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Old 11-13-2019, 11:54 AM   #1
MarDon7
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Question Tripping 15a electric breakers

Hello all, the current cold snap has made it to the east coast. Have a new 2019 Montana 3811ms. Last night started using small ceramic heaters . One per breaker. After an hour or so of use, the 15a breakers trip. Not sure why. Don't have anything else on them. They don't trip immediately or soon after I turn the heaters. Any ideas?
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:12 PM   #2
rohrmann
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Itís possible that as everyone else is using electric heaters also, the voltage is dropping and as it drops the amps go up and it finally gets to the point that the breaker trips. If you have any 20 amp circuits, like maybe where a washing machine would plug into, you could use that for one of the heaters. Are these being used along with your furnace?
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:09 PM   #3
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How many watts does each heater have? That would be a big help.
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:55 PM   #4
MarDon7
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Triooing 15a Electric Breakers

Thanks for the assistance. Helps in figuring what is going. Moving heaters around to different outlets until we can figure out how not to trip breaker. THINKING ARE ARE GETTING CLOSE.
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:58 PM   #5
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One has 1500 watts. Other two are 900 watts.
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:09 PM   #6
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The 1500 is getting close to what a 15 amp circuit will handle 110 volts X 15 amps =1650 watts, but that doesn’t explain the 900 watt units. Do they all trip at the same time?
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:16 PM   #7
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A circuit breaker will not normally trip until something in excess of about 13-14% over the stated rating. And even then, at that level of over load it may take 10 minutes or more to trip. In addition, since thermal circuit breakers trip based on heating due to current flow they can be affected by adjacent breakers that are also heating. So if you have two or more breakers side by side that are all at the high end of their ratings, they will be causing each other to heat up more than if they were more isolated. The result could be that they might trip at a lower point than their stated rating.
Since circuit breakers typically go to more than one outlet, how did you determine there is nothing else operating on any given breaker?
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:31 PM   #8
DQDick
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There may be something else on the circuit like the frig for instance that only comes on from time to time and that is overloading the circuit.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:01 PM   #9
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I have a 20 amp breaker. Only plugged in all is well most of the time. Only the fridge is on besides the normal drain. I believe it is the auto defrost that pops the GFI once in a while. Nothing else changes.
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Old 11-24-2019, 02:42 PM   #10
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I had the same problem a few years back while trying to run more then one. Ended up running an extension cord up through a storage compartment and plugged it into one of the outlets on the pedestal. Campgrounds like to charge extra for running space heaters.
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Old 11-24-2019, 03:41 PM   #11
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Maximum continuous amperage

For a circuit breaker to deliver continuous current, itís rated amps must be reduced by 20%. Your 15 amp circuit breaker will trip if the wattage exceeds 1440. The 1440 watts figure is determined by multiplying 120 volts by 12 amps (15 amps reduced by 20%). A 20 amp circuit breakerís maximum continuous output is 1920 watts (16 amps X 120 volts). As stated by another poster, If the supply voltage dips below 120, then the amperage increases which will further shorten the time before the breaker trips. Also true as stated by others is that heat from an adjacent breaker can cause a breaker to trip even if the 20% reduction is complied with. Another cause of premature tripping is a loose set screw securing the wire to the breaker. For the sake of brevity, Iíll eliminate some of the other factors which also could contribute to your issue.
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:16 PM   #12
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If every one is using more power, the voltage will drop and cause the breaker.
It trips on what is called a short time trip. When you pull in 16 of 17 amps the breaker will trip but it will take a longer time.
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Old 11-25-2019, 07:37 AM   #13
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I also have a 3811ms and have tripped a breaker during cold weather. I found that my living room fireplace, tv, and coffee maker (1750w @120v) are all on the same breaker. I went to make coffee and popped my an inside breaker. All I have to do now is just make sure the fireplace and coffee maker are not on at the same time. My 3811 has 2 fireplaces, on in the living room and the other in the bedroom. They are on separate phases of the 50 amp system and pull 1500w each. I have a Dyson heater in the bathroom, I just make sure not to run it with the bedroom fireplace on.

But, just running both electric fireplaces will keep my unit about 70 when it's in the 50s outside. Anything colder than that and I'm running the Saturn 5 Furnace. Also, I occasionally run the heat pump as long as it is above 40įoutside. Just to move the valves and solenoids. My Blizzard NXT 15k heatpump is "ok" they just freeze up if it's too cold.
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:52 AM   #14
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I have a 3810MS. I found that plugging the electric space heater into the kitchen GFI caused the circuit breaker to trip, over and over and over and over. Anything else on the circuit was fine. I ended up plugging the space heater into one of the living/dining area outlets and all has been well. Also had an issue with the furnace blowing the 15A fuse, over and over and over. Finally seem to have solved the problem by installing a 15A Bussmann circuit breaker that replaced the ATM mini fuse. While the breaker box cover doesn't close all the way now, it works. Have a piece of freezer tape holding the breaker box cover closed. I figure in the spring I can switch it out for the season. Ah the things we have to figure out by trial and error....
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:57 AM   #15
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Another thing about breakers They don't like to be tripped and after a while they will trip easier. Not because of over amp usage but because they get tripped to many times.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Hand View Post
Another thing about breakers They don't like to be tripped and after a while they will trip easier. Not because of over amp usage but because they get tripped to many times.
Like some co-workers I have had in the past, don't really like doing the job they were hired for. And the more they flaked off the easier it got the next time.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:54 AM   #17
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Just a quick question, what brand of breakers are they? Did you get a 120 volt wiring diagram showing what other outlets are powered off that breaker.
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