The reason why I bothered to check...
We are having storms high wind in my area now.
The lights flickered like the power was off.
But this one particular circuit was actually off (my fish tank)
Could I have had a voltage drop in my entire house, then compounded with
the fish tank draw cause it to go out?
Most unlikely. The voltage drop is pretty constant, unless you have a large
motor go on and it spikes. But it can't trip a circuit breaker or damage a
circuit. (it can damage a motor, but that's another story.) More likely
you had some voltage transients hit you with the storm. They could easily
trip a GFCI or less likely a circuit breaker. I would look around for GFCIs
that have to be reset.
I really messed that up...
I ran 20 amp on another project.
My basement and garage were on the same breaker.
I ran wire to isolate the basement from the garage.
Now they are on their own 15 breaker.
The basement service with the fish tank is probably pulling 10 amp at
Fish tank, lights and TV
I don't think the distance had anything to do with the breaker
tripping. If it only happened once I would not sweat it.
I can't think of a scenario where a storm could trip an individual
breaker unless lightning directly hit something on the circuit.
A 5 amp load can cause that much drop over a long distance, but it is
within range. 12 gage wire on a 15 amp circuit gives you plenty of
On Mon, 10 Sep 2007 20:28:27 -0500, homebrewdude
Voltage drop means the whole overall circuit will be drawing less
current , not more (due to the added resistance). If the voltage gets
too low, you might have problems with dim bulbs and a slow-to-heat
fish tank, but it sounds like you are not there yet.
If you continue to add load, you will be drawing more current and may
reach the tripping point of the breaker. (It may not be exactly 15
amps). The reason it trips can be a complex function involving time,
thermal delay, and factors like surge intensity. Residential circuits
are usually derated to 80% of the breaker rating for maximum
If the breaker is a GFCI breaker, it might trip for apparently no
reason at all. Usually, though it is caused by actual leakage to the
ground circuit. I've also had several trips due to nearby lightning
strikes, but the new GFCI's are supposed to be better for this.
simple most homes are 220 volt breakers are fed from both sides of
A supply transformer up the street fried once knocking out one side of
the line, while the other side continued to work fine.
thats probably what happened to you, power company breaker on
transformner tripped knocking out that outlet and others you hadnt
noticed, then reset.......
its happened here once and can be very confusing
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