gobigblue

main breaker tripping

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ive had my electric panel open for about a year now since im doing various things around the house and its easier to work on.  i put the cover back on a few days ago.  the main breaker has tripped twice in the past 2 days.  of course im @work both times this happens.  today my wife said "the breaker wouldnt turn back on so i left and came back 5 minutes later and it went on".  not sure what that means exactly, but im assuming it overheated, then cooled enough to be set back into place.  i know just enough about electric to know when to call the electrician, but it seems too coincidental to NOT be the cover causing overheating or something is loose from the main line coming in.  IF i was going to replace the main breaker, can i call pseg to have them shut the power and do it myself?  will they also look at the connections inside the meter to make sure there is nothing going on there? or does there responsibility begin+end at the pole?

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If you can access the meter, call em, tell them you have to pop the seal, and remove the meter. Then youre off at the main lugs. Pretty simple from there. Make sure all the breakers are off when you both pull, and replace the meter. You dont want it under any load. 

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2 hours ago, gobigblue said:

  i know just enough about electric to know when to call the electrician,

Clearly you do not.

Seems you know just enough to electrocute yourself or burn the house down.

Be smart an get an electrician.

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7 minutes ago, Gotcow? said:

Clearly you do not.

Seems you know just enough to electrocute yourself or burn the house down.

Be smart an get an electrician.

thanks for the info

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What town?

i have a very reasonable electrician if you need one.

sounds like it could be breaker going bad or a loose lug on breaker.

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4 hours ago, Wire For Fire said:

Maybe you about maxed out? How big of pannel and what's in it ? 

I doubt it.  Its 100a but old. probably original 1950s  I was hoping to get at least a few more years out of it as is.  I removed a couple curcuits a year ago and have added a few things but nothing bigger than a bait tank pump and dishwasher on a dedicated 20a (which wasnt running).  The central ac is from the 70s. All my bulbs are led. Net net im probably using less power than the previous owner ever was. The breaker is burning hot when it trips.  I just turned on a bunch of lights and tv and the dishwasher and toaster and the main tripped so theres something going on.  Everything inside the panel is tight and clean.  I called my guy he said will try a new breaker first.

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2 hours ago, ted527 said:

What town?

i have a very reasonable electrician if you need one.

sounds like it could be breaker going bad or a loose lug on breaker.

Im hoping its something simple like that.  I have a good guy who charges hourly $ when hes between jobs and I get in over my head.   Im going to call pseg to shut it off tomorrow or during the week and change the breaker and go from there.  Worse case scenario will just have to upgrade earlier than I wanted.   

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Shouldn't need pseg to kill power, any electrician can do that.

normally you just cut seal, remove band then pull meter.

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9 hours ago, ted527 said:

Shouldn't need pseg to kill power, any electrician can do that.

normally you just cut seal, remove band then pull meter.

That's what my electrician did when he put in a new box (not service) for me. 

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My 100a main started tripping with 30a dryer current. I wrapped electrical tape around heavy screwdriver and checked lugs. One side was frozen. I have high voltage gloves from when i rode helicopters. I pulled the main live and transferred to a new breaker. Its not for light-hearted. I have current meters. You could also get an infrared meter from harbor freight. Beauty of circuit breakers is they trip on heat. Larger breakers tripping when smaller branch circuits dont indicate a bad connection. Find manufacturer and type of cb then call an electrician.  

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if it just started tripping after you put the cover on after a long while?.it could be the heat of a maxed out breaker is trapped in the panel now.causing more ambient heat.Causing it to trip.I bet if you do an amp /load check on the main,your pulling over 80% of the rated ampacity per leg.

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Big Blue-----don't chance having your house burn down for what an electrician would charge. Hot circuit breaker tripping would not make me hesitate to call an expert. A day delay could mean tragedy.  

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well, theres good news and bad news.  the good news is im been able to rule out any electrical issues.  the bad news is the A/C seems to be on its way out, which isnt that suprising since its hella old. having a guy come this week to troubleshoot, crossing my fingers its something repairable, because if its not then im going to have to replace the whole shebang, furnace included.  best case scenario there's a loose wire or short somewhere, or the fan motor is on its way out.  

Edited by gobigblue

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