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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/5/2006 7:21:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2006 7:22:05 AM EDT by echo6]
Trying to replace a 20 amp breaker in one of my rental properties. Kill the power to the box, I replaced the breaker, powered the pannel back up, and get nothing through that circut. Kill the power to the pannel again, reverse the wires feeding from the breaker, energize the pannel again, and still nothing.

The breaker is firmly on the "rails" in the back of the box and is NOT tripping when I energize the pannel.

Am I missing something or do I need to go get another breaker?

FWIW it's a older (late 70's vintage box)Zinsco breaker box.

clueless,
echo6
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 7:32:51 AM EDT
Ask Richardh247.

Its his job!
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 7:33:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2006 7:34:50 AM EDT by scotty1911]
well you might have a problem some where else in the circuit

zinsco breakers can be found new, they are not cheap thou, if you have zinsco you might have AL wire.

use a volt test to make sure the breaker is putting juice out on that circuit. if it is putting power out then you have to trace it somewhere else to find the problem, most likely its not in the panel if you changed the breaker.

btw i hate to say it but for trouble shooting out side the panel you can do it but an electrician can do it a lot faster, spend the 100 to 200 bucks

ETA azcopwannabee its my job dont forget about me
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 7:38:07 AM EDT
check continuity through the breaker (out of the box) first (breaker on you should have continuity)


Link Posted: 1/5/2006 7:41:32 AM EDT
Just checked for juice comming out of the breaker and it IS putting power out. I guess that means its time to call an electrician

Thanks,
echo6
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 7:48:04 AM EDT
if you want to try to fix it here is what you do

go turn on every light in the house, every tv etc. now figure out what is not working, put a small peice of tape on everything that is not working, now you can turn off the extra stuff

start at the closest to the panel thing that deos not work, open it and check it out, if its outlets also move back one closer to the panel even if it works. keep up till you find it.

and i would bet you have AL wire... do you???
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 7:50:02 AM EDT
What do you mean by "reverse the wires feeding from the breaker" ?
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 7:53:23 AM EDT
Well, first I would caution you to double and triple check the power is off. Then there's the disclaimer: This advice is worth what you pay for it, and if you end up looking like a french fry left in the oil for a day or burn down your house I am not liable. Oh, you can sue, but I couldn't afford to pee in a cup right now.

Shut the panel down by turning the main off.

Remove the wire going to the breaker. Take the breaker out of the panel, and then tone out the breaker by taking your leads and putting one on the input and the other on the output. With the breaker off[/b[] you should not have tone. With the breaker on, you should have tone. If that is good, turn your meter to Ohm. Do the same test and record the Ohm readings on and off. On the breaker is a sticker that will tell you the correct reading, and if you are within 80% the breaker is good.

If the tests show the breaker is good, re-install the breaer but do not attach the lead wire. Turn the main on, and then turn the breaker on. Turn your meter to the 600V range, and then measure by placing one lead on the output screw of the breaker and the other lead to the ground bar. You should have 115 - 125V, with a nominal from a Z being 118.5.

If you get voltage, turn the breaker off and then attach the lead. Measure again, but this time place the lead on the wire itself where it terminates under the screw. If you are within 80% of the orignal voltage read on the screw itself without the lead terminated, you are good to go - any problem is on the other end.

If you are out of the 80% bracket, given that you probably have aluminum wire, you're corroded and need to cut the terminal end and install with NoLox. If the devices are not working, you'll need to trobleshoot from there.

I'll be here bullshitting on Arfcom all day, so feel free to PM me and I'll give you my phone number if you want to go over the readings and do it via phone. I have free long distance, so I can call you and save charges if you'd like.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 7:55:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scotty1911:
if you want to try to fix it here is what you do

go turn on every light in the house, every tv etc. now figure out what is not working, put a small peice of tape on everything that is not working, now you can turn off the extra stuff

start at the closest to the panel thing that deos not work, open it and check it out, if its outlets also move back one closer to the panel even if it works. keep up till you find it.

and i would bet you have AL wire... do you???



The only thing that dosnt work is the washing machene. I'm pretty sure the outlet that the washer plugs into is the only outlet on that circut. The reason for changing out the breaker was it kept tripping when my tenant was washing his clothes. He told me every time the washer hits the rinse cycle, the breaker would trip.

On the AL wire, I'm not sure. The wires are silverish, but I dont have a magnet handy to check for sure.

On the breaker itself, Home depot didnt have the actuall Zinsco breakers but they do have UB inc. manufactured ones that say "Use only in ZINSCO Listed Load centers" And yes it was expensive. The 20 amp 2 single pole120/240 VAC breaker was $49.97

echo6
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 7:55:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sparkyCG:
What do you mean by "reverse the wires feeding from the breaker" ?



