heat Bulb.


Bill
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,283
Likes: 3
Member
Craziest service call I had was 'No lights in stockroom' at about 7PM for a national sport apparel/shoe store.

Checked the panel, employee said lights are on controller; that checked out OK. Started following conduit, saw box by entry to stockroom wall, hmmmmm......

Moved a few sneaker boxes............low and behold a toggle switch in 'off' position. Flipped it 'on'! Manager was in shock! Apparently, a box hit the switch that no one knew was there???

To save face, I removed the switch and spliced thru, as the controller was operational.


John
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,042
Likes: 3
Member
It's surprising how many times I solved a non-working outlet problem by turning on a switch that the Homeowner said didn't do anything.


Bill
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
Featured:

Tools for Electricians
Tools for Electricians
 

* * * * * * *

2020 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2020 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman

 

Member Spotlight
CDS
CDS
Nicholson Ga
Posts: 34
Joined: June 2006
Top Posters(30 Days)
Admin 3
dsk 2
Popular Topics(Views)
286,222 Are you busy
218,658 Re: Forum
204,851 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5