Circuit breaker keeps tripping

Page 5 of 9  
On 1/23/2016 7:51 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I suspect it is a drip loop, to keep water from rolling down the outside of the cable. Right before the cable goes through the exterior wall.
Unlike a drain trap, which works for sewer gasses.
--
.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In

Sorry to keep dragging this out, and I am not trying to be argumentative, but what WERE you talking about? -- in particular when you used the term "conduit". Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

to inside - which pass through a conduit. The wires MUST droop below the bottom of the conduit inside the meter base before entering the conduit. Frm meter to bottom of meter base and back up to the exit point of the meter base and out through the conduit to the distribution panel/service entrance box.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In

Okay, got it. My electric meter is on the side of the house and has a service line coming down into the top of the meter box, and a service line coming out of the bottom of the meter box and going down the wall and into the house to the electric panel.
Water was getting in through the top of the meter box, filling up in the bottom of the meter box, and then running INSIDE the service cable that comes out of the bottom of the meter box. I wasn't able to open the meter box because it requires a special key, and the utility company was unwilling to come out and open it for me. So, I was never able to see if there are any drip loops inside the meter box, but I doubt that there could be since the service line comes out of the bottom of the meter box. I just did a Google Images search of "electric service meters" and I saw lots of images of the inside of the meter boxes with no drip loop inside.
To solve my problem, I used clear 100% silicone caulk and I caulked all around the meter box, especially at the top, and around the front cover and anywhere else that water could possibly get in. That fixed the water problem. I have photos somewhere of the meter box, but I can't seem to find them right now.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 9:19:32 AM UTC-6, TomR wrote:

...but you're not the OP?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 10:19:32 AM UTC-5, TomR wrote:

Water in my panel was the main reason that my wife got an $800 bathroom fan.
I had just finished installing a new fan/heater unit in her bathroom, complete with a timer switch for the heater and a humidity sensor for the moisture. The fan, the fancy switches, the 12g wire, the 20A breaker, etc. cost me a few hundred bucks. That was fine, she is worth it. ;-)
What hurt was when I turned off the main breaker to pull the wires into the panel and then couldn't get the main to reset. I tried about 10 times until I gave up and called an electrician friend. While I was on the phone with him, it decided to finally catch. He said to leave it alone and he'd look at it the next day. After he looked over the panel, we decided that by the time he found a new main breaker for that old box, which was full and a real mess anyway, it was probably time to just replace the panel, get more space, better grounding, etc.
When I took the old main breaker apart, all of the interior contacts were covered with rust from the water that had gotten into the panel a few years prior. No wonder I had a hard time resetting it.
That's why I like to say that my wife now has an $800 bathroom fan.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 12:59:16 PM UTC-5, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Just for clarification: Rust? On copper contacts and bus bars?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<stuff snipped>

Pearls of wisdom.

I am currently in the same position. Was going to do the new panel this last weekend but Mother Nature had other plans. Can't wait to pull the main breaker and Dremel it open. I'll bet it's grim inside the main breaker.

It's quite a coincidence that both of us are having main breaker troubles. Mine's well over 30 years old so I suppose it was time. I found what was alleged to be NOS (new, old stock) replacement on Ebay but I've been burned by what I call NODS (new old DEAD stock) before. My main breaker seems to be similarly corroded and I wonder if it was water getting it or just condensation damage over the years or or perhaps just inherent vice. Won't know until next week.

Did you do the new panel yourself? Sounds like it from the price. I was considering doing it myself but now with the new electronic meters Pepco can tell pretty quickly when you've pulled the meter and they send a crew out to investigate so it's time to do it all nice and legal like.
At least now I can install AFCIs on the bedroom and kitchen circuits easily now (weren't enough neutral connections in the old panel). I was thinking of getting a smart panel but their prices really smart. I've been trying to keep the panel load as low as possible until the panel is replaced.
Not sure what happens if the main breaker fails but I hope any fireworks are contained inside the circuit box.
--
Bobby G.



