Circuit breaker keeps tripping

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HOW ABOUT CALL ELECTRICIAN???
"E. Robinson" wrote in message
How do I debug when a circuit breaker keeps tripping?
1. It has never tripped before (years). 2. Yesterday, it was tripped. 3. I flip it back on, and it trips immediately. 4. It controls a bunch of outlets and lights and that's about it.
I turn off the lights it controls. I unplug all the outlets.
It still trips.
How do you debug these things?
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On Wed, 20 Jan 2016 14:12:06 -0800, Tony944 wrote:

Why does this newsgroup exist if that's the answer?
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On Thu, 21 Jan 2016 03:05:48 -0000 (UTC), "E. Robinson"

Because some of us know what we're doing. I'm always willing to assist others on this NG, but electricity can KILL. I read between the lines, and I can "read" their skill level, and I am not going to assist someone with killing themselves. This OP is clueless about basic electricity and should not be touching any wiring, PERIOD!
I agree, CALL AN ELECTRICIAN !
If he was trying to replace a door, but showed the same lack of basic carpentry skills, I'd still be willing to assist, because doors dont kill people if they make a slight mistake.
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snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

step questions to narrow down the cause of issue(s). Rather than asking to do this and that right off the bat.
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On Wed, 20 Jan 2016 21:42:40 -0600, Paintedcow wrote:

Heh heh ... I'm a (retired) EE.
So that's funny.
BTW, if you know anything about electrical engineers, they typically don't learn anything practical (in school) about home wiring.
It's all about poles and zeros and Kirchoff's law and fourier transforms and delta/Y transformers and Spice simulations and diffusion doping and Maxwell's equations and Coulomb's law and Faraday's Law and Ohm's law, and c=dv/dt and phase diagrams and polar plots, and cascade versus cascode configurations and emitters and gates, etc.
Nothing whatsoever about typical mains wiring.
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On 1/21/2016 1:30 AM, E. Robinson wrote:

Perhaps, but then paintedcow knows a great deal about nothing and even when someone attempts to cure his ignorance, he doubles down and says something even more stupid.
Do let us know the final outcome on this. With the additional details you've provided, it seems almost certain to be a circuit breaker that's simply given up the ghost. That said, I think there's usually a reason other than "its time has come"<g> for breakers to give up. Wondering if you've normally got enough of a load on that 15A circuit to heat it up and that that may have caused the failure.
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On 1/21/2016 2:30 AM, E. Robinson wrote:

I did meet a person like that. The electric light in his cellar wasn't working right. I got to show him how to shut the breaker, and replace a light switch.
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On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 2:30:31 AM UTC-5, E. Robinson wrote:

Ohm's Law and all the rest of the basics don't apply to how to debug what amounts to a fancy switch? Good grief.
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On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 7:21:29 AM UTC-6, trader_4 wrote:

Isn't *that* what he's saying, and why he is asking questions? Jezus!
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On Thu, 21 Jan 2016 05:27:30 -0800, bob_villain wrote:

Thank you for understanding.
To know the electrical equations that are involved in making a motor spin doesn't mean I know jack shit in practical terms about fixing electrical motors.
Since *all* the wiring was hidden, and since there was obviously a dead short *somewhere*, I was asking for hints on how to find that.
Sure, Ohms law is telling me that the current shoots up when the short causes near-zero impedance, but, heck, that doesn't tell me practically how to test for the short.
BTW, the trick of shutting off the mains and then testing the circuit seems to be a great time saver for testing the breaker itself.
They do *not* teach you that stuff in college.
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On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 8:27:37 AM UTC-5, bob_villain wrote:

I guess you missed the part where he said he's an electrical engineer.
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On Thu, 21 Jan 2016 12:36:10 -0800, trader_4 wrote:

