Question about Challenger Circuit Breaker

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I have a Challenger 15amp breaker that is carrying my tv, lights & phone in the living room and the microwave in the kitchen. It clicked off and will not stay on when I try to reset it. What do I do?

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  • Margaret Cummings Oct 30, 2012

    Thank you all for your help. I just paid an electrician 75.00. The breaker was so tight I just didn't have the strength to push it far enough over to reset it. I know how I overloaded it and I won't do it again. I installed a microwave over the kitchen stove which pulled more power than the vent hood that had been there. Will be more careful from now on. Thanks

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1) First of all, you are overamping that breaker.
Look at label on each appliance for watt rating.
1200 watt microwave, 120 volts draws 10 amps.
500 watt tv, 120 volts draws 4.1 amps.
15 amp breaker rated for 80% safe maximum is 12 amps
Do not install larger breaker without increasing size of wire.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Color-codewire.html

2) Tripping breaker will not reset.
Jiggle breaker and see if there is crackling sound and check for burned smell.
Breaker might be bad. Move wire to another same-size breaker.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-circuit-breaker.html

3) Other problem could be electrical short, caused by Melted wire, melted outlet, bad appliance, bad surge protector
Unplug everything and see if breaker rersets.
Check each outlet to determine which are out.
Inspect each outlet and switch for appearance of burning or small of burning.
Then plug each item in one at a time, and see what is tripping breaker.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Troubleshoot-household-electricity.html

Posted on Oct 30, 2012

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SOURCE: What other brand will fit

You can only safely use breakers listed for your panel . It will depend on the style of the challenger breaker you are using. Go by the breaker number you currently have and it may cross over to a different brand with same part number . There are two basic Challenger styles. The Zinco/Westinghoue/Challenger Long skinny Like thi one.
dca0315.jpg and the Murry/Bryant style like this Siemens breaker

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Posted on Oct 12, 2010

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WHERE IS THE CIRCUIT BREAKER FOR THE MICROWAVE AND THE WALL OUTLETS


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The location of the circuit breaker will depend on the house, or building that you're in. Generally, they will be all together, often in a stairwell or a garage/basement wall that won't be obstructed. If the electrician followed code, the breakers should have labels on the inside of the breaker panel door, telling you which breaker or breakers service the kitchen. Often, if the microwave is an installed type, it'll have it's own 15 or 20 amp breaker.

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I run into this problem when people are running their microwave off a 15amp line. Especially if it is sharing the line with another appliance like a refrigerator or large over head light or in my wife's case...the vacuum cleaner. Step one is to count the amps on the line. Step 2 is to replace the breaker. They do go bad but not often. Good luck.

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Do you hhave a wireing picture or plan to wire the load center


Here are links that show basic wiring inside a breaker box.

Please look at the images.
If you need more help, answer back and we'll go to the next step

http://waterheatertimer.org/See-inside-main-breaker-box.html

http://waterheatertimer.org/240-v-water-heater-circuit.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Circuit-breakers.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Color-codewire2.html
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Breaker size:
15 amp breaker connects to 14 gauge wire
20 amp breaker connects to 12 gauge wire
30 amp breaker connects to 10 gauge wire
Home Depot and Lowes have a breaker and wire size size chart next to wire cutting machine
These stores have guys who know the basic breaker size for your big appliances
Each appliance has a name plate showing wattage and voltage.
The wattage tells you what size wire.
The voltage tells you what size breaker and whether you need a 120V breaker or 240V breaker.

To lay out your home wiring:
The kitchen microwave needs a 20Amp 120V 'dedicated' line that goes just to the microwave.
The rest of the kitchen plugs are served by another 20 amp 120V breaker
When laying out rest of house, figure how much wattage might be used in an area.
For example the den might have a big 500Watt TV, and 2 ceiling fans and 4 lights.
Add up the wattage and decide how many plugs and switches you want on each breaker.
Now let's say you have a 20Amp breaker which can carry 1920 Watts for the den.
Inside the breaker box you have a 12 gauge wire for the 20 Amp breaker.
The 12 gauge wire has a black, white and bare ground.
The black connects to breaker. The white and ground connect to Neutral busbar.
The 12 gauge wire leaves the breaker box and goes to the first box in the den.
This box is your junction box.
The junction box can be a switch box or a ceiling light box.
You cannot have any junction boxes that are covered by drywall.
Junction boxes must be accessible. All boxes must be accessible.
For example, you choose a ceiling box for your junction box.
The junction box is also the same box your ceiling light connect to.
From your junction box, you branch off a wire that goes to next box.
And then a wire branches off next box and goes to next box. And so on.

If you need more help, answer back and we can help.

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How many outlets will this carry?


While there is a practical limit for the number of outlets on a 15 or 20 amp general purpose lighting circuit in a _residence_, the National Electric Code (NEC) does not impose a # of outlets per circuit limit (residential ONLY).
However, some electrician's design general purpose lighting circuits in a residence using a point system. An outlet is 2 points and a light is 1 point. So, for a twenty amp circuit, (10 outlets x 2 points) = 20. Or, (5 outlets x 2 points) + (10 lights x 1 point) = 10 + 10 = 20. Or (8 outlets x 2 points) + (4 lights x 1 point) = 16 + 4 = 20. However you want to mix it up.

