Electrical Work

My fianc and I just moved into our home, and my future father-in-law and I are going to be redoing the wiring, due to the fact that a microwave or a baby monitor will trip the breakers.
The way the main feed into the panel is cut, I am unable to see the amperage of the line. Is there any way to tell the amperage from looking on the meter outside of the house? Or possibly some other way?
Thanks
Ray
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You should be able to tell by the size of the entrance conductors

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like this. Good luck!
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On Thu, 20 Jul 2006 21:18:49 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm, "Ray

I can see the nuker popping a breaker but a baby monitor?!? What kind of draw do those little radios take, maybe twenty watts? (It'll be on the label underneath, like "120vac 20w") If a light load like that pops the breaker, there's a real problem.

I'm not an electrician, but here's how I'd go about tracing it down.
Find your circuit breaker box. Plug a lamp into the outlet in question. One of you can switch off circuits until the other says the lights went off for the circuit you wanted to check. You'll then know which size breaker controls it, but it's probably a 20A. Now you or your FIL can use a micrometer or calipers to measure the diameter of the romex wire going to that circuit. It's probably 12ga (0.080") or 14ga (0.064"). If it's smaller, it's new wiring time!
Now check every outlet and light switch in the house while you see how many appliances/outlets share the one circuit. Mapping the house like that can be very beneficial in troubleshooting electrical problems in the future, too.
Chances are that something with a heavy load is also connected there. To keep from blowing the circuit, you can move some of the appliances off it or rewire a heavily loaded outlet to a less heavily loaded circuit.
If nothing else heavy is on the circuit, go to the electrical supply store and get a good commercial duty breaker. They're about $17 vs. $6 for a consumer duty breaker. Replace the guilty breaker and see if it still gives you problems. When you replace it, note any loose wires to the breaker. If there is a loose connection, big loads will turn into resistance and heat up the wire at the breaker, making it think it's overloaded. That can also trip it.
If you still have problems, pull the wiring to that circuit and check it closely. You'll probably see a problem. Replace that romex.
G'luck!
-- Heard of the Frisbee Religion? They believe that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and you can't get it down. ---- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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Larry Jaques wrote:

My guess is it's a GFI tripping not a circuit breaker (unless they are combined) If I am right, I sure hope the OP chooses to go with a professional for this work as there is a major lack of general knowledge about wiring among those who are planning to do the work.
--
Joseph Meehan

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It is unlikely that a baby monitor would trip a breaker all by itself. The problem could be
(1) faulty breaker (2) another high drain device being used at the same time as the baby monitor/microwave (3) faulty wiring (e.g. some sort of semi-short circuit) (unlikely) (4) faulty baby monitor (unlikely)
I suggest you fully investigate the problem before you redo the wiring.
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look for a miswired GFCI. If you get the neutral on the load side of the GFCI mixed up with another circuit, the current imbalance will trip the GFCI, even with a small load.
The neutral and hot leads from the load side of a GFCI must be dedicated to the GFCI protected outlets, and must not be shared with any other circuits.
--
-- Welcome My Son, Welcome To The Machine --
Bob Vaughan | techie @ tantivy.net |
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