I'm not sure which tack you're taking on the topic of what an EE knows about typical home wiring, but, I'll just reiterate that *this* is the kind of stuff we learn in Electrical Engineering!
Pic 1: the books
https://i.imgur.com/ucDK1ea.jpg
Pic 2: the circuits
https://i.imgur.com/q9bz2yZ.jpg
Pic 3: the formulas
https://i.imgur.com/v9GHcnT.jpg
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On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 4:11:59 PM UTC-5, E. Robinson wrote:

I'm an electrical engineer myself. I also knew how to debug that breaker by just moving a wire from an adjacent breaker when I was 10 years old. I was building all kinds of hobby projects that were more complicated than that. Electric eyes for example, using photocells and transistors. Really, what is education coming to in America when you can get a degree in electrical engineering and not be able to debug a simple house circuit. Sorry, just the truth, painful as it may be.
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On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 4:22:12 PM UTC-5, trader_4 wrote:

Thanks for proving our point.
You knew how to debug a breaker way before you had your EE. You learned it through some other means or from other source. It had nothing to do with your degree.

I'm guessing we're close to same age - within reason - which means we got our EE degrees in the same "America" time wise - within reason. What course taught you how to open a breaker panel and swap wires?

I don't feel hurt at all.
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On Thu, 21 Jan 2016 13:31:17 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

I got all my degrees from "the school of hard knocks" Different degrees of knowlege in different subjects
If you are going to learn one trade well that will teach you the basics of most of the others, learn auto mechanics. Hydraulics, electrical/electronics, machinist, plumbing - you get the basics of all of them - and you learn how to take out screws and remove covers too.

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On Thu, 21 Jan 2016 13:21:58 -0800, trader_4 wrote:

I can design and simulate and lay out and physically verify and fabricate a Chebyshev filter, but what does *that* have to do with asking about pragmatic advice on debugging a circuit breaker panel?
https://i.imgur.com/lWXyMly.jpg
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I can understand that. Just because one knows the theory about things does not mean he will have trouble shooting abilities even on something simple. I doubt the EE degree even mentions home wireing or simple breakers for the house. I went to a 2 year technical college for electronics engineering and did not get into the simple things. Lots of time on theory and none on how to repair things that did not work.
I went to work in a large plant and delt with things as large as 480 volt 3 phaase at 500 amps. Almost nothing in the plant ran on 120 volts except in some offices, so did not get much about the simple things you would find around the house.
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On Thu, 21 Jan 2016 10:23:52 -0500, Ralph Mowery wrote:

I'm sure every school is different, but you are correct. Not once do they mention the wiring of the home. So, if you didn't already know that it's 110VAC 60Hz, you're not gonna learn that at school with an EE degree.
Neither do they really cover power transmission.
The sort of hint at it when they cover transformers and when they cover the skin effect and AC impedance, but, not once in the entire college education of a typical EE does he see a circuit breaker.

Yup. I mean, they cover transformers, in all their configurations, and phase shift, and they cover single phase, two phase, three phase power, etc., but not once do they show you a typical power transformer that is on your telephone pole, although they do theoretically cover load balancing.

That's another thing they NEVER cover in electrical engineering! They never tell you that it's roughly 400 volts on the distribution lines and tens of thousands of volts on the transmission lines and they never cover how the ground differs from the neutral in a typical home system.
In fact, as I said, not once in 4 years did they cover anything related to a typical home system. Of course, as someone noted, Ohms law still holds sway, but that simply tells me I have a short.
But FINDING the short was where I needed your help.
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On Thu, 21 Jan 2016 20:11:32 -0000 (UTC), "E. Robinson"

I don't know about that. My brother-in-law majored in electrical engineering and he had a minor in home wiring. (He's been in Asia on vacation or I would have called him for advice on your problem.) At MIT, no less.

The Morristown Institute of Technology is one of the 10 best technical institutes in northwestern New Jersey.

My sister called to say they just got back and I learned that he did his thesis on circuit breakers.
Micky

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wrote:

You can major in power transmission, power generation, microwave transmission, communications, and several hundred other "specialties. The beauty of specialization is you learn more and more about less and less untill eventually you know absolutely all there is to know about nothing
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