5 Appliances That Can Trip Circuit Breakers

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Sherrie

Subject:

I had a fridge in my lanai in Hawaii - at times the sun hits the fridge - the power went out on half of my condo. All outlets on one circuit. Cannot find the reason. Could the fridge have been over worked and fried the wire? So I would have to rewire that circuit?

Machell

Subject:

The last few weeks the power in my master bedroom keeps shutting off at the breaker. We only have our chargers, electric bed, tv and DVD player. Our tv is 10 years old and we've noticed it's giving out since the picture is fading and it's pretty fuzzy now. Can the tv be the reason we keep losing power? Our house is only 6 years old and was a new build when we moved in. Even when we turn everything else off and unplug everything except the tv, the breaker still short circuits.

Robert

Subject:

The answer is definitely yes. You already did most of the troubleshooting. Now plug everything else back in except the TV and see if it trips. Then plug. in an appliance with similar load as your TV or even a space heater to the same outlet instead of the TV. If it still trips you have another problem.

Only read on for curiosity sake....just a little long!

A breaker does not "short circuit" as you stated, when it trips. It "opens" the contact that is usually closed... the hot connection from the bus bar to the wire.

Just FYI, the age of the house does not dictate faulty wiring, faulty outlets, or a few other possible issues. Most electricians that work in residential know of all the most common causes and can troubleshoot extremely quickly...that is if you don't distract them too much!

The information that you described in your post is excellent to share and part of the troubleshooting process. The more specifics about your experiences the better.

A breaker has the purpose of protecting the branch circuit (the wire).

It does NOT trip instantly with over current or even a direct short. It takes time and heat for over current (thermal) trip. It takes time and very high amperage to trip with a direct short (magnetic).

It does NOT protect you from getting electrocuted.

It does NOT protect appliances or cords.

A GFCI does NOT protect over current from a hair dryer.

An awesome little tool for homeowners is a " Kill-A-Watt" device. Search for it online to see what it looks like and what it does.You simply plug it into a general purpose outlet and then you plug your appliance into the meter.

debbi bryk

Subject:

I have a 10 plus year old fridge in my garage. Could this be causing breakers to trip or water heater next to it? I recently had my water heater n half kitchen without power . I found culprit gcfi outlet in my main bath had to be reset. This bath is directly behind water heater in garage. Water heater says 2004 by serial# .Any help gratefully appreciated

Tim

Subject:

Short answer... yes. If you're garage abuts your bathroom (a single level home from the sound of it), then it is possible, if not probable that the outlets for each room are on the same circuit. You could find out by shutting off a breaker and seeing if you still have power (plug an item in) in each room. GFCI outlets are just small "breakers" that trip at the outlet. They are required by code in most states now in rooms that have possibility of water (i.e. basements, bathrooms, kitchens) leaks. If your GFCI is tripped, it is likely that your breaker would have tripped soon after. The water heater should be on its own circuit most likely and not tied to any other electrical circuits. The refrigerator is likely the culprit. A refrigerator pulls a lot of current (especially an old one). Pulling that much current already will cause problems on a standard home circuit when you plug in your hair dryer, extension cord, night lights, etc. If you want to avoid a recurring issue, you should unplug the refrigerator or have an electrician run a dedicated circuit wire for it.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had


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I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.


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I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.
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That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.