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Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3593
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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Electric cercit is not kicking breaker .when reset it's still

Customer Question

Electric cercit is not kicking breaker .when reset it's still off . after awhile the cercit would come on by it's self . have replaced the breaker , but same problem. No ground faults outlets on cercit .
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago. name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!
1) What type of breaker? A 120V single pole or a 240V double pole breaker?
2) How many amps is the breaker?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Double pole , 15 amp
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the confirmation.
1) What is the breaker being used for?
2) DO you have 2 consecutive free slots in the panel to relocate the replacement breaker? Possibly the breaker is not making correct contact onto the hot bus bar stab? Can you "roll" the breaker to another free slot?
3) If you temporarily remove the 2 hot wires, does the breaker trip under a "no load condition"?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Outlets,lights,smoke detectors.I think l have free slot ,but I may have to move the other breakers up one hole. I have not checked no load condition . I do not have front cover off now.
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the reply.
1) Was there any recent electrical work performed such as replacing receptacles, wall switches, etc. on the circuits?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago.
OK, very good.
1) If the problem follows by rolling the breaker and with no connected loads, you will need to isolate the circuits. Start by unplugging all cord & plug items one at a time from the receptacles and turning light switches OFF one at a time and see if the breaker will reset. If still not resetting, you will need to isolate the circuit. Try to logically locate a receptacle in the middle of the circuit and isolate it from the hot circuit feed. In other words, once you locate a middle of the run receptacle, disconnect the downstream hot and neutral and measure for 120 volts on the hot circuit feed and see if the breaker still trips. If the breaker still trips, move towards another wall receptacle that is closer (upstream) to the main electrical panel and isolate that receptacle and measure the hot circuit feed coming into that receptacle and see if the breaker will reset.
Keep in mind that the circuits can tandem thru many boxes such as receptacle, switch, junction and/or lighting fixture boxes. I always start with the receptacles 1st as all it takes is 1 loose wire connection to cause a short.
You will need either a 2 wire lead AC voltage tester (a contact type) or preferably an AC voltmeter.
2) Is the breaker always tripping and won't reset?
Not sure what you mean that the "circuit would come on by itself"?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The breaker never trips. Took both wires off breaker and did not trip . I noticed when reconnecting wires to breaker one side arced pretty good the other side had very little arc
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago.
You need to turn the breaker to the OFF position when removing the wires. Otherwise, they will always arc on a live wire termination.
1) So is the entire circuit dead or only partially dead?
What does not work?
Do any of the receptacles or lights work or is everything dead?
2) Do you have an AC voltmeter?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's all dead
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago.
Do you have an AC voltmeter to troubleshoot the circuit?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not right now.
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago.
OK, you will need a voltmeter to troubleshoot and confirm.
1) In the interim, I suggest trying the following Wiggle Procedure. Keep in mind that sometimes this procedure works and at other times, it does not work but is still worth a shot at trying. It is possible that you have a loose wire connection at one of the receptacles.
Wiggle Procedure:
You have a circuit with dead outlets and maybe some dead lights on it or you’re experiencing flickering on a circuit. You will need a 2 wire voltage tester to check the outlet. A Multimeter or a Volt/Con are suggested. I prefer the Volt/Con because there are no settings to make, it does continuity and is audible. Success begins with knowing what you’re looking for.
1] No voltage reading between the hot and the neutral or ground indicates an open hot.
2] No reading between the hot and the neutral but 120V between the hot and ground and 120V between the neutral and ground indicates an open neutral.
3] No continuity between the neutral and ground – Check for tripped GFCI device first
4] If all the branch circuit breaker are on you have a bad connection on the hot or neutral wires. The usual cause is a bad connection, either a termination on a device or connection in a wire nut. Over the years I’ve found the easiest way to locate the opening needing examination and correction is to wiggle the devices.
5] The first step in this exercise is to get a lamp to act as an alert. Make sure the lamp works and in the on position. You may also use something like a vacuum cleaner or blow dryer, for an audible alert. Don’t use anything electronic, like a radio.
6] Plug it into a dead outlet.
7] Now with a cube tester or any plug you will need to go to all the dead outlets and any live outlets in the area, insert the plug and wiggle the device side to side slightly. Watch the test lamp or listen for the other alerts as you wiggle the devices. If the loose or bad connection is present the wiggle action may make it contact briefly and the lamp or the other things will alert you . Having found the suspected outlet all that is left is to correct the bad connection.
If the device is a push back wired device, this probably is the cause of the circuit failure. All wires must be terminated under the screws. Also you should never put more than one wire under a screw. This troubleshooting procedure works in most cases and won’t have you open boxes un-necessarily.
Keep in mind that the problem is in one of two places in the circuit, either in the first dead outlet or the live outlet just ahead of it.
2) Once you obtain a meter, measure the following voltages at some random receptacles and let me know the readings.
A) Hot (short slot) to Neutral (long slot) should = approximately 120V
B) Hot (short slot) to Ground (ground hole) should = approximately 120V
c) Neutral (long slot) to Ground (ground hole) should = 0 volts or very close to it.
Re-install the breaker back to the original position in the panel. Then remove the 2 hot wires and measure for 120V from each half of the breaker to the panel main neutral bus bar. The breaker needs to be in the ON position. If you get 120V from each hot to neutral, the breaker is good.
3) Since the breaker is a double pole breaker and this is effecting 2 separate circuits, the 2 circuits in question may possibly be wired as a shared neutral circuit. If only having 1 shared neutral and the neutral conductor has become loose, this can kill power to both circuits.
Hope this helps………If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.
Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.
The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at: ……….Thanks…………..Kevin!
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago.
If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.
Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.