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Old 08-10-2008, 06:38 AM   #1
EchoStatic
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Default why does my circuit breaker trip randomly?

i dont understand why this happens to me. iwas in the restroom after a shower just brushing my teeth when the room went dark. power was on to the rest of the house, so i go outside and see that my breaker was tripped. i had my blow dryer on earlier, it says it uses 1875 watts. it didnt trip when that was on.

im confused. ive also had other problems. i have a window a/c unit that i have stopped using because of oddities. i cannot run it and my blow dryer at the same time or itll trip the breaker pretty quick. for a while i would simply turn it off when i was using my blow dryer. but when i run it and my computer, my computer will restart randomly. it doesnt trip the breaker, but my computer restarts. it seems like it restarts when the a/c kicks into "cooling" mode.

does anyone know whats going on here? its driving me pretty crazy.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:50 AM   #2
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It could just be you now have a weak breaker. If its tripped several times it's going to start getting more apt to trip (weaken).

As far as the "cooling" mode and the computer. It sounds like when the compressor is kicking in on the A.C. (cooling mode) it's drawing so much current on the line the PCs supply doesn't like it and is causing the resets.

Do you have the PC plugged into an UPS ? (If not you should anyway).
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:55 AM   #3
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Are you living in a really old house? If so the whole house may need an upgrade.
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:39 AM   #4
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ghosts like to fuck wit ya?
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:41 AM   #5
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On old house one of the main reasons for c/b to trip and cause electrical fires is loose wiring. Contacts become loose at the breaker box and/or the out lets. Older houses also put more circuits on one breaker.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:53 AM   #6
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Im not an electrician...but your breaker trips on the number of AMPs you pull. When you A/C kicks on your pulling a larger load to start up the motor than when its running. You may need to have a new breaker installed for the A/C if your panel can handle it. But don't just get a bigger breaker..the wires are rates for certain AMP's and if you overload them then the wire becomes the breaker and you have a fire.
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:08 PM   #7
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before this i was wanting the a/c put on a seperate breaker, but since it was off when this happened i figured some other action was taken. the house is pretty old, and it has tripped several times before.

my computer is not hooked into a UPS. is that like a battery backup?
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:04 PM   #8
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UPS in a Uninterruptable(sp) Power Supply..so yes its a big battery. Many times you will find that they tied way too many plugs together in the home and just everything you have plugged in is kicking the amps...sometimes its just a bad breaker..I had one of those on a GFI and had to just replace it or it just kept tripping. Best thing to start with is the breaker...its a cheap replace and may fix your problem.
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EchoStatic View Post
my computer is not hooked into a UPS. is that like a battery backup?
Yes it is. It can be used to run or give a controlled shut down of the computer when power is lost. It also controls the actual volt to the computer. a good thing to have on a computer, HD tv, and high end stereos.
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:56 PM   #10
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actually the wiring in our house is new. it was all done in a remodel several years ago.

it doesnt help that i have reptiles and invertebrates that have special lighting needs, or a computer that sucks the juice.

i guess we can first try replacing the breaker, and ill try getting a ups. hopefully i can find a cheap one.
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:38 AM   #11
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replacing the breaker will most likely not fix your problem...most likely just putting too much on one breaker...check also for a loose wire somewhere....might have some arcing going on....is your breaker 20 amp or 15amp?
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:37 PM   #12
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Okay wiring was replaced, I would still look for loose wiring sometimes they just come loose.
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:47 PM   #13
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i went and peeked at the breaker, its a 15 amp
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:52 PM   #14
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i bought a ups/surge protector, and the a/c will still reset my computer when the compressor kicks in. i dont understand how this can be :/
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CIWS View Post
It could just be you now have a weak breaker. If its tripped several times it's going to start getting more apt to trip (weaken).

Do you have the PC plugged into an UPS ? (If not you should anyway).
Word on both...

Circuit breakers and even surge protectors (power strips) DO NOT last forever. They can only handle so many "trips"...
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EchoStatic View Post
i bought a ups/surge protector, and the a/c will still reset my computer when the compressor kicks in. i dont understand how this can be :/
When the compressor kicks in to make it colder its drawing more juice so that is probably whats going on? Try moving stuff to a different circuit and see what happens.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EchoStatic View Post
i bought a ups/surge protector, and the a/c will still reset my computer when the compressor kicks in. i dont understand how this can be :/
The UPS doesn't stop the breaker from setting, but it will allow you to get your computer shut down in case of a power loss and help protect it from surges / spikes on the line.

15 amps isn't that large of a breaker, especially to pull the current of an AC compressor along with other things. Of course one would really want to know what the load is being put on any part of the circuit to determine if it's actually correct to handle it. If not some load needs to be removed from it or go through the process of upgrading the breaker to a larger one, which can also mean having to upgrade the gauge of the wiring to that breaker as well. But if it has been getting tripped a lot, I would try getting a new 15 amp breaker first. It may only be old and weak(ened)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xlr8torZ28 View Post
Word on both...

Circuit breakers and even surge protectors (power strips) DO NOT last forever. They can only handle so many "trips"...
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:18 AM   #18
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the breaker isnt tripping when the compressor is activating, power stays on but my computer is restarting im guessing due to the sudden draw on power. i would think that, if enough power was momentarily unavailable to power my computer, that the UPS would provide it... right?
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EchoStatic View Post
the breaker isnt tripping when the compressor is activating, power stays on but my computer is restarting im guessing due to the sudden draw on power. i would think that, if enough power was momentarily unavailable to power my computer, that the UPS would provide it... right?

If it's an actual UPS, check to make sure the PC is plugged in one of the sockets that draws it's power from the battery and not just a surge outlet.
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:05 PM   #20
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its definitely plugged into a battery/surge plug, ive tested it by unplugging the UPS from the wall and the computer stays powered.

unusual?
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