3
   

2 breakers in place of one

 
 
Fri 13 Oct, 2017 12:40 pm
I've been in maintenance foe over 40 yrs. & never thought of trying this.
You have a circuit with a 20 amp breaker. The breaker trips repeatedly.
Disregard that you should be finding the cause.
Would placing 2-15 amp breakers in either series or parallel work?
 
dalehileman
 
  0  
Fri 13 Oct, 2017 01:16 pm
@Mikead54,
Mike, having been in the field even twice as long, it's a q I also have long pondered. However, your prop is not entirely clear to this old fella: I'm not sure whether or not you mean to connect 'em across the 20-amp unit or to replace it but if you'd respond I'd be most happy to think about it some more
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  2  
Fri 13 Oct, 2017 01:21 pm
If a 20 amp breaker is tripping then a 15 amp breaker is sure to trip (because 15 is less than 20). If they are in series it would be a toss up which one trips. If you place them in parallel (to make, in effect, a "30 amp breaker") then if they are just 2 breakers you bought you would be violating NEC code, which says that you can only have breakers wired in parallel if they are factory matched and pre-wired in a manufactured panel. That means if anything goes wrong, your (or your customer's) insurance will not pay. If you have a fire and the insurance company finds out there is anything not up to NEC code, they'll deny the claim and leave it to you to prove that it wasn't your wiring.

You could just put in a 30 but dealing with repeated tripping by beefing up the breaker, and not bothering to find out the cause is really stupid. Preventing fires, damage, injury or death is why we have wiring codes.
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Fri 13 Oct, 2017 01:52 pm
@centrox,
Quote:
If a 20 amp breaker is tripping then a 15 amp breaker is sure to trip
I think Mike is tellin' us his 20-amp unit is defective, that it trips at less than 20 amp

Quote:
... in parallel ... you would be violating NEC code
Doubtless, Mike, Cen isd absolutely right about this. However, for all practical purposes, you can replace the 20 with the two 15's in parallel. If they're nearly identical, then I'd suppose they'd leggo at 30 amp

Right, Cen?

On the other hand, Mike, if Cen interprets your prob better'n me,
Quote:
You could just put in a 30 but dealing with repeated tripping by beefing up the breaker, and not bothering to find out the cause is really stupid.....


...then indeed Cen's well put, as usu
centrox
 
  4  
Fri 13 Oct, 2017 02:20 pm
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:
I think Mike is tellin' us his 20-amp unit is defective, that it trips at less than 20 amp

No. This is what he said:
Quote:
You have a circuit with a 20 amp breaker. The breaker trips repeatedly.

A breaker trips for one of 2 reasons: either it is faulty or else a current above its rating is passing. Only a fool assumes the first.

dalehileman wrote:
... in parallel ... you would be violating NEC code Doubtless, Mike, Cen isd absolutely right about this. However, for all practical purposes, you can replace the 20 with the two 15's in parallel. If they're nearly identical, then I'd suppose they'd leggo at 30 amp

What "however"?! They need to be nearly identical in resistance, within a tight margin, which is why code says you have to use factory-matched breakers pre-installed in a panel assembled by the manufacturer. If not, current is shared unequally which will probably lead to one unit tripping because its handling more than half the load and then of course the other breaker will trip soon afterwards.

and... the 20 amp breaker rating was chosen for a reason. if you swap for a 30 amp, now the wiring will likely be too small for 30 amp load. So you increase the fire risk.
dalehileman
 
  0  
Fri 13 Oct, 2017 04:03 pm
@centrox,
Quote:
trips for one of 2 reason...either faulty or else a current above its rating... Only a fool assumes the first.
Fools like me tho have the most terrible luck
0 Replies
 
cameronleon
 
  1  
Fri 13 Oct, 2017 05:31 pm
@Mikead54,
Quote:
I've been in maintenance foe over 40 yrs. & never thought of trying this.
You have a circuit with a 20 amp breaker. The breaker trips repeatedly.
Disregard that you should be finding the cause.


Dumb decision.

When a circuit breaker trips, you must find the cause.

A circuit breaker that trips several times can change to "malfunction status" forever, so regardless of finding later the cause for the tripping, the circuit breaker can go bad and needs replacement.

Worst decision is increasing the amp rate of the circuit breaker, because the wiring for 20 amps is 12 awg, and for a 30 amp circuit breaker the wiring is 10 awg, this is for house installation 110v.

You must find the cause of the trips because these can be many, from exposed contact of hot wire with neutral or ground wiring, an overload due to many devices connected to the same circuit, a loose connection in a receptacle of the circuit, a loose circuit breaker in main panel (loose connections cause heat and cause the trip of the circuit breaker), etc.

Don't try to become an expert in series or parallel connection in a simple straight electrical connection. It is against the code and you will end with the need of finding the cause of the problem anyway.

Just find the problem and fix it. And, if it is possible, in case the circuit breaker tripped lots of times, replace it with a new one. A small investment that will maintain safety in your house.

dalehileman
 
  0  
Fri 13 Oct, 2017 10:28 pm
@cameronleon,
Mike, Cam's absolutely right, there;s no hope

But stillI'd try ur approach, use the to xtra breakers, see what happens. If it gets hot somewhere, well, then , ...
roger
 
  1  
Fri 13 Oct, 2017 10:54 pm
@dalehileman,
Yeah, and if your television keeps blowing it's own fuse, short it out and see what smokes. Great troubleshooting technique.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Sat 14 Oct, 2017 06:24 am
Besides being safest, fixing the problem is almost always safer, easier and more effective than sidestepping it.
0 Replies
 
electricboy
 
  1  
Mon 20 Nov, 2017 07:23 am
@Mikead54,
yes as long as the breaker is in series it will work just fine, ive been working in the electrical field for over 30 years now
0 Replies
 
 

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