Breaker mystery

This one has me stumped. I have a subpanel which feeds both the electric heat upstairs and the power to a recent house addition. I recently accidentally tripped the breaker for the addition. It would not reset. There is no short or overload; not a case of the breaker tripping again. The switch stayed in place when reset but there was no juice. I even replaced it with a new breaker. (I subsequently found there was nothing wrong with the original one.) I determined that there is power in the box. I re-inserted the breaker in another bay in the box and everything works fine. Except the heaters which are on the other two breakers. They're doing the same thing as the original breaker did. They're not tripped but they are not passing power either. So there is power on the bus bar, the two heater breakers are properly wired and are not defective. There is no problem with the house wiring or the thermostats. (Unlikely that three of them would fail at the same time.) So how come the heaters don't work? My only guess is that somehow the breakers are not making proper contact with the bus bar. . The electric heat is seldom used although one heater worked as recently as October. It is a Square D installation. Thanks ds
--
=^..^=



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
not saying this is your snafuu but.. push the breaker handle firmly all the way to off if you feel some spring tension before it actually reaches full off position the breaker was in a tripped state - sometimes a breaker looks on but is actually tripped too until you reset it completely to off

power
even
box.
not
time.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That's my take too; hope he posts back what caused it.
Pop
bumtracks wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dick -
Is there power on both legs of the bus? It sounds like you have lost one of the 120v feeds for some reason. Where is the subpanel fed from? Perhaps there is another breaker/fuse upstream from the subpanel that has tripped.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
FYI Turns out the problem was nothing but a blown fuse in the fuse box that feeds the sub panel. But here's the kicker. My insurer had demanded a home inspection last year. One of the things he required was that 20 amp fuses be replaced with 15's. The electrician I called (to replace a $#@%@4!&&! fuse it turns out) told me the circuit (which feeds baseboard heaters) is wired for 30 amps and there should be a 30 amp fuse in the block. So I should send the electrician's bill to the inspector, right? Yeah, sure... ds

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DS wrote:

The reason we keep seeing this kind of problem is that many home inspectors are not qualified to inspect electrical installations or equipment. Whenever a property owner is faced with any demand for change in a building they have a right to question the qualifications of any privately employed person who is making such a demand as to their qualifications to do electrical inspections. There is a national certification program for electrical inspectors. It is a demanding discipline that cannot be learned by attending continuing education seminars.
Home inspectors often miss basic electrical safety issues while calling out deficiencies that are not in fact a violation of the electric code. The most obvious example of this is the common failure to carefully examine the Grounding Electrode System of the home to make sure that it is one system rather than two or more separate systems. That one defect can cause more financial loss than all of the older two wire receptacles still legally in use in the country.
I've accompanied a couple of home inspectors on inspection visits to rather large and high priced homes. Both were dedicated to their craft and conscientious. In both cases I had to explain that there is no requirement in any law, regulation, or code to bring existing electrical installations up to present day installation standards as if the house was newly built. In one of the homes that was surveyed I pointed out the daisy chaining of the feeder supplied panels by terminating two conductors per lug. That has never been an acceptable method were single barreled lugs are installed in the panel. I also had to point out the use of another manufacturers unrecognized breakers in the panel by modifying the breakers. In spite of their good intentions they would have missed those items because they are not trained in electrical inspections. -- Tom H
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.