Author Topic: Tripping of two circuit breakers in a random way  (Read 2311 times)

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Offline coerrace

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Tripping of two circuit breakers in a random way
« on: October 16, 2016, 04:45:42 pm »
I have in my home 2 circuit breaker that trip in a random way but when these actions happens in random way:

1.-In a first room for example: Here in this room we have computers connected to outlet power strips and usually everything is ok if we go daily to turn on the outlet power strips at the other day usually everything is ok when we turn on again the outlet power strips. Nothing happens usually if we go daily to turn on the outlet power strips but if we don't go to that room for around 3 days and we don't turn on the outlet power strips in that around 3 days then after that third day if we go to that room and we try to turn on the outlet power strips boom the circuit breaker trips. Why happens this that we don't go for some days and we return there boom the trips are triggered?
2.-In other room we have only 2 lamps with 2 z wave appliance modules "GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control and Appliance Module, Plug-In, White, 12719". We have programmed that appliance modules via our ailarm system to turn on and turn off the lamps in a daily way at random times. We have been with that 2 lamps and that z wave programming during almost 2 years without big problems just a trip of the circuit breaker once in a month maybe but in the last 2 months almost daily the circuit breaker trips and is very uncomfortable. Why the trips worsen? And is very interesting that there are only 2 lamps regular with these bulbs "TCP 48913C35K CFL Spring Lamp - 60 Watt Equivalent (only 13W used!) Bright White (3500K) Candelabra Base Spiral Light Bulb" nothing really important to consider an overload.

The most interesting is that the 2 rooms that present trips are contiguos they are very close one of the other in the last section of the home. The rest of the home does not have problems at all.

These are the kind of circuit breakers we have Q129AF Siemens:

https://www.superbreakers.net/q120af.html
« Last Edit: October 16, 2016, 05:57:31 pm by coerrace »
 

Offline Ordinaryman1971

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Re: Tripping of two circuit breakers in a random way
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 07:35:04 pm »
Check if there is a voltage between your ground wiring and the neutral wiring coming from the pole.
Check if you have two phases coming from the meter... and be careful... it's all 100A circuits.
Check if your house is actually grounded. It should be grounded via water pipe and there should be another grounding outside of the house by the electrical meter... copper pole sticking about 6 inch from the ground with the grounding wire attached to it.
It really all depends on the electrical code in the place you are living at... and how strictly is it enforced.
Get rid of extension cords or power strips, plug one piece of equipment straight in to the outlet.
Can you repeat the occurrence of the problem. If it happens again, try another appliance, can you repeat the occurrence, if not... whatever you plugged in the outlet first time around it causing problems.
Check the voltage in your outlets... do you have 115V or... maybe less.
The only other reason for those things "happening" would be faulty wiring.
Call the electrician, rewire the connections to those two outlets...
And in all of this just remember that shorts and arcing is very dangerous, you can hurt yourself and burn the place down.
So, do not let it go unattended. Fix it right away.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 06:16:28 am by Ordinaryman1971 »
 

Offline Ordinaryman1971

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Re: Tripping of two circuit breakers in a random way
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 07:52:41 pm »
I didn't mention it.. but change the breakers.
Again, not sure what's the code where you live, but those breakers are GFCIs, do you really need them to be there? Use the same kind of siemens breakers with the same 20A rating but with no GFCI option. Just regular ones.
Again and again.. all depends on the code.
And did I mention to be careful, if you don't know what you do... don't do it.
Use insulated tools to remove the wiring, turn the power off when you change the breaker if you do so.
Don't do it when and if you alone at home, have somebody standing by.. with a flashlight.
And be careful.
 

Online packetbob

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Re: Tripping of two circuit breakers in a random way
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2016, 08:07:30 pm »
The breakers are Arc Fault units (AFI). These are different than GFI (Ground Fault) breakers and are starting to be required by electrical codes for homes in N.A. Rather than detecting a ground fault (power leaking from hot to ground) they detect a rapidly fluctuating current that isn't enough to trip the breaker but can signify an arc that will generate heat and start a fire.

Assuming it is tripping for an arc condition it could be a loose connection in either the wiring from the breaker to the lights, switches and outlets. Or in an extension cord and connected device. Or in the light bulb or it's socket.. I had one cheap fixture with bulb socket that didn't seen to make a decent contact and would trip the AFI when turned on. It has 3 bulbs and took me a long time to determine the issue as it didn't happen all the time. I replaced the fixture.

I did have another AFI that started tripping as soon as I installed it. I replaced it with another and had no issue so I assume it was bad from the factory...



 

Offline coerrace

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Re: Tripping of two circuit breakers in a random way
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 02:51:01 am »
Yes the breakers are ACFI and are required here by the inspector for bedrooms, living room areas, etc. The problems are in 2 bedrooms. GFCI is not required in that bedrooms. I will change for the new CAFCI breakers QAF2 and look if that solve the problem because I note that one test button of one of the breakers is not working and on the other breakers work all test buttons then if the test button not work in one breaker is a signal that maybe the breaker is bad. And the most interesting is that the not working test button is of the breaker that has more troubles of trips. After change all breakers If not work that the of new the rewire is possible. I have the extech ct80 and it shows voltage drops in more than 5% in 12A, 15A and 20A and that is a signal of possible bad wiring or connections.
I will buy in amazon the breakers I hope they arrive soon.
Thank you for the tips and by take time in look and answer.
 

Offline coerrace

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Re: Tripping of two circuit breakers in a random way
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2016, 08:35:53 pm »
I wanted to make the update. I changed the circuit breaker and everything is perfect now no more trippings then in conclusion the circuit breaker was defective.

Thank you for the information.
 

Offline P90

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Re: Tripping of two circuit breakers in a random way
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2016, 10:20:57 am »
Check if there is a voltage between your ground wiring and the neutral wiring coming from the pole.
Check if you have two fazes coming from the meter... and be careful... it's all 100A circuits.
Check if your house is actually grounded. It should be grounded via water pipe and there should be another grounding outside of the house by the electrical meter... copper pole sticking about 6inch from the ground with the grounding wire attached to it.
It really all depends on the electrical code in the place you are living at... and how strictly is it enforced.
Get rid of extension cords or power strips, plug one piece of equipment straight in to the outlet.
Can you repeat the occurrence of the problem. If it happens again, try another appliance, can you repeat the occurrence, if not... whatever you plugged in the outlet first time around it causing problems.
Check the voltage in your outlets... do you have 115V or... maybe less.
The only other reason for those things "happening" would be faulty wiring.
Call the electrician, rewire the connections to those two outlets...
And in all of this just remember that shorts and arcing is very dangerous, you can hurt yourself and burn the place down.
So, do not let it go unattended. Fix it right away.



Fazes?  WTF is that?        LOL!
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: Tripping of two circuit breakers in a random way
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2016, 08:36:41 am »
Phases, e.g. not just active an neutral, depending on the area can be A, B or C phase to neutral, its generally down to the grid to balance load in an area across these phases, but if you have 2 or 3 phases run in difference circuits can be spread across different phases,

If the neutral or ground was to float in this situation, and overload on one circuit can trip 2 breakers, as the current is flowing back through a load on another circuit.
 


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