Question about Square D Qob120 1pole 20amp 120v Circuit Breaker

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Circuit Breaker A branch circuit that runs out to my garage trips often and when I removed the cover to the junction box in the circuit to check for current I found that I actually had to turn off two circuit breakers to kill the juice to the garage. What is happening here? Thanks

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  • Brian Jacoby May 11, 2010

    Can you trace out what each circuit breaker operates? i.e. turn on only one breaker and see what works and what doesn't, then flip flop. This info. may be helpful in order to troubleshoot.

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You have 2 circuits that feed the garage , not a problem , the one that you stated tripped often is the one we are concerned with . now do you remember which one that was , if so we need to start there . the first thing to determine is the load on the circuit large enough to to justify tripping of the breaker , breakers tripping is not always an indication of a problem it simply means it is doing its job sometimes . To determine the load turn on all the devices normally on in the garage and get or borrow a amp probe a wrap around is the easiest to use open the breaker panel that feeds the garage and wrap the amp probe around the wire leaving the panel that feeds the circuit to the garage that is the one that trips see if the load is close to the rating on the breaker , if it is then the breaker is doing its job and the only solution it to split the load . now if the load needs to be split then don't forget you said you had two circuits feeding the garage so you might be able to divide the load more evenly between the two you already have before you have to run additional circuits , tripping of breakers is not always a bab thing in most cases in my 40 years of being an electrician it is a case of them doing there job and the load needs to be more evenly divided if this does not help let me know and we will dig deeper

Posted on Jan 30, 2009

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Garage Electrical


You have a problem in the circuit with resistance. There is a connection, possibly a junction box or even an outlet in series with the circuit that has a loose "bad" connection. Possibly could be the connection at the panel breaker.

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Outside overhead wires crossed and shorted while removing a small branch. It tripped the breaker. I reset breaker, then lost power to circuit without tripping breaker. Also lost power to a separate...


You need to trace out the circuit. Find out which receptacles,
and switches are not working. Starting at the panel, following
the branch circuit that doesn't work and check all the wiring connections. Make sure the power is off before you check these
connections for safety sake. NO SHORTCUTS!

Sep 01, 2013 | Electrical Supplies

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I have a circuit breaker that controls a light switch and all the outlets in one bedroom and controls half the outlets and a light switch in another bedroom. None of which work now. I have replaced the...


One single cable runs from the circuit breaker to a junction box in that area of the house.
The cable has a black Hot wire, white Neutral wire, and bare ground wire.
Once the cable arrives at junction box, it can split up 2 or 3 directions.
Each successive box receives a cable that feeds back to the first junction box.

Chances are the junction box is on the ceiling. And it will be the ceiling box that is closest to main breaker box.
Junction box can also be a switch box. In that case it will be switch box closest to main box.

Find the junction box, as point of organization.
Open junction box and separate all black and white wires.
Turn power on and see if breaker sets.
That will tell you if problem is between main box and junction box.

Junction box wires are separated.
Tape tester leads to wood sticks to keep hands away from power.
Turn power ON and test each wire in junction box to bare ground wire.
Tester will light up on Hot wire.
Test Hot to each other wire in box, except bare ground, and tester lights up on Neutral
This identifies the cable that comes from breaker box.

Now, reconnect cable from breaker box to one of the other sets of black and white wires located in junction box.
Check if breaker resets.
If breaker resets, see what circuits are working, and you can eliminate them as suspect.

Remember each successive box in a circuit has 1 cable that connects back to main breaker box
Going 1 box at a time, and disconnecting black and white wires, will eventually lead to the suspect.

Add a comment for more free help.
Also take advantage of fixya expert assistance live.
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1 Answer

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
http://waterheatertimer.org/Figure-Volts-Amps-Watts-for-water-heater.html

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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2 Answers

No power to the receptacles on a circuit, the breaker isn't tripped. there are no GFI's


No breakers are tripped and a circuit is dead.

There is a loose wire.

Let me explain how it works. Each 120V breaker has a black wire that leaves breaker box. The black wire is accompanied by a white neutral wire and a bare ground wire. These wires are sheathed in plastic, and altogether they make up a romex cable.

The cable leaves the circuit breaker box and travels to the first junction box. The junction box is a ceiling box that holds light or fan -or- a wall box containing switch or plug. As a general rule, the romex leaves the breaker box and travels all the way to a junction box located right in the area where lights and plugs are located. The romex does not stop at a junction boxes located in other room.

Inside the junction box, the romex splits and goes to the next junction box, and then to the next box, and the next.

So the plugs in one room are all connected together by a single romex cable that started back at the breaker box. And a single romex wire from the breaker box arrived at one of the junction boxes located in immediate vicinity of dead receptacle.

Here's what happened. A wire came loose somewhere between the breaker and the dead receptacles.

The loose wire is probably in a receptacle.

Here's what to do.
1) Breaker first: You can isolate the suspect breaker by identifying all other breakers. Then tighten screw on suspect breaker. Look for white wire and ground wire associated with the romex cable that connects to breaker >> tighten those screws on neutral busbar. Look for burning around suspect breaker. Is there a burning smell indicating breaker is bad?

2) Receptacles Next. Use ordinary tester. Test each receptacle. Receptacle has two rectangular prong holes and one round hole located below other two. The round hole is the ground. Breaker is turned on. Test each rectangular hole to ground. You have to test both prongs to ground.

The loose wire is right there in the vicinity of dead receptacles.

Test one receptacle and then move to next receptacle. At some point the tester will light up. Now click suspect circuit breaker to see if that receptacle is on breaker. Test receptacle with breaker off and breaker on. If that receptacle is on the suspect breaker, then a loose wire is inside that receptacle box >> or inside the next box. Many times, the wires are pushed into 'quick-connects' located on back of receptacle ... wires get loose ... you need a small screwdrive to release quick-connect, and then wrap wire around screw -or- replace receptacle

If none of receptacles show electricity, then loose wire is inside a switch box, or it is inside a ceiling box located in same general area. Check your switches first. Look for quick-connects, or signs of burning. Look for loose wire nut. Plug light into dead receptacle. Pull switch out with wires attaches. Power is on. Move switch around to see if dead receptacles shows electricity. Move to next switch. The loose wire is there somewhere.

Finally the ceiling box. Take down light and see if there is a loose wire inside. Look for signs of heat or burning.

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1 Answer

No power to dishwasher


Do the following:
  1. Check the power from the wall outlet or the branch circuit itself.
  2. Check for a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.
  3. Check the wiring connections of the dishwasher from the house wiring.
  4. Check the door switch. Remove the control panel cover or the interior liner of the door whenever it is applicable. Replace if defective.
  5. Check the timer or selector switch. replace if defective.

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240v circuit wiring to run my new Dayton Heater (3Vu34A)


On the 40 amp breaker, you should be using 8-3 w/ground. 10-3 w/ground will work on the 30 amp breaker. 12-3 w/ground is used for 20 amp circuits. Your new heater should have the electrical requirements listed in the user/installation information.



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1 Answer

Dishwasher tripping the circuit breaker


Andy, leave the breaker off and remove the toe panel (bottom panel) from the dishwasher. Remove the cover of the junction box where the cord connection or wiring is made. Look at the wire caps and see if they are not burnt. Sometimes these connections become loose and arch, tripping the breaker. If so, cut the wires, strip a new end and reconnect. Catriver...post back.

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