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#12338 - 08/07/02 01:32 PM Breaker tripping problem  
motor-T  Offline
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 280
Girard, Ohio, USA
I need some help.
Got a call from the proverbial 'lil Ole' lady. She keeps tripping one 15 amp Sq.D Homeline breaker, there are two 15 amp receptalces they are grounded and the voltage drop on the two of them is 2.3%, that is 4 receptacles 2 duplexes.
turned the TV on and a window A/C unit and drew about 5.6 amps. On occasion the amprobe would spike and trip the breaker. Reset it and it would still be spiked reset it again ok . The strange part is the current will creep up the scale then drop down, creep by maybe half an amp when on 0-15 amp scale.
Then she tells me she thinks she got hit by lightning, and I am thinking maybe its the TV. But got no indication after the third time i reset the breaker and so far so good.

Please any ideas or even a WAG I take anyting i can get at this point.

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#12339 - 08/07/02 02:05 PM Re: Breaker tripping problem  
electech  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 113
Northern Il
Loose screw on the breaker? A/C motor/compressor drawing slightly more current (your half amp) because of lowered voltage at the load?

#12340 - 08/07/02 04:23 PM Re: Breaker tripping problem  
mamills  Offline
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 745
Wharton, Texas, USA
As you suggested, a WAG, I would suspect a fault in the TV. It seems that the spike on the amprobe indicates something in the circuit (or connected to the circuit) is finding a momentary low resistance path from the ungrounded conductor to the grounded conductor or EGC. In electronic equipment, a transient fault (possibly from a bad filter capacitor) in a power supply can also cause a large current draw.

Just a guess on my part, assuming the integrity of the circuit itself is good.

Mike (mamills)

#12341 - 08/07/02 04:33 PM Re: Breaker tripping problem  
motor-T  Offline
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 280
Girard, Ohio, USA
Yes breaker is only a couple of years old and all was tite.
Yes I have thought about that too the A/C is more than a couple of years.

Good WAG, I never thought about a filter cap. I was thinking more on the lines of a diode but the TV seems to work fine.

Could it be a bad breaker and when it spikes it trips as it should. I am inclined to think the breaker is ok, but I cant pin-point anything, and dont want to tell her to go and buy a new TV and that will solve all the problems because I dont know at this point.

thanks for the help
if you think of anything else post it would appreciate it.


#12342 - 08/07/02 04:49 PM Re: Breaker tripping problem  
mamills  Offline
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 745
Wharton, Texas, USA
What about a "process of elimination" test with the TV and AC connected (separately, and together) to a different circuit, using a heavy ext. cord so as to minimize voltage drop?

Mike (mamills)

#12343 - 08/07/02 04:51 PM Re: Breaker tripping problem  
jdevlin  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
welland ontario canada
Havr tried just running the Tv or the AC not both. What happens to the current then. Try plugging of the devices into a differnt circuit.

#12344 - 08/07/02 05:48 PM Re: Breaker tripping problem  
frank  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 376
windsor ontario canada
I would
-check for dirty A/C coils (will cause amps to climb in minutes and kill it by the end of the season)
-think about the comp pulling locked rotor on start up and what that does to the TV
-tell her that the A/C must be on a detecated circuit ( one of them will puke soon so move it or loose it)
-again the A/C should be removed taken apart oiled and cleaned.It must be put on its own circuit or at least away from the tv.
-sorry for the spelling but i got a ear infection the room is a spinnin and the cipro and tylenol 3s are kickin in.

#12345 - 08/07/02 08:37 PM Re: Breaker tripping problem  
lynnbar  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 6
volga west virgina usa
you checked the breaker, how about the neutral thats on the line it self, the first thing that came to my mind when you said homeline was a mobile home, and if its wired like mine well I can understand why its poping breaker,

#12346 - 08/07/02 09:52 PM Re: Breaker tripping problem  
motor-T  Offline
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 280
Girard, Ohio, USA
I really appreciate all the input. and the suggestions. Hopefully i can resolve this in the morning.
And thanks again for all the help.


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