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 26 Jan 2016 09:59:12 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

You got off cheap. My panel replacement, including permits and inspections, came to just over $3000. I went with a Square D QO 32 slot 125 amp panel plus 1 arc fault and 2 2 pole GFIs - and it was all aluminum wiring - which had to be inspected throughout.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In typed:

Thanks. I did do the gray duct seal routine back then and, in addition, I did the clear 100% silicone caulk routine.
Yesterday, I was able to find the old thread that I started here regarding that problem back in 2013. The topic of the thread was "Unlocking electric meter box -- water problem", and it was started by me (TomR) on 6/8/2013 at 3:16 PM Eastern Time.
Looking back, I now remember that the water that was getting into the box was not getting into the wire coming out of the bottom due to the box filling with water at the bottom (as I wrote above). I know that because in re-reading the thread I realize that I did put a drain hole in the bottom of the box and that didn't correct the problem of water gett into the electric panel.
The problem that I had at the time was that I could not open the meter box to look inside and see what was going on. The box cover had a special locking mechanism on it that I couldn't unlock. Either the utility company or an electrician with a special tool could have unlocked the front box cover. The utility company refused to do that for me, and I didn't want to hire an electrican just to open the box and look inside.
So, the solution that I was left with was to first just try sealing and caulking the box completely from the outside, and that worked.
I assume that the water that was previously getting into the box was somehow running down the wires and into the INSIDE of the cable that comes out of the bottom of the box. But, since I couldn't open the box, I could not verify exactly what was going on inside the box. I just know that my sealing and caulking routine on th eoutside of the box solved the problem.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 10:54:23 AM UTC-5, TomR wrote:

What you describe in your last paragraph is exactly what I did when I had water coming into my panel. There wasn't exactly a "drip loop" but there was a dip in the service cable along its run. When I put a small slit in the outer jacket, water dripped out for a few minutes. I never got water in the panel again. I eventually fixed the root cause of the water getting into the cable and put some silicon adhesive on the slit to seal it up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload


I understand. I wanted to do exactly what you did -- first put a slit in a low point, then later solve the primary problem by keeping the water out of the cable in the first place. But, in my situation there was no horizontal run where I could even bend it a little to create a dip in the service cable where I could cut a slit in the outer jacket.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 22 Jan 2016 06:20:37 -0000 (UTC), "E. Robinson"

That solves that, but you still could have water entering if a conduit (pipe) enters behind the breaker panel. Which caulk (silicone preferred) will seal. This all depends on where and how the pipe enters the panel.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 22 Jan 2016 02:44:32 -0600, Paintedcow wrote:

It's a little complicated by the automatic power generator (Generac) switch which is also attached on the inside of the garage just on the other side of the meter (which is on the outside) of the garage.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/21/2016 3:15 PM, E. Robinson wrote:

A year or two, at my church we had a light circuit that instantly tripped the breaker. I worked on it for awhile. The paid guys stopped by. They took out the two incandescant filament bulbs, and put in curly cue CFL. Problem solved. Wish I'd tried that. Rainy weather, I figured it was wet wires in the attic. I'd be mistaken.
Yes, a blown bulb can trip breakers.
--
.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 21 Jan 2016 17:28:39 -0500, Stormin Mormon wrote:

But the wall switch was off and the breaker was still tripping.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/21/2016 6:38 PM, E. Robinson wrote:

The ones at the church, would trip breaker when I turned the light switch on. So, that's another mystery. Have you considered having a priest bless your house?
--
.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

One other thing that should not need to be said. When you flip it back on, did you turn it all the way to OFF before turning it back on ?
This needs to be done to reset most breakers.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 20 Jan 2016 12:42:43 -0500, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Good suggestion, but, yes, I instinctively did that, but, I just checked again, and it still flips immediately to the trip position.
Here's a picture of it off.
http://i65.tinypic.com/i5692c.jpg
Here's a picture of it in the trip position.
http://i66.tinypic.com/2ec2kol.jpg
It's the breaker labeled "R" on the right (4 breakers down from the top). 15 amps. Seems to be "taped?" together with another one, which is independent.
(Why the tape?) Maybe it's a non-ganged dual unit?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/20/16 1:38 PM, E. Robinson wrote:

Looks like it is one of the "tandem" style, where you have 2 independent breakers in one "space" in the panel. Generally not used until the panel runs out of spaces.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_8991-296-HOMT2020CP___?productId11749&pl=1&Ntt=circuit+breaker+tandem
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    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.