Now, if this is for a Commercial building, the the NEC allows no more than 180 VA (Volt Amps) per outlet. 180 VA / 120 Volts = 1.5 Amps.
20 amps / 1.5 Amps = 13.3 outlets. Drop the .3 and one determines that 13 outlets are allowed on a Commercial 20 amp circuit.

Also, if the 20 amp circuit is considered a continuous circuit (ON for more than 3 hours a day), then it can only be loaded to 80%. 80% of 20 amps = 16 amps.

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When microwave is turned on the light in the kitchen gets really bright, but the light in the dining room goes dime, and also have a fan in dining room area plugged in recept and it slow down almost to a...


Main power ground some where between the outside line and the meter.
Have a electrician to check for you if you are not familiar with millimeter and electricity. Danger !!!!
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How many micro wave ovens will a 20 amp circuit support?


Please stick with me to the end ... some examples are for example only. There is no 1000 watt circuit per'ci.

This will not be possible overload, this is an accident waiting to jump on you, my friend

Install dedicated circuits for these ovens, my friend. It will cost you a little but will be better than having dissatisfied guests or talking to the zoning board or boarding house authority or (gasp) the fire inspector after the fire.

If you don't do this, when the breakers start flipping off, tenants will run extension cords to outlets that have power. A whole different and worse, problem!

Rule of thumb, lighting circuits should be designed to operate at 80%, for example, if you have 800 watts of lights on a 1000 watt circuit, you are at the max.

So, there is a possibility that your circuit for lights is already near max. Adding ovens is trouble. Don't forget the iPOds and cell phone chargers as well as lap top chargers, walkman chargers (older students), little TV's, DVD players, clock radio's, electric shavers, curling irons, steamers, popcorn makers, lava lamps and occasional electric heaters that will be snuck into the room.

What is a 1000 watt circuit ... good question. Ohms law comes into play here.

Volts X Amps = Watts
120 volts X 8.333 amps = 500 watts (a smoothie blender) 300 watts (slow cooker) 200 watts (hand mixer) = 1000 watts.


A 15 amp circuit will protect #14 wire and can carry about 1800 watts (a toaster (1500 watts), for example).

A 20 amp circuit will protect #12 wire and can carry about 2400 watts (i am using a big paint brush here. these numbers are pretty close but not exact and I am not a licensed electrician.)

When I wire, I aim lots lower, preferring to OVER build than to under build.

10 amp circuits are rare in modern homes. In general practice, if the need was to be protected at 10 amps, the wire used in the circuit would be #14 and it would be protected by the breaker at 10 amps. In this case, it is the device plugged into this 10 amp circuit that needs protection rather than the #14 wire (which would be technically oversized)

Another consideration for you is where is the water? If you have an outlet that is 5 feet from a water source (bath - kitchen - etc) it must be protected by a GFIC

A 30 amp circut will protect #10 wire --- but this is not a normal household circuit.

Maybe the best option is for you to have your electrician install a sub panel in the vicinity of use and run several 20 amp circuits from that location to the various rooms.

The answer to your question "How many (1150 watt)micro wave ovens will a 20 (amp circuit handle)" is TWO with nothing else on the line. The National Code requires dedicated circuits for micro wave ovens, BTW. A commercial application may have a different (more stringent) standard in your town.

Thanks for the opportunity to answer your question and thanks for your interest in FixYa.com

Please vote - positive comments appreciated by volunteer question catchers.

thanks

a

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Hello

It could have been the washer at one time but the breakers got moved around over time. The washer should be on its own 20amp circuit. What size is the breaker? 20amp? 15amp? It is on the tip of the switch of the breaker. If it's a 20amp it should be for the kitchen or dining room outlets. It could also be for an air conditioner in the window. If it's a 15amp then it could be for lighting or other outlets other than the kitchen, dining room or ac outlet for window ac. That's just the basics. How old is the house? I've seen some really mixed up wiring in older houses. You could also buy a "Sperry" circiut breaker finder for about $50. It has a outlet plug that connects to an outlet and another handheld scanner that you scan the breakers with to find the correct breaker so that you can label it.

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NO POWER, POPPED CIRCUIT


Two possible causes.

First (and most likely) the circuit is being overloaded. This kitchen circuit may be shared with another appliance (like the refrigerator) which is drawing enough power when both are running to trip the breaker. A Typical kitchen circuit is 20 amp with #12 wiring. So an 1800 watt microwave might draw 13 or 14 amps while a fridge compressor kicking in can surpass 7 amps before it levels off. If this is an older home the kitchen may have a 15 amp circuit with #14 wiring. If the circuit is a 20 amp you will have to split the appliances onto separate circuits. (Under code a kitchen must have a minimum of 2 separate appliance circuits). If it is a 15 amp you might be able to split them as well or may be looking up upgrading the breaker and the wiring from 15amp #14 to 20 amp #12 (but you could still have the same problem).

The other possibility is a short or loose connection. If splitting appliances onto their own circuits doesn't fix this you would probably want an electrician to come in and check for other underlying causes which could represent a fire hazard.

Hope this helps.

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