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  1. #1
    tj smith's Avatar
    tj smith Guest

    Exclamation Overloaded Circuit

    I live in house where one of our breakers trips easily, especially in one section of the house. When the breaker trips it takes out the living room upstairs, down stairs, two bedrooms and dining area. The rest of the house is fine they're on separate circuits.

    I took a look at the electrical panel and I saw two really thick gauge wires (10 awg, i think) running from the 30amp breaker (the one that always trips). I was wondering, if they are using this 10awg wire... how is that thick wire distributed through out this particular part of the house. ? I think internal electrical wiring was 18-16 awg ? Could there be a hidden feeder box ? Where the 10 awg wire comes in to a panel then divides into 16-18 awg wiring to go to the various elec. outlets and light fixtures?

    I can't imagine a electrical outlet or light fixture accepting a 10awg then spider webbing all the 18 guage wiring to the reset of the overloaded outlets and fixtures
    I understand that this circuit is overloaded, but if this feeder box exists somewhere, it may motivate me to get a electrical contractor to run another line through the house to elevate this overloaded circuit.

    I would really appreciate whatever input you can give me.

    thank you,

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Overloaded Circuit

    It sounds to me like it may be incorrectly feeding a 120 v circuit with half the leg of a 240 v circuit. Try and trace those 10g wires. Do they exit the panel in one cable? If so, trace that cable and see if it splits or goes to a junction box where it has the 120 legs spliced into it.

    Post pics of the panel and anything else you can.

    What year ws the house built?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Orlando, FL

    Default Re: Overloaded Circuit

    Call a local electrician and let them evaluate the problem in person.

    Frankly, not to be rude, but it appears you lack some basic wiring knowledge, and you're poking (or looking) around inside the panel without the proper skills, which can be very dangerous.

    It will save you time and money in the long run to have a pro figure it out for you.


  4. #4
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
    Roger Frazee Guest

    Default Re: Overloaded Circuit


    This site really isn't set up for DIY questions like yours, ... go here and ask your questions

    Electrical - DIY Chatroom - DIY Home Improvement Forum

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Virginia Beach, VA

    Default Re: Overloaded Circuit

    I am in total agreement with Roger concerning the purpose of this forum. However, I do disagree with the thought that this is suitable for a DYI to make the required repairs.

    This is not a trivial trip through the wiring. For example, you may have a bad meter base where one of the sockets is overheating and opening and closing. This will cause the socket to intermittently open and lose one side of your phase supply. When that happens, anything connected to that phase is out, until the socket cools down. Also, if you are standing next to the panel, you may be able to pick up on a "Chattering or tapping" sound from the back side of the panel. This noise is coming from the meter base.

    This is normally a problem for the power company to diagnose. It will (if you live in an area like ours) require you to pay for the electrician to install the new meter base and in some areas, you may even have to purchase the meter base.

    There are several other possibilities that leap immediately to mind, such as a loose Neutral connection on a Multi-wire circuit. Bad or corroded phase bar.

    Loose Neutral connection on either the meter or the Panelboard.

    But the final answer is, if you are not willing to put me on your life insurance as a beneficiary,and then risk killing yourself on unprotected circuits, please call a licensed electrician.

    This is NOT DYI work.

    Last edited by Donald Farrell; 09-03-2011 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Words left out of original response.


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