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I have a electrical problem with my house

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I have a electrical problem with my house .
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Electrical
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/1/2017
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 4 months ago
Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,211
Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) Please provide details on the problem?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
My outside plugs, every time I plug in Xmas lights the breaker jumps. Is it a amp problem or the outlet?
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 4 months ago

1) Are the exterior receptacles a GFCI type or is the circuit breaker for the exterior receptacles a GFCI type?

2) If you unplug the XMAS lights and plug another load such as a light or a portable radio into the receptacle, does the circuit breaker trip?

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Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 4 months ago

1) Any wet conditions at the exterior XMAS lights or extension cords?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Not sure about the GFCi type, when I plug in other lights it’s okay. But when the others c9 bulbs and 6 strands with 25 bulbs each it trips the circuit. It was some wet on the first day I set up the lights on the roof. But I replaced those strands
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 4 months ago

Thanks for the replies.

1) A couple of reasons for the tripping as follows:

A) The light strings and/or an extension cord has an internal short circuit which is causing the breaker to trip

or

B) The circuit breaker is being overloaded due to an excessive amount of wattage on the circuit.

or

C) The circuit breaker is a GFCI type (has a test button) and moisture from the light strings or extension cord is causing the breaker to trip

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Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 4 months ago

1) Process of isolation.......if unplugging a few light strings and the breaker is working OK, then most likely the circuit was overloaded.

2) If the circuit is shared with other loads inside the house and those loads are running simultaneously with the lights, very possible the circuit is being overloaded.

3) You will need to isolate the problem by unplugging a few strings and also confirm if any other loads reside on the circuit. This will confirm if the circuit is being overloaded.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Oh I see, the front outside plug is a GFCi type because it has the test and reset button. The rear is not. I am thinking it’s being overloaded. If that is the issue, is there a way to increase wattage to the circuit? I.e, increase the amp-age?
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 4 months ago

1) If any moisture came into direct contact with the light string plug ends and/or the extension, the GFCI will trip. The GFCI is designed to trip under moist or wet conditions. However, the breaker would not trip if the problem is water.

2) I would also be suspicious of an overloaded circuit.

3) If the breaker is a 15 amp, you would need to re-wire the entire circuit using 12 AWG copper wires and replace the 15 amp breaker with a 20 amp breaker. DO NOT just replace the 15 amp breaker with a 20 amp breaker without confirming the wire size. A 20 amp breaker must have 12 AWG copper wires on the entire circuit. If using a 20 amp breaker with 14 AWG wires, the wires will overload and a potential cause for a fire.

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Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 4 months ago

1) A 15 amp circuit can support a maximum of 1,440 watts under a continuous load (3 hours or more).

2) A 20 amp circuit can support a maximum of 1,920 watts under a continuous load (3 hours or more)

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Oh I see, I have had that problem before when I plug my RV to the outside plugs. It would trip the breaker. So it could be amp issue
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 4 months ago

Yes, very possible.

1) Do the exterior receptacles reside on a dedicated circuit or is the circuit being shared with any other rooms in the home?

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Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 4 months ago

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.................Kevin:)

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Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 4 months ago

Does that help to answer your question?

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Kevin
Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,211
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Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License

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