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Circuit breakers is there anyway to test to see if a circuit breaker is good or bad

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  • buckeyes_13f Feb 15, 2009

    I have, Its a double breaker, and when i touch one post it reads 120 and the other post reads 20 to 30,

  • Perry Putnam
    Perry Putnam May 11, 2010

    With a volt meter check for power across the connections at the circuit breaker with the cb in the on position.



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20-30 would be a bad breaker.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009


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Hi, I have a nice master B150D that ran flawlessly last season,brought it out this year replaced nozzle,spark plug,new fuel. Fired it up ran for 30 sec. pop's the circuit breaker,reset,runs 20 sec....

if a circuit breaker pops i assume its an RCELD or is it a MCB type
it is some leakage to earth somewhere in the electrics
if it runs and pops the breaker
and you can plug it in and it will sit there
then i assume its something do do with the fan system
or ignitor . driver system
look for sources of leakage to earth
and you could measure the peek current it uses with a multimeter inline
set to AC amps

anyway its defo not a gonner just some bad electrics

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Had low battery...charged and re-installed. wire running from positive to circuit breaker started to I have no juice when I turn on the key..I pulled the circuit breaker and tried to short to...

You've got a dead short somewhere. First test everything you can with an ohm meter. Pull all the fuses out and measure the resistance from the circuit breaker ot ground. Check the outer case of the circuit breaker as well. I have seen them go bad and create a short circuit themselves.

Good Luck

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Breaker for bathrooms started kicking out-nothing is plugged in outlets when we set immediately kicks out again- thoughts on what it could be

Okay, this sounds like fun. Are you confident in opening the breaker panel and removing the wire from the breaker? Make sure that the breaker is off when you do this. By removing the wire, we determine if the breaker is faulty. If the breaker still trips when there is no wire on it, then it is faulty and needs to be replaced. Now, if the breaker is good, then take an ohm meter and check the resistance between the disconnected wire and the neutral wire (white) for that circuit. You should have the settings on the meter to the highest resistance. You should read infinite resistance, if not, then it could be a faulty receptacle or light socket in the circuit. Sometimes the plastic in the device (socket or receptacle) can develop a carbon path that may or may not show on an ohm test. When 120 volts is applied it arcs and sometimes shorts out. Assuming that you have a low resistance you need to find the device that is faulty. If you have a high resistance, you will still need to find the fault. Reconnect the wire, and leave the breaker off, and you should remove a device on that circuit and by process of elimination, check the circuit one device at a time.

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1 Answer

When I flip the manual switch it clicks but the lights wont turn on.

Manual override should turn lights ON-OFF even if timer has gone bad.
It sounds like problem is electrical.

Suspect line-up:
Test that timer is getting electricity from breaker.
Burned out bulb. Change bulbs. Spray WD-40 on bulb threads before installing bulb.
Outdoor wiring can go bad easily, outdoor bulb sockets become dirty and stop functioning.
Loose wire between breaker and timer -or- between timer and lights.
Loose wire inside timer box. Tighten screws.
Loose wire on circuit breaker. Tighten screw on circuit breaker.
Tripped circuit breaker: click circuit breaker all the way one direction and then all the way back other direction.
Bad circuit breaker. Move wire from one breaker to another same-size breaker.

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Also take advantage of fixya phone service.
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Circuit braker faulty

The following link is step-by-step troubleshoot for water heater electric circuit:
Link also tells how to test breaker inside main breaker box, and then ends with step-by-step troubleshoot for internal electric water heater parts.

See basic water heater circuit on following link:
If circuit breaker is bad, following link shows how to replace circuit breaker:


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One of the breakers assigned to our Hot wtr htr has been tripping recently leading to loss of hot water. This has happened twice in the last month. After resetting the breaker things have worked fine,...

Breaker could be bad.
Let's do a quick check and save you money.
Open top cover on water heater and push in red reset button that might be tripped.
If reset is tripped, water heater should turn ON.
If reset will not reset, then replace upper thermostat:
If reset is not tripped out, then it is OK, so test two top wires on upper thermostat.
Use cheap multimeter from home center, and set dial to 240-250-277 VAC.
Test across top two screws on upper thermostat to see if you have 240Volts.
To do full troubleshoot on ordinary tank electric water heater takes 30 minutes and multimeter

If water heater is not receiving 240V, then the breaker is suspect, or a wire between breaker and water heater is loose.
See basic water heater circuit

Now let's look at circuit breaker:
Mark suspect 240V breaker.
Identify all your breakers, and also mark another 240 Volt breaker that is same amperage as water heater 240V breaker.
Turn off main breaker.
Take front panel off breaker box.
The wires and lugs on main breaker are HOT, so stay away from that area.
Suspect breaker has 2 wires coming from breaker.
See if one or both wires are loose, and then tighten.

If wires are tight, then move these wires to the other 240V breaker that is rated for same amps as water heater.
Now turn on main breaker.
Put ear against water heater tank to hear bubbly fizzing sound.
This will identify if circuit breaker is bad, or if water heater needs a full troubleshoot.
It is not a good idea to run two 240V appliances on same 240V circuit breaker, so you may have to decide one or the other appliance until you can replace breaker.
Instructions to replace circuit breaker:

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1 Answer

No hot water

Electric water heater can be repaired by homeowner.

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3) Bad upper thermostat. Replace upper thermostat.
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Circuit Breakers Test

To test a circuit breaker you should set the multimeter to "Volts AC" and touch the prongs to the breaker's terminal screw and a ground. If there is no power, the breaker is faulty and requires replacement.

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