Do circuit breakers go bad? - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Go Back   Homesteading Today > General Homesteading Forums > Homesteading Questions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 10/27/10, 05:13 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 17,225
Do circuit breakers go bad?

During last nights storm we lost a circuit. The power flashed on and off dozens of times. We never lost power except for the short flashes. The rest of the house has good juice. The bad circuit came on a couple of times for short periods last night but nothing since. Could I have a bad breaker?

__________________

Flaming Xtian
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Mahatma Gandhi


Libertarindependent

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10/27/10, 05:28 PM
Micahn's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Ocklawaha, Florida
Posts: 390

Yes they can go bad.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10/27/10, 05:37 PM
jnh jnh is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ca
Posts: 56

yes they do

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10/27/10, 05:38 PM
ksfarmer's Avatar
Retired farmer-rancher
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: north-central Kansas
Posts: 2,764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Micahn View Post
Yes they can go bad.
__________________

* I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one. .*-

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10/27/10, 05:50 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: tn at last
Posts: 451

Please explain>
Did you turn the curcuit back on and then it went off or it just came on and off??
Reset the breaker if you havent
Otherwise you may have wire issues??
Steve

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10/27/10, 06:13 PM
Patt's Avatar
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ouachitas, AR
Posts: 6,049

Yes they can. My husband says he would change out the breaker with your symptoms.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10/27/10, 07:00 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,756

I agree it is probably bad. When you put a new one in, I would amp it, just to see the load on the breaker. If it just over the 80% it would weaken the breaker over time and never trip it. I would be a bit curious as to why just the one went out, but sometimes they are just bad.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10/27/10, 07:05 PM
Explorer's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: White Mountains, Arizona
Posts: 2,401

Sometime when a breaker trips, it does not appear to be off. Push the breaker switch forcefully to the off position and then turn on. Like someone said the breaker may be weak after being tripped more than once and need replacing.

__________________

Mess with me? I may let karma take care of it. Mess with my family? I become Karma.

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10/27/10, 07:08 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: SW VA
Posts: 1,773

My husband who is an electrician says when you open up your breaker box check to see if there are any unused breakers of the same amperage. If there is switch the wire to the spare and see if the problem persists.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10/27/10, 07:26 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 17,225

The breaker never tripped, I just lost juice. I did try flipping it on and off. I don't have any extra breakers to try but I could switch it out with another one.

Thanks for the replies.

__________________

Flaming Xtian
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Mahatma Gandhi


Libertarindependent

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10/27/10, 07:44 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,069

It's always a good practice to turn your face away from the panel before flipping a breaker, particularly if you suspect that you have a defective one. Occasionally, they physically fall apart internally and they will short out when you are flipping the toggle. I only had it happen once, but once was enough And yes, breaker failures are quite common, particularly if it's the low end units, like the universal fit "Homeline" type, or older junk like Zinsco. The other common failure is GFCI receptacles. I avoid doing most service work, but I still keep a few new GFCI outlets around for the friends and neighbors who call in a panic because the bathroom has no power, or the pool pump is dead. At least 50% of the time it's a failed GFCI. I have also had run- ins with garbage quality, brand new GFCI outlets that were defective right out of the box. Nothing like having two or three to change in a new home. The made in China label and the total lack of product quality and testing are certainly inspiring.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10/27/10, 08:51 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 17,225
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiogacounty View Post
It's always a good practice to turn your face away from the panel before flipping a breaker, particularly if you suspect that you have a defective one. Occasionally, they physically fall apart internally and they will short out when you are flipping the toggle. I only had it happen once, but once was enough And yes, breaker failures are quite common, particularly if it's the low end units, like the universal fit "Homeline" type, or older junk like Zinsco. The other common failure is GFCI receptacles. I avoid doing most service work, but I still keep a few new GFCI outlets around for the friends and neighbors who call in a panic because the bathroom has no power, or the pool pump is dead. At least 50% of the time it's a failed GFCI. I have also had run- ins with garbage quality, brand new GFCI outlets that were defective right out of the box. Nothing like having two or three to change in a new home. The made in China label and the total lack of product quality and testing are certainly inspiring.
I'm sure it's not GFIs. The power is off in the outlets and lights in a bedroom, and lights in the bathroom. They are good Square D breakers but they are fairly old.
__________________

Flaming Xtian
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Mahatma Gandhi


Libertarindependent

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10/27/10, 10:22 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,443

Try switching it out with another breaker and see if the power comes back on. If the breaker never tripped during the storm and you still have no power, it maybe a problem elsewhere on that circuit.

__________________

r.h. in oklahoma

Raised a country boy, and will die a country boy.

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10/27/10, 10:28 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,443
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinknal View Post
I'm sure it's not GFIs. The power is off in the outlets and lights in a bedroom, and lights in the bathroom. They are good Square D breakers but they are fairly old.
If you switched out the breaker and the bedroom/bathroom lights still don't work, then start by checking your connections these outlets and lights. I would start with checking the GFCI outlet in the bathroom, then advanced to the bathroom light switch, then bathroom light, then check out all the outlets and lights in the bedroom one at a time. Hopefully you will find it somewhere.
__________________

r.h. in oklahoma

Raised a country boy, and will die a country boy.

Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:13 PM.