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Old 08-31-2014, 09:19 PM   #1
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50 AMP Breaker keeps popping

Our breaker box is located in our bedroom closet. Lately, every time I slammed the closet doors or rattled them too much, the 50amp breaker would go. We had the RV in for other service last week, so we asked the guy to change the breaker, figuring it was probably loose, since it only seemed to go out when we rattled or slammed the closet door.
Today, I slammed the closet door & the breaker popped again. This is a new one. Any one have any ideas.
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:08 PM   #2
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Sounds like you could be running it too near it's break point and the door slam is all it needs to pop.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:07 AM   #3
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If it still happens when you're sure the electrical load isn't that heavy, it may be time to replace the breaker. The springs and contacts inside can get weak over time.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:14 AM   #4
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I would not think a 2006 breaker would be weak unless you turn it off & on a lot. I would start with tightening all lugs in the breaker box. Sounds like something not making a good connection.

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Old 09-01-2014, 07:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paz View Post
If it still happens when you're sure the electrical load isn't that heavy, it may be time to replace the breaker. The springs and contacts inside can get weak over time.
paz
The OP had the breaker replaced ...but it still trips when he slams the closet door. (see his original message below):

Quote:
Originally Posted by karencollins View Post
Our breaker box is loe thecated in our bedroom closet. Lately, every time I slammed the closet doors or rattled them too much, the 50amp breaker would go. We had the RV in for other service last week, so we asked the guy to change the breaker, figuring it was probably loose, since it only seemed to go out when we rattled or slammed the closet door.
Today, I slammed the closet door & the breaker popped again. This is a new one. Any one have any ideas.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:41 AM   #6
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Could the panel cover be on slightly loose or crooked allowing it to impact the breaker from the impact of slamming the door?

If you look at the bus bar, which the breaker snaps onto,does it look burnt or discolored?

I have seen many a snap-in main breaker overheat due to loose screws or simply running at it's current capacity and then tripping.

When that happens it usually overheats/burns the panel side prongs it snaps onto and if not cleaned up then the new breaker will also overheat and trip due to the poor connection.

Breakers are thermal/magnetically tripped so a bad/poor connection can cause them to trip even at less than their full rating.

Hope this helps
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:43 AM   #7
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Sounds like you have one or more loose connections in the panel.
Unplug from power then open the breaker panel and inspect all connections and
tighten all of them. Then inspect all of the other breakers in the panel by pulling
them and checking their contacts to the main buss.
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:05 AM   #8
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If all else were to fail, maybe install some of those round felt pads on the door so it can't slam real hard?
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:40 AM   #9
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Do you have a voltmeter?

Remove panel cover and check the voltage on everything.

Buss bar and wire at breaker should be same voltage.

Looking for one that is different.

If you have a bad connection between buss bar and breaker it will create a voltage drop snd also heat due to that drop.

That heat coukd have the breaker almost there so to speak.

Also get a scrrwdriver or small wooden rod and with the plastic end tap breakers to see if you can make it go.

Last is get an ir thermometer and see if any are warm.

We used ir cameras to document wiring panels as part of inspections to verify no bad connections...expensive with camera but ir thermometer cheap at hf
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:35 PM   #10
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Two options and a suggestion:
One: As someone else already suggested, Too close to trip point,,, To test, use a clamp on ammeter (or two) on the big wires to the breakers,

Two: Loose wire in cabinet (Breaker box or near it) making improper contact and shorting the system when you slam door.

To Fix: VISUAL inspection for any signs of arcing.

Suggestion: Do not slam door.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
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If all else were to fail, maybe install some of those round felt pads on the door so it can't slam real hard?
ahicks
In this case a "some of those round felt pads" are a only band-aid fix, (aka: NOT a solution to the problem).
IMO any 120VAC "electrical glitch" can be dangerous if not corrected!
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:44 PM   #12
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As you have changed out the 50a breaker we have to rule that out. Take the cover off the panel and make sure there aren't any loose wires that may short out when you slam the door. Do you have any 110v items, plugs etc. in the area of the door. Where slamming it could create a short? Of course that should popo the breaker for the circuit and not the 50a breaker.

Good luck with the fix!
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:04 PM   #13
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As some have alluded to: There could be a "short" of some sort in the wiring in that area and when the slamming of the door creates a vibration where the hot leg either touches the neutral or a ground.

It is a situation that should not be ignored or rectified by putting a band aid on it.

I've seen situations where the circuit breaker for an individual circuit will not trip but take out a larger breaker upstream. Example: A 30 amp breaker doesn't trip but the short takes out a 300 amp fuse.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:46 AM   #14
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Just out of curiosity, since this breaker is located in a closet, is it a GFCI breaker??
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