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Old 11-28-2012, 11:15 PM   #1
Term
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Default Anyone an electrician?

I figure there are quite a few do it your selfers on here, so I thought I would ask. I am asking everywhere I can think. So I had to replace a breaker in my breaker box today and I have a question. The breaker controlled the ceiling fan/light and all the outlets in a spare bedroom. Only thing in this room is a old computer I set up and is just used for storage on my network. Well it turned out that the ceiling fan/light in my daughters room and one of her outlets was also on this breaker. She had started running a space heater in her room which she happened to have plugged into that outlet. It apparently killed the breaker. It wasn't a standard 15 amp breaker it is one of those ground fault breakers with a test switch. From what I can find those need only be used for outside outlets or in bathrooms. I went to Lowes today and bought a 15 amp breaker and put it in and it's working fine. I am just wondering if I really need to get one of those ground fault type. The standard breaker was $3.75, a ground fault breaker is $41.00.

So why would they use one of those type breakers for a bedroom.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:25 PM   #2
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Should be okay with a standard breaker simplest way of testing is put your hand on it when know is loaded up if doesn't feel overly warm you are fine .. Simply put, Circuit Breakers trip when heated .. My guess someone put one in the bedroom might have had a spare left over ..
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:39 AM   #3
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Add up all the watts you are using on the circuit. That is why you are popping the breaker. http://www.wisegeek.com/how-much-ene...eaters-use.htm breakers protect the wire in the wall. Melted wire cause fires. The space heater should be on a different circuit. So add up the watts divide it by 120 = amps example: 1500+ 300+ 200=2000 / 120 = 16.666 amps Space heater+pc+ fan = 2000 any thing else turned on will overload the circuit...

Last edited by gibson; 11-29-2012 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Term View Post
I figure there are quite a few do it your selfers on here, so I thought I would ask. I am asking everywhere I can think. So I had to replace a breaker in my breaker box today and I have a question. The breaker controlled the ceiling fan/light and all the outlets in a spare bedroom. Only thing in this room is a old computer I set up and is just used for storage on my network. Well it turned out that the ceiling fan/light in my daughters room and one of her outlets was also on this breaker. She had started running a space heater in her room which she happened to have plugged into that outlet. It apparently killed the breaker. It wasn't a standard 15 amp breaker it is one of those ground fault breakers with a test switch. From what I can find those need only be used for outside outlets or in bathrooms. I went to Lowes today and bought a 15 amp breaker and put it in and it's working fine. I am just wondering if I really need to get one of those ground fault type. The standard breaker was $3.75, a ground fault breaker is $41.00.

So why would they use one of those type breakers for a bedroom.
You've got me puzzled.

1) A circuit breaker lives in a box somewhere with all its circuit breaker family

2) A GFI outlet lives on a wall in a room

3) Causing either one to trip can be remedied by resetting it. Why would you buy a new one?

4) GFI detects the difference in current flowing out of one terminal and back into the other terminal. If a human becomes part of a circuit and a portion of the current is going to them and into the ground rather than returning through the outlet's neutral, the GFI detects it. They are generally used near water. A circuit breaker only detects total current. It will not cut the juice if you become a Christmas light until you draw enough current to trip it. By then you'll be as dead as a Christmas goose.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Term View Post
I figure there are quite a few do it your selfers on here, so I thought I would ask. I am asking everywhere I can think. So I had to replace a breaker in my breaker box today and I have a question. The breaker controlled the ceiling fan/light and all the outlets in a spare bedroom. Only thing in this room is a old computer I set up and is just used for storage on my network. Well it turned out that the ceiling fan/light in my daughters room and one of her outlets was also on this breaker. She had started running a space heater in her room which she happened to have plugged into that outlet. It apparently killed the breaker. It wasn't a standard 15 amp breaker it is one of those ground fault breakers with a test switch. From what I can find those need only be used for outside outlets or in bathrooms. I went to Lowes today and bought a 15 amp breaker and put it in and it's working fine. I am just wondering if I really need to get one of those ground fault type. The standard breaker was $3.75, a ground fault breaker is $41.00.

So why would they use one of those type breakers for a bedroom.
Not sure why they would have a ground fault in the bedroom. It's hard to second guess why somethings things get done a certain way.
I have been in constuction my whole life and still get amazed sometimes what people get by with or do.
If the 15amp works I would stick with that. You have to be carefull just moving up to the next breaker size, 20amp. If the wiring is not heavy enough at least 12 wire you can melt the wire and not trip the breaker.

Saddlebag you can buy a GFI breaker. It can be cheaper to use sometimes than GFI plugs. They get used alot on temporary poles on constuction sites.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedXerII View Post
Saddlebag you can buy a GFI breaker. It can be cheaper to use sometimes than GFI plugs. They get used alot on temporary poles on constuction sites.
I see. Thanks.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:33 AM   #7
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make sure there isn't a plug in the kitchen or bath or outside plug or fixture run off the ground fault, or a hot tup or spa. if you're ABSOLUTELY positive there are none you don't need a gf breaker. also a gf shouldn't trip as long as the total amps are ok. they shouldn't trip because a certain type of appliance is plugged in unless it has a -ground fault- losing power to ground instead of back to neutral.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridealittle
make sure there isn't a plug in the kitchen or bath or outside plug or fixture run off the ground fault, or a hot tup or spa
I checked that, at first I thought maybe the back flood light was on the circuit but it wasn't. I checked every outlet in all the bathrooms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saddlebag
1) A circuit breaker lives in a box somewhere with all its circuit breaker family

2) A GFI outlet lives on a wall in a room
I thought the same thing until this happen. I have not had one of these type breakers any any house I owned up to now. Only owned two before this, first built in the 70s and the second in the mid 80s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibson
Add up all the watts you are using on the circuit. That is why you are popping the breaker.

Thanks for all the replies. I understand why it tripped, it was my daughter using the space heater. Also that one outlet in her room had a TV and an X-BOX connected to it. That is taken care of. I just can't figure why they used a GFI breaker. Why I couldn't just reset it I don't now, a guy at Lowes told me the GFI breakers were a bit more sensitive and once they trip they can stop working. At $41.00 dollars a pop I think I will take my chances with a standard 15 amp breaker.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:30 AM   #9
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Just throwing this out there, gfi breakers and outlets alike can go bad causing them to blow unnecessarily.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:46 AM   #10
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The new building code (at least here in Utah) require ground fault breakers in bedrooms.
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