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Mike
Mike, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1425
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
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Alex - I'm ***** *****.Two things: 1st - I need to replace

Customer Question

Customer: Hi Alex - I'm ***** *****.Two things: 1st - I need to replace one of the sockets in a ceiling fan - how difficult is that?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: 2nd (and more involved I'm sure) : there are twpo rooms in the house where if my fiancé plugs a vacuum cleaner in, it thros the circuit breaker for the entire house. Have any idea what might be causing that?
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question to Electrical Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: yes.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm glad to help

Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

1. Most of the sockets are mounted using screws. They have 2 wires black and white. So it should not be hard to replace. However you can come back here when you get socket and I will try to walk you through.

Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

2. Are you sure its the main breaker that trips? or its one of the 15 or 20 amp breakers that trips?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok - so far so good. I'll go to Home Deopt or Loew's and get a replacement socket. How about the second question? I think that may involve a pretty extensive evaluation and repair.
Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

Are you sure its the main breaker that trips? or its one of the 15 or 20 amp breakers that trips?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No- it's the main breaker- the power in the entire house goes out. she has to plug the vacuum into an outlet in another room for it to work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could they have used too small a wire gauge when they wired the two involved rooms. or could the outlets be defective?
Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

Hmmm. That definitely needs an electrician. There are few things that needs to be checked, starting from the panel checking loose wires and breakers going towards each device on that circuit.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
BTW - I live just north of the Austin, Texas metropolitan area.
Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

well the problem is that main breaker is tripping. it should only trip the breaker for that circuit.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you mean the problem could actually be in the breaker panel and not so much in the wiring of the individual rooms? I had not considered that.
Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

It is really hard to say. It might be combination of both. It needs troubleshooting. as I said if it was single breaker tripping then it would be either over load of that circuit or short in the receptacle that you are using for vacuum. What size is the main breaker?

Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

meaning how many amps?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That I don't know off hand - I'll have to go outside and check (for some reason they build some houses down here with the panel outside (we keep it locked to prevent vandalism). I'm just trying to get a feel for what might be involved here - this is NOT something I'm going to try on my own. What would be a typical fuse amperage for the main breaker?
Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

Mostly 100 or 200. But it is really rare that you would overload the main breaker. Although when it trips besides the vacuum what else did you have on? maybe electric oven, dryer

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wouldn't it have to be something like 200 amps to handle the zones carrying AC and major appliances?
Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

It really all depends. How old is the house?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry - I thought we were disconnected (just checked my email). the house is about 8-109 years old. My fiancé has tried running the vacuum with nothing else but the refrig/freezer running in the background and it still trips the main breaker. And perhaps I forgot to mention - this happens from two different rooms in two different zones.
Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

Sorry but it really needs troubleshooting.

Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

8-10 years old house should have at least 200 amps.

Expert:  Alex replied 1 year ago.

Just a follow up. Did you get electrician to look at it?