Dishwasher tripping main breaker

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50 amp breaker (on the panel outside the house with three breakers, not the box inside of house with all the 20 amp ones) sometimes trips when dishwasher is running.
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Jon wrote:

Hi, During which cycle of the washer does it trip?
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Dishwashers aren't terribly high current devices. If the dishwasher's own breaker doesn't trip, yet the a master breaker trips, then either the DW's breaker is defective, or the total current for the household reaches the 50A capacity when the dishwasher is running even though the DW isn't overloading its own breaker. If the latter is really happeneing then going to the stove and flipping the 4 burners on (assuming it is electric) should have the same effect.
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================================================= Insufficient info to advise! They may have gas cooking/heating?????? A 50 A breaker is not very much power (only 11,500 watts) for a whole modern house! For example our all electric, including heating etc. house built 40 years ago was required, then, to have a 200 amp service. With dishwasher, clothes dryer, freezer, two extra fridges etc. etc. plus basement workshop with bench saw and other electric machines, our main 200 amp breaker has never tripped.
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On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 22:10:18 -0800 (PST), terry

I think he has 3 of them. At least two. But you're right. How much is running when the breaker trips? Things that make heat use the most power.

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terry wrote:

Exactly. There are three 50 amp main breakers, stove and furnace are gas.
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Seems weird to have three 50 amp main breakers. Isn't it more typical for there to be a main box with a single 150 or 200 amp breaker, perhaps a secondary panel with 50 amps and the secondary panel would be just for lights and outlets in a basement.
If the DW has a 20 amp breaker, it just requires another 35 amps to trip the main breaker -- lights scattered around the rooms, and perhaps one high draw item like a space heater, a big TV or electric water heater.
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Jon wrote:

Hmmm, Three 50 Amp sub panels?
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wrote:

There is one panel with three breakers.
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Weird. wtf doesn't it have a single breaker for the whole panel so that three 20 amp loads won't trip it?
The main breaker is to protect the wiring to the panel as well as the bus inside. Does the panel have 3 220V pairs going to it and 3 bus pairs inside?
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That sounds strange. Makes me wonder if there is a sub panel some where. Anyhow, the ammeter makes sense, to see if the breaker is really drawing 50 amps when it trips, and where is the power going.
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Christopher A. Young
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Tony Hwang wrote:

It has tripped on both the wash and rinse cycles.
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Jon wrote:

Hi, My wild guess is there could be an internal short in the DW. If it trips with consistency like mentioned here, time to clamp a Amprobe on DW power line.
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wrote:

So it's simple. Don't wash or rinse. He can still fill, drain, and spin.
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I'd have expected the dry cycle,w ith the electric heater.
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Could be a bad breaker, could be the panel is overloaded and the dishwasher causes current to exceed the main. You really need to strap an ammeter on to diagnose this
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Has any electrical work been done recently in your home ???
If YES, then it sounds as if the load in your electrical panel is not evenly balanced and one busbar has more amperage being drawn from it even though none of the individual branch circuits are tripping... What else in the house is turned on besides the dishwasher when this happens ???
If NO, then it sounds like your main 50 amp breaker (which doesn't really sound like your main breaker because of the ampacity, unless your electrical service is REALLY OLD) has to quote Scotty from Star Trek: "Given up the ghost," and needs to be replaced because of age or a defect in manufacturing...
~~ Evan
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Evan wrote:

No recent electrical work done, house was built in 1983, has three 50 amp main breakers. A TV, computer, and refrigerator running at the same time plus lighting in one or two rooms.
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wrote:

If the machine has an intermittent short, it would typically trip the individual circuit breaker 15 or 20 amp that is protecting it. The only reason that a 50 amp main would trip prior to the branch circuit breaker, is if it is defective, or amperage close to it's capacity, 50 amps, is being drawn at the time it trips. This is where the ammeter comes into play. If the machine is tripping consistently, you could try turning off every other breaker in that panel, then see if the main still trips
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RBM wrote:

Good advice.
The dishwasher may have a water heater element that is relatively high current that causes an overload trip. Some of the cleaning cycles may not use the heater.
The three 50A breakers sound like they are all service disconnects. One may be for an old electric range circuit (OP said existing range is gas). A 50A circuit for the general house loads seems small. The old "main and range" split bus service panels had 60A to the general loads.
If it seems the 50A breaker may be bad you could swap wires between another breaker. Don't do it if you don't know what you are doing - service panels have significant hazards.
--
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