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Sir Sparks
Sir Sparks, President/Owner/ Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2532
Experience:  US State Certified & UK Electrical Contractor for all electrical fields/disciplines
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I have a circuit breaker that is tripped and will not reset.

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I have a circuit breaker that is tripped and will not reset. It controls my heat pump. It was working fine until I tripped turned the circuit off myself to install new thermostats. At the time I didn't know which was for what unit so I killed the power to all. This unit was not one I changed the thermostat on. I can't get the breaker to reset. I've killed power to the unit itself and tried to reset and that doesn't work. House is only 4 yr old. Any thoughts?
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Sir Sparks :

So when you locally switch off the unit the breaker still won'r reset?

Customer:

correct. I locally shut the breaker off and when I wanted to turn it back on it wouldn't reset.

Sir Sparks :

.Not quite what I meant but do you mean tat there is only one breaker, this is local and the only one you have switched?

Customer:

sorry..... the breaker I turned off is in my panel with the lower portion of the house. There is a single next to the heat pump also. I can't reset the one in the panel. I've tried turning off the single next to the unit and resetting then resetting the panel and that doesn't work either. All other circuits in the panel work fine.

Sir Sparks :

OK so there are two possibilities; #1 the wiring from panel to local breaker is bad or #2 the breaker in the panel is bad. Now I will presume you have been switching this breaker all the way off before trying to reset? If so then please temporarily remove the wires from this panel breaker and try to reset again. If it does not reset te breaker is bad, if it does reset there is a wiring fault between the two breakers.

Sir Sparks :

One other thing, if the panel breaker is two pole and the local breaker single pole then this single is not on the same circuit. To further test the wiring (if breaker test works) you should look for a mechanical disconnect (pull disconnect) locally at the unti.

Customer:

I guess I'm confused. why would the wiring be bad if the unit was working fine before I switched it off and I didn't think the breakers you reset went bad. The breaker didn't trip. I shut it off and now I can't get it to stay in the on mode.

Customer:

I don't know what two pole or single pole means...??

Sir Sparks :

Some times things just fail without apparent reason. It is more likely the breaker went bad then the wiring but we need to make sure before you waste money on a new breaker.

Sir Sparks :

2 pole is twice as wide with two wire in in, single pole is one wire and half as wide.

Sir Sparks :

Also (fgrom another expert) try tapping this panel breker with a scredriver handle then try again to reset.

Sir Sparks :

OOPS missed some keys there sorry!

Customer:

ok - the shutoff next to the unit has a gfc also.. that breaker is twice the size as the one in the panel. It does not reset but only pulls out. so I need to pull the disconnect then try to reset?

Sir Sparks :

Yes and also try tapping the breaker as I said.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

i think the confusion is that the breaker is not even staying like it has been tripped. it goes back to the off position. like a hinge is broke or something

Let me know when you have tested these things. I understand your confusion butfirst please try as Isay, you are my eyes and ears at yor home.

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
so i kill the main which is not down stairs and pull the breaker out to test?
Lets take this one at a time; First ap the panel breaker several times with a screwdriver. If this does not help THEN Pull out the disconnect you mentioned next to the unit and try again to reset.

tap the breaker

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i already did. that didn't work
Then pull this disconnect locally, if the panel breaker still won't reset you need a new breaker.+
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