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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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 | Circuit Breakers & Wiring Panels

1 Answer

Replaced circuit breaker with a brand new one. There is still no power to anything that runs off that circuit.


Did you check the output of the breaker?

If you replaced the breaker (with one of the types specified on the panel cover) and there is still no output between it and the neutral bar, then there's some sort of problem with the bus bar in the panel. You should shut off power at the service disconnect and carefully inspect the portion of the bus bar to which the breaker connects. You're looking for darkened / pitted copper or aluminum bus. These are indications of poor continuity that result in heat. You may have luck abandoning that breaker location and selecting another, unused location for the breaker instead.


Did you check the neutral wire associated with this circuit?

An open neutral will mimic a "no power" problem like a blown fuse or open breaker - even when the fuse or breaker isn't the problem. The circuit consists of a hot and neutral. One without the other gives a "no power" indication. Keep in mind that the hot (or neutral for that matter) may test "good" in the panel, but in fact may have opened and *any* connection (splice, wire nut, device, etc.) between the panel and where no power is first observed. Check ALL locations (switches, fixtures, outlets, junction boxes, etc.) in the circuit for open broken connections. It can be time consuming - but this is the only way to find the break point. Additionally, there may be a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacle that is supplying power to the part of the circuit that you noticed has failed. Press the RESET button on all of these devices to make sure none have tripped - and those that have - are reset.

Good luck!

Mar 14, 2012 | General Electric Circuit Breakers & Wiring...

2 Answers

My Sylvania - ground fault 15 amp breaker (32740) is tripping with minutes of reseting. It is for 3 washrooms & hallway & is 30 years old .....does or can it loose its life span? What is the cost...


A circuit breaker can go bad, but usually not in the way that you describe. That's not to say that it can't happen, but just not typical. GTE Sylvania breakers were once popular - I installed quite a few GTE / Sylvania electrical panels in homes in the late 80's. You may have trouble finding replacements; do not put an breaker that "fits" into the panel, unless the breaker is designed for use in the panel you have.

The first thing to do is determine the source of the problem. The breaker will trip, but not indicate if it was the result of a heavy electrical load or a ground fault condition. A 15 amp circuit breaker is designed to carry up to 12 amps continuously. The greater the load, the more quickly it will trip. it may carry a 14.5 amp load for several minutes to an hour before tripping, and a 20 amp load may be carried a second or two. GFI breakers are designed to carry 5 thousandths (.005) of an amp (or 5 milliamps) to ground, or the 12+ amps to neutral before they trip.

The way I would attack the problem is to install a new GFI outlet in front of the old wiring, by "inserting it" between the panel and the other plugs and lights, switches, etc on that circuit. The GFI outlet will provide the same GFI protection that the circuit breaker provided at a fraction of the cost.

Turn off the old GFI breaker, and remove it completely. Install a new, standard (non-GFI) single pole 15 amp circuit breaker in its place. Completely remove from the panel the cable that the old GFI breaker fed. Buy a new electrical outlet box (surface or flush mount as desired) that is large enough and deep enough for a GFI plug and 2 cables (if surface mount, use a 4" square deep box and appropriate cover - or if flush mounting use a deep plastic / fiber single gang box). It will be installed in a place close to the panel, but where the old cable will be able to reach inside. Bring the old cable removed from the panel into the new box. Run a new cable that has the same number and size wires from the panel into the new box, too. Connect the circuit neutral and circuit ground to the neutral and ground bars in the panel (they are probably the same bar) and the hot wire to the circuit breaker. make sure that the circuit breaker is OFF. Twist the two ground wires together and combine an 8 inch length of bare or green insulated wire with them in a wirenut.

Next, wire a new GFI plug in the new box. Connect the green wire from the wirenut to the green terminal of the GFI outlet.

Connect the plug's LINE terminals to the neutral and hot wires in the cable that you ran from the panel to the outlet box.

Now, connect the GFI plug's LOAD terminals to the neutral and hot wires in the cable that you removed from the panel and reinstalled into the new outlet box.

Secure the GFI outlet into the box and install the cover. Cover the electrical panel.

Power up and test. if the GFI trips, there's a ground fault in the circuit. If the circuit breaker trips, the circuit is overloaded.

Jun 13, 2011 | Your One Source Qo Single Pole Ground...

2 Answers

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.
For a price, expert works with you while you work on circuit or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Mar 05, 2011 | Circuit Breakers & Wiring Panels

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.

Oct 24, 2010 | Gb Electrical 100 Amp GE Load Center

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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2 Answers

Circuit breaker only half working - reddish flag?


A red indicator means a circuit overload has tripped the breaker. You mentioned a heater? Does the circuit tripping coincide with the heater running? There may be too much load on that circuit.
Contact the original electrician to see if he will come check it out ( licensed, reputable electrician should have no problem with this). If he gives you the run around, find another. Was any aluminum wiring found in the home inspection?

May 01, 2010 | Bryant 40 Amp 2 Pole Br240 Type Br Ni...

1 Answer

I have a circuit breaker that is intermittent


It is unlikely that those temperatures would cause the circuit breaker to shut off and come back on intermittently. (If the breaker trips it has to be reset manually.) It is possible that the breaker is defective internally or that there is a loose connection in the wiring. If you are not knowledgeable about electrical work you should have an electrician check it out for you.

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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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15 amp Gould breaker trips every 24 to 48 hours


As seemingly with everything else, these devices were once very reliable but now fail early in life.
Assuming that this is no GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) equipped breaker, you must  have a bad one. If it is, you may have some stray currents tripping the breaker.
While finishing up on our new home and putting breakers in the main box for the first time, one brand new breaker refused to stay set even though the circuit was OK and no loads on that branch connected at all. In the two years we have been here, we had to replace a second one acting just as you describe.

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