Question about Siemens 20Amp 1-pole arc-fault circuit breaker

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20 amp breaker pops with only a light (60watts) and a small tv on. samething occurs in another room with an iron and a light on, These items can't possibly be brawing 20 amps. Is there a problem with these breakers. my house a year old.

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I have been an electrician for 11 years and when these breakers came out in 2005 what a nightmare. These circuit breakers are extremely sensitive. They are designed to sense loose connections and to protect your house from fires caused by them. By increasing the load (ie. more lights or tv) it increases the size of the "arc" created by the loose connection and the circuit breaker trips before the 20 amp maximum. What I normally find as the cause is a loose connection in one of the receptacles or switches on the circuit. A lot of times, installers will use the "quick stab" inserts on the back of the outlets or switches instead of the side screws. Usually, if you "side screw" all of the receptacles and switches it will resolve the nuisance tripping. One other item that can cause them to trip is too many dimmers on the arc circuit but it doesn't sound like that is the problem you're having.

Posted on Nov 16, 2009

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2 Answers

The fuse trips when the iron is switched on


dead short internally or bad wiring in the cord
cord can be replaced by electrician but otherwise junk it and get a new one

Dec 09, 2016 | Irons

2 Answers

The existing outlets in my kitchen are 20 amp. Can I replace them with 15 amp GFCI's, which are a lot cheaper than 20 amp? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Best Answer: This is allowed, since a 20 amp circuit has many 15 amp receptacles. It is VERY rare to have any one device pull that much current. Except in special cases, all outlets in homes are 15 amp. 20 amp outlets have a special sideways T for one prong. This is so that a device that requires 20 amps can't be plugged into an ordinary 15 amp outlet. Look around the room - I'll bet there are no 20 amp outlets in sight. Unless you're wiring up a shop, and have a larger than average table saw or planer (which would have a special plug, and probably require a dedicated circuit) then you're fine. As far as cost, 15 amp outlets are $0.88 - $1.50 and 20 amp are $6. My advice is to use a good quality 15 amp outlet over a cheap 20 amp. Always use the screw terminals, not the quick push-in type. The terminals are every outlet's weakest point. With a good connection, you'll be more than safe.

Dec 04, 2015 | Washing Machines

1 Answer

No lights upstaires circuit breaker keeps tripping


Jan 2013
1) Move wire to another same-size circuit breaker to eliminate bad circuit breaker as suspect.
Do NOT increase size of breaker or it will cause fire.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-circuit-breaker.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Troubleshoot-household-electricity.html

2) Put hand on each appliance and outlet to see which ones are warm. Outlet should never be warm or hot. Replace outlet. Inspect wires for loose and burned connections.

3) If the breaker is good, then add up total watts being used by checking watt rating on each device. 100 watt light bulb is 100 watts. Big screen TV has a label that shows 300 to 500 watts. Computer has label. Space heater has label showing 1500 watts. Iron has a watt rating label. Take total watts and divide by 110Volts and this will give amp load. Total watts used = 2000 and then divide 2000 by 110 volts = 18.8 amps
Compare amp load with circuit breaker.
20 amp circuit breaker has 80% safe maximum, or 16 amps.
If amp load is 18.8 amps, then 20 amp breaker is starting to get hot, and weak breaker will start tripping.
If amp load is 18.8 amps, and breaker is 15 amps, then you are overloaded and breaker is feeling the heat, and tripping because of heat.
Solution is to reduce amp load.

4) If you have short circuit, that can also trip breaker.
Unplug everything and then plug things back in slowly to see which plug or appliance is causing the problem.

Jan 18, 2013 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

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?


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

Oct 29, 2012 | Challenger Circuit Breaker

1 Answer

Room heater caused 15 amp circuit breaker to go bad. Can we update 15 amp circuit breaker to 20 am (similar to ones next to it)


Probable not, in order for you to install a 20 amp breaker, the wiring must be a #12 gauge cable.Check the power requirement of your room heater. It should be not more than 15 amps. Check and retighten the connections to the heater.
Install a new 15 amps breaker.

Nov 21, 2011 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

I have a Fimco 2100 model sprayer that keeps blowing the fuse. Wiring is all ok. Pump doesn't even attempt to turn on. Fuse blows almost 1 second after pump switch is turned on. Pressure gauge never...


The breaker is too small, the cord is too small, the starter motor on that thing draws 18 amps. It will trip any 15 amp breaker and any 20 amp breaker with something else running, any cord will drop the amp below the starter winding min. make sure nothing is running, separate circuit if you can find one, no extension cord, and a 20 amp breaker in the fuse box. if that is not the problem , then something is shorting out when you hit the switch. Check the wiring on the pump and make sure all is secure, no loose wires, no sparks. My compressor won't run on any old plug, has to be 20 amp, has to be without a cord or with a heavy cord, and has to be hot out, if it is cold, forget it!. We have to keep the compressors in a heated room so they will run in the winter. Hope this helps.

Jul 08, 2011 | Garden

1 Answer

Trips circuit breaker after 10 minutes of use


This iron is 1500 watts. On a 120 volt breaker, that's about 12.5 amps. Check to see what else is on this breaker. A 1500 watt space heater or a washing machine combined with this iron will pop a 15 or 20 amp breaker.

Mar 03, 2011 | Rowenta Professional DX8800 Iron

1 Answer

We plugged in a small electric heater in the room with our Vizio plasma tv. All lights everything went out. I hit the breaker and everything came back on except the TV. No power at all. NO money must...


Hey Juuuudd..lol...not beatles...
Plug your tv into another outlet some where in another room and see if it works.

Check your tv owners manual and see if it has a "reset" button.

Usually, if this happens it because of the electric heater.
They tend to pull alot of power and blow power to your fuse box.
IE...if you have a 15 amp breaker and run 20 amps per say through it
it blows....or shuts off the power.....this happens alot at work with people
running heaters, lights etc.

if your problem persists let me know...good luck.

PS....don't run that heater...


Jan 26, 2011 | Televison & Video

2 Answers

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.

Aug 07, 2010 | General Electric 20 Amp, 1 Pole Thick Type...

2 Answers

Blown breaker


It sound like all of those go through your bathroom GFCI. I would recommend moving your outdoor circuit breaker indoors if possible or enclosing it to make it water-proof. You may also do some rewiring from your main breaker box ( if you are handy) to eliminate the outdoor box completely considering you have 100 amp / 200 amp breaker box inside your house. If you still have an old FUSE BOX with 60 amp service, I would recommend replacing it with a 100 amp or 200 amp breaker box depending on the size of your house. I would separate the laundry room by itself with 12/2 gauge wire with ground on a 20 amp breaker. You can then take your bathroom (using 12/2 gauge wire with ground keeping your gfci ) and run it to another breaker in the house with a 20 amp breaker or add a new one if there is room in your main box. Now all you have left is the porch light. You can run that separate from everything to your main breaker box using 14/2 gauge with ground to a breaker in your main box by adding a new 15 amp breaker or adding it to another 15 amp breaker that does not have a very high load such as a bedroom. In general Kitchens, Bathrooms, Laundry rooms should be on there own separate 20 amp breakers. Most every other room can be 14/2 with ground on a 15 amp breaker... hope this helps....Joe

Dec 17, 2008 | Prime 10 Amp Circuit Breaker

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