Grrrrr. Circuit breaker

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  • Grrrrr. Circuit breaker

    We have a utility room in the middle of the house next to the kitchen. It has a cubby designed to put a freezer in it, but we have a cart with the microwave in that space.
    Well, after 30 years I found out that the outlet in that cubby intended to support the freezer and now powering the microwave is shared with the utility outlets (two) in the original garage circuit. They are a long way way from each other, can't figure that one out.

    Anyway I was using my little portable space heater to warm me working in the garage and my wife was cooking dinner, popped some frozen veggies in the microwave, hit start and walked out. Neither of us noticed for a while The heater was 1500 W and the microwave 1400 W and tripped the breaker in short time.

    Fortunately it's not too cold too often in Houston, I don't often break out the heater when it is, I guess that's why I never noticed before.
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 01-26-2023, 11:46 AM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ -

  • #2
    The logic of electricians often escapes me. I found out the first year we were here all the outdoor outlets are all on the same circuit and are on the load side of the GFCI in the basement that powers the water softener, air exchanger, and gas water heater. When Christmas lights tripped the GFCI, we had no hot water in the morning. SWMBO was not happy.

    An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
    A moral man does it.


    • Jim Frye
      Jim Frye commented
      Editing a comment
      Code here stipulates that all exterior outlets and garage circuit are to be GFCIs. If you trip a garage outlet, the garage door opener doesn't work. We now have an opener with battery backup.

  • #3
    our previous home had all of the countertop outlets on the same circuit. When we put the house up for sale, we had to put GFI outlets in per new code since the house was originally built. While I was doing this, I discovered the refrigerator was wired on the same circuit and wired off of the nearest countertop outlet. I cheated by splitting the feed to the outlets and the refrigerator. I changed the breaker labeling to show that the circuit supported both things.
    Jim Frye
    The Nut in the Cellar.
    ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”


    • #4
      For every electrical problem there is a possible mechanical solution.

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      • leehljp
        leehljp commented
        Editing a comment
        LOL! I know some people who would do just that!

      • twistsol
        twistsol commented
        Editing a comment
        The modern day penny behind the fuse trick.

      • capncarl
        capncarl commented
        Editing a comment
        I can’t imagine anyone dumb enough to drill and drive a screw in the center of an electrical panel. Isn’t that where the hot stuff is?

    • #5
      Been there, done that. The circuits in my house are weird, too. Keep saying I'm going to make a bunch of copies of my floor plan and map out each circuit. Just changed 3 of my 220 breakers. The outside A/C had a loose wire that caused some burning of the plastic and the dryer was tripping 4-5 times just to dry a load. Some of the breakers are probably original to the house, built 40 years ago.
      Don, aka Pappy,

      Wise men talk because they have something to say,
      Fools because they have to say something.


      • #6
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        My most recent update there are still some unmapped breakers after 32 years but if I haven't tripped them I guess I don't need to know that badly. Mostly upstairs bedrooms I think.
        Couple of 20A breakers I have no idea what they go to. Not enough curiousity. Original electricians labeling of the box is not very informative. I installed 25, 27, 29, 31 to the garage.

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        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ -