Question about Circuit Breakers & Wiring Panels

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Main breaker tripping

Hello. I have an old(30? year) breaker box(ITE) and recently replaced my water heater with one that has the same amps element. The wires are cool and the circuit breaker for the heater is fine. But my main keeps tripping. It may go for 2-3 days or twice in the same day. I have 200 amp service with 60A hot tub, 40A range, 20A water heater, 30A dryer, well is 120V 20A, 8 more 15A 120V. Til the water heater was replaced, no problems. A couple of months ago, I replaced the control unit in the hot tub and it seems to run more often than the old one, but the main did not trip. No wires are warm after the main trips and it turns back on. Could the main be bad?? I ordered a new main breaker as no one had one in stock within 75 miles(figures). Any help appreciated.
Thanks,

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Get acceess or rent an amp clamp meter with a "max hold" and clamp it on each line wire coming into the box (if you're not experienced in this hire an electrician being tht it can kill you if not done correctly and safely) when it blows check amps to each "leg" and see if it is over 200 amps. if it is under, the main breaker should be replaced . If it is over, clamp it on the "hot" side of each
circuit that you suspect may be pulling too much. If this all comes out ok, have the main service connections to the main breaker checked for being tight. This is a last resort, but I'
ve seen them heat up from being loose and then throw the main. The over all amps could be pulling too much, but it takes alot of things running at the same time to throw a 200 amp main.

Goodd luck!
.

Posted on Jan 17, 2009

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Replacing the main is a possibility and i saw someone suggestion to ck load on each leg of power , also a good idea but one thing i have also seen do this is a loose or corroded connection in the meter base or disconnect which causes a process called electrolysis that is a flaking away of the conductor itself in the meter base or disconnect feeding the panel main breaker and causing heat build up internal to breaker and making it trip but if you replace the main that is the time to check all these connection and it would not hurt to apply a little no lock or some other brand of oxidation inhibitor

Posted on Feb 07, 2009

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1 Answer

Application


Use siemens for old ITE breaker box.
Square D will not work:
http://waterheatertimer.org/See-inside-main-breaker-box.html
Add a comment and describe product, and attach photos.

May 26, 2013 | Square D Co. HOM130C Circuit Breaker

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My hot tub has been running perfectly until a few nights ago when the GFCI breaker tripped and now it wont reset


Either you have a ground fault or the GFCI is toasted. Turn off the power to the GFCI, open the box the GFCI is in and disconnect the output wires, close up the box, re-energize, and try to reset it again. This will tell you which problem you have.

Jun 04, 2012 | Cutler Hammer CH250 2 pole 50 amp

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1 question can Cutler Hammer breakers have the amperage feed through the breakers. To the breaker box and from the box grid to the load. Does it matter which way the amperage is fed through the breaker?...


There seem to be several questions mingled in with those 2 questions.

1) Amps can go either way

2) Breakers trip when heat exceeds certain level. Heat is caused by amps.

3) You want to add a subpanel in garage.
I do not know the code in your area for installing a subpanel.
Your plan will work by connecting 6 gauge wire to main breaker, and new 60 amp breaker will protect wires between main box and subpanel.
Remember, wires going into main breaker cannot be turned off without pulling meter.
Some areas require license to pull meter.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-circuit-breaker.html

4) To work around license and meter-pull, simply replace a 240V breaker in main panel with your new 60 amp breaker.
Then move breakers around to match new set-up.
New subpanel can accommodate two new 240V breakers and one new 120 Breaker
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-a-subpanel.html

5) 6 gauge wire is correct for 60 amp breaker.

6) I'm not sure what you mean by the box rails?

7) Do you need more amperage on main service?
This means adding a larger service panel with 150 Watt or 200 Watt main breaker.
Some areas require service upgrade when remodeling or adding circuits.

8) How to figure total amp draw at your house.
Add up total watts being used.
For example you have 1/2 Hp motor
754 watts per Hp
1/2 Hp = 377Watts
Volts x Amps = Watts
Amps = Watts divided by Volts.
377 Watts divided by 240Volts = 1.57 amps (plus a bit more amperage when motor starts)
40 watt light bulb divided by 120Volts = .33 amps
Double oven has label located inside door that shows upper and lower wattage.
Dishwasher, dryer, big screen TV, satellite receiver all have labels that show wattage.
Water heater has label that shows wattage of each element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Figure-Volts-Amps-Watts-for-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/See-inside-main-breaker-box.html

Add a comment for more help

Feb 18, 2011 | Cutler Hammer 100 Amp Main Breaker...

1 Answer

Why does my 100 amp main get so hot the black wire is starting to melt, should'nt the breaker trip if there is that much draw?


You need an electrician before there is a fire.
If the breaker is not tripping, then the breaker is bad.

Act now before the heat damages the box and you need full replacement.
Absolutely put the metal cover back over the breaker box and keep the door closed.
Move all flammables away fro breaker box area.
Put a smoke detector right there.
Put a fire extinguisher nearby.
You don't put water on an electrical fire.

Before the electrician gets there, turn off as many electrical devices as you can.
Don't run all at one time.
Run just when needed.
Electric water heater.
Space heaters.
Vent fans.
Electric Stove.
Electric Oven.
Microwave.
Heat AC.
Electric Dryer.
Washing machine.
Power tools.
Big screen TV.
The outdoor lights, and swimming pool pump.
Turn off as many indoor lights as possible.

Now the freezers and refrigerator have to stay on.
Clean out the grilles so they run more efficiently.

Reducing your power consumption will be good practice.
When you call the electrician, tell him the brand and amperage of your main breaker.

If the whole box needs replacement, you might want to upgrade the service to 150Amp.
Some areas, it's code that old panels have to be upgraded to more amperage ... but the electrician will know the details. Call local electric supply house to double-check what the electrician tells you.

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I have a 240V hot tub and when I turn on the Cutler-Hammer GFCB250 GFI Circuit Breaker, 50A, it trips immediately. I spoke with a tech support guy from the hot tub mfr who says that the heater and pump...


It is very possible breaker is bad. If you have another 50 amp breaker in the box try swapping them and see if it still trips. GFIC breakers are finicky and they do go bad. I would make sure that the heater is not shorted out before replacing the breaker. It shows 15 ohms which is not what you would normally see which is 9-12 ohms. The reading of 15 ohms you got is high but if the manufacture says that is acceptable then we must assume it is. You also need to test for a short before eliminating the element as a possible cause. Test it with your ohm meter set to the highest setting. Measure between one element terminal and the sheath of the element. Any reading indicates a short to ground indicating the element is bad. If you find it is good then a defective GFCI is really about all it can be.

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Siemens Main Breaker 125 Amp gets warm and trips


sounds like a loose connection ,or possibly a weak main breaker.

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