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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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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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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-energy-do-space-heaters-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...
 

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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
ridealittle said:
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.

saddlebag said:
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.

gibson said:
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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Discussion Starter #11
The new building code (at least here in Utah) require ground fault breakers in bedrooms.
That must be it. Because each of the bedrooms it looks like has one. Seems like overkill to me. I think that bedroom can do without one.
 

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What you probably have is actually called an arc fault breaker. They are reguired in all bedrooms by the national electric code regaurdless of where you live in the USA. If your home or breaker box is somewhat new than thats it
 

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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.



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.




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.
they are more sensitive, and tend to go bad, just like the gf outlets.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What you probably have is actually called an arc fault breaker. They are reguired in all bedrooms by the national electric code regaurdless of where you live in the USA. If your home or breaker box is somewhat new than thats it
Oh, ok that is what it's called. Now I know.
 
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