Do circuit breakers go bad?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by tinknal, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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?
     
  2. Micahn

    Micahn Well-Known Member

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    Yes they can go bad.
     

  3. jnh

    jnh Well-Known Member

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    yes they do
     
  4. ksfarmer

    ksfarmer Retired farmer-rancher

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    :goodjob:
     
  5. SteveO

    SteveO Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  6. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    Yes they can. My husband says he would change out the breaker with your symptoms. :)
     
  7. Curtis B

    Curtis B Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  8. Explorer

    Explorer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  9. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  10. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  11. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    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:shocked: 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.
     
  12. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  13. Oldcountryboy

    Oldcountryboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  14. Oldcountryboy

    Oldcountryboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.