circuit breakers


i have a sub panel that in my house tonight when i was watching tv it shut off and i smelt some thing burning. i found that all seven breakers in the sub panel melted but did not trip and the 30 amp double pole in the main panel did not trip any reason behind this
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Can (would) you post a picture?
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frank wrote:

The sub-panel master switch tripped after seven breakers melted?
Must have been some hot show!
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On Wed, 27 Dec 2006 20:10:10 -0600, "frank"

Most didn't trip because they weren't carrying more current than they were designed for.
I gather that one tripped (since you say that the tv shut off) and that's likely because it was carrying more current than it should have been. The heat from that breaker melted the other breakers, I guess. I assume they just show signs of melting and aren't in a puddle at the bottom of the box.
You have to find the problem in the tv circuit. Maybe it was the breaker itself and replacing that breaker will solve it, or maybe something is sucking up more current than it should.
Also you have to look carefully at the other breakers and decide if they were damaged. I can't guess from here.
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Depending on the damage to the sub-panel you might have to replace everything. If you do and go looking for the problem remember to leave out the breaker to the TV circuit to make sure that it is the TV Circuit leg that is the offending member. Bring the breakers back online one at a time and wait a few minutes to allow each to set there to make sure it's not going to heat up and blow. With the severity of the short it could be something plugged into an outlet or it could be that some wire/s have come loose and are shorting somewhere in an outlet box or even in the breaker box itself. I haven't heard of one branch problem melting or destroying other breakers unless there is shorts or fire there in the breaker box itself.
On 12/28/06 1:27 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,

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i can not post a picture but i can say that the breakers looked like they started to melt from the sides in between and close to the metal bar in the middle of the panel
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the breaker to the TV did not trip it melted to the point where the plastic melted and the metal parts came out that happen on two of them the others just started to melt by the time i got there and shut down the main one and no the master breaker in the main panel did not trip
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what brand of breakers?
how big and how old is your main service? is it breakers too?
it may be ime top replace your service drop and main breaker box perhaps elminating the sub panel altogether as part of a general electric upgrade.
how old is your home? are receptables 3 prong with ground?
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"I gather that one tripped (since you say that the tv shut off) and that's likely because it was carrying more current than it should have been. The heat from that breaker melted the other breakers, I guess. I assume they just show signs of melting and aren't in a puddle at the bottom of the box."
That would be my guess as well. However, I think someone already asked how old they were. Breakers don't last forever. If they are old enough they should be replaced. This is irregardless of brand, placement, or any maintenance (annual exercising).
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If it got that hot in the panel I would think the thermo overload would have tripped even without current. The 30A main didn't tripped becasue it didn't see the short, overload or it could be defective. 30A service means gas range, old house with an old electrical service? Lucky the house didn't burn down - replacing panels and breakers are cheap.
I have seen panel meltdowns before with molten metal on the ground, pretty ugly and scary.
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So what causes a meltdown? I have never heard of it.
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It was in larger panels. Three phase, higher voltage, a few thousand amp main - we call switchboards. As far as I could tell it was a result of an arching fault, could have been phase to phase or phase to ground.
I had a 15kv class breaker blow up in front of me too. That was a little too exciting.
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HOPEFULLY he replaCED THE SUB PANELS MAIN BREAKER
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i would like to thank every one for there input i went and replaced all the breakers in the sub panel so far every thing seems ok to follow up on the last question the breakers were bryant and the main panel was just updated two months ago
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frank wrote:

Keep a eye on the panel with new breakers, they MAY have failed because the busbar the breakers attack to is going bad. So feel up the panel and check for heating occasionally:)
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