Electrical problem: no el

Eric:
E > I bought a big air compressor. Plug into one of my outlet and it E > tripped the breaker. So I unplug and connect it to an outlet that also E > used for my washing machine. This time, no breaker was tripped (at E > least that's what I see from the panel.) But that whole circuit is now E > without electrcity. Could anyone help with possible cause and fix? E > E > The house is 40 years old. The breakers and panel are all Zinsco.
A circuit breaker will trip when too much current passes through it. How much current does the compressor use (should be on the plate or in the manual) at start up? You may need to add a dedicated circuit for your air compressor.
As for the dead circuit, breakers will sometimes trip without moving the handle. Flip the breaker for the washing machine to OFF, then back to ON. If this doesn't work it is possible the breaker died (of old age) and/or there was a loose wire and the overload did the final opening of the faulty connection.
Based on your post it appears you don't know too much about electricity (we all had to learn!), so I would suggest calling in an electrician for the repair. He or she can also advise you of the need for a dedicated circuit. Might not be a bad idea to have the electrican do a maintenance check on your electrical system as it is getting old.
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
* The main trouble with a French horn is it's too tangled up.
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RoseReader 2.52 P003186
The Safe BBS Bettendorf, IA 563-359-1971
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Agree with above, you can't just buy an electrical device, especially if it's a fairly heavy piece of machinery as the original poster mentions, and assume you can just plug it in anywhere! Powering a large AC unit, which is also a form of compressor. is a similar situation. Sometimes you will get away with an above normal electrical load! But just try plugging in a coffeepot, a toaster and an electric frypan into the same circuit all at once! It's rather similar to asking someone if they can provide transportation to a sports event and then, when they turn up in a regular 4 seater car expect them to carry a whole softball team and their equipment, that really requires a small bus. It just doesn't fit the situation. Would strongly suggest that the original poster get an electrician or someone at least knowledgeable of electrical matters to check and advise. It sounds as though there is considerable chance of doing some further damage and or that some existing wiring or circuit breakers etc. are inadequate or old? If it IS a heavy compressor there is some likelihood that a dedicated 230 volt outlet. properly installed and grounded etc. will be required. At the very least, the surge of electricity required by many reasonable sized electric motors while starting up may be such that a dedicated circuit with it's own breaker would be advisable in any case. I would presume that the OPs location would have at least a 60 or 100 amp electrical service? Safety and insurability are the factors here.
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