Yeah, no shit. I missed that part.

Are you replacing a double pole (240)?
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 7:58:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2006 9:37:25 AM EDT by richardh247]
OK, you've confused me.

The washing machine is a dedicated, 125v 20A breaker. You said 2. You need a single pole breaker.

Better yet, just call me and we'll walk through it. This typing shit is for the birds.

My phone is 602.XXX.XXXX

Edited to remove phone number.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:01:21 AM EDT
247 - does it sound like a "double" breaker that fits in a single space ? If so, then maybe the washeraint the only thing that's not working ?????
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:03:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sparkyCG:
247 - does it sound like a "double" breaker that fits in a single space ? If so, then maybe the washeraint the only thing that's not working ?????



You mean a piggy back? Could be. Could be a double throw. I hate piggys.

If it's a piggy, he just has the leads terminated wrong.

Good catch, bro!
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:04:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sparkyCG:
What do you mean by "reverse the wires feeding from the breaker" ?



On the right side of the breaker itself, two wires feed into the breaker- I believe this is the "outbound" side of the breaker. When I first put the new breaker into the box and hooked up the two "outbound" wires, I had no juice @ the outlet. I pulled the breaker back out (after killing the main power outside @ the meter) and reversed the wires. The "expert" @ home depot told me it didnt matter which way was which.


On the testing to see if I'm within 80%...I dont have an ohm meter. I'm just using a simple circut tester to make sure nothing is hot before I touch anything in the box. I'm pretty sure the tennant would be qoite displeased to come home and find my charred remains on his dining room floor.

sparky, you wouldent happen to be in Broward county and want to do a side job would ya?

echo6
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:21:04 AM EDT
Sounds like a piggyback breaker to me. I am not familiar with the particular brand of panel here, but there are so damn many different brands. Pictures would be helpful.

dalesimpson (also a journeyman electrician)
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:23:54 AM EDT
No, not in Broward. You're paying my salary right now. I'm at work in So. Dade. Like richarh247 asked ... is the CB in question the same size as al the others BUT has two wire feeding out ?
FWIW I'm driving thru on the way to West Palm on Sunday
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:32:11 AM EDT
Just got off the phone w/ Richard and he hooked me up

I'm pretty sure I understood all the electrical mumbo jumbo he threw at me

I'm off to the Day Care to pick up my youngest right now but I'll be making a trip to Home Depot later this afternoon to folow through with what Richard told me I should do.

Thanks again Richard. You are 'Da man.

echo6
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:42:05 AM EDT
Now I have to know what the problem was. Richardh247, care to enlighten us??
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:32:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dalesimpson:
Now I have to know what the problem was. Richardh247, care to enlighten us??



He had a double pole in there without the interconnect, and replaced with same (vertical piggy versus horizontal - a 240 2 pole without the connecting rod on the throw handles).

His "tester" was a hotstick, not a meter. He was poking around the breaker with the hotstick too close to the backbone, so he was getting lights and sound without actually knowing a voltage or being able to tone out the breaker. Guys like us know not to trust the hotstick, but many people don't.

Also, this is all aluminum wire. The breaker he bought was new.

So, here is what I told him:

Pull the wires out away from the panel as far as possible - while they were terminated - and check with the stick. Yep, power. Go to recep in laundry room and check hot side with stick, not neutral side. Yep, got power.

OK, so all is good, but nothing is confirmed.

So, I sent him to the Home Depot with the following instructions:

New 125V 20A receptacle for the washer recep. Small box of 12/2 Romex. Copper to aluminum wire nuts rated accordingly. Bottle of No-Lox (De-Ox). And a cheap Ideal voltmeter.

When he gets back over there after picking up the kiddos, No-Lox the breaker terminations. Replace the old recep in the laundry room with a new one, but use the Romex out of the sheath to make connections to the recep, ensuring neutral goes to silver and hot to gold. Then connect the pigtails to the aluminum junk with the nuts, tape termination screws, and reinstall.

Finally, turn it all back on and test with new voltmeter, looking for nominal 118 -119.

My "theory" is that the aluminum connections do what they do best, and were arcing at the recep, which didn't give the power needed for a spin cycle when the motor drew start-up amperage. Even if that's NOT the problem, better to make it right for the couple of extra bucks in the right nuts and copper to the connections. If the breaker is new and the connections are done right, and there is nominal at the source and at the termination point, the washer should work.

If it doesn't and spits at the spin cycle again, the tenant needs to call a tech for the washer, which is probably a bad run capacitor that's aged and is out of resistance range. But I know nothing of such things, so I just told him to inform the tenant it's a problem with the washer, and to show them the volt reading at the new recep.

Agree? Disagree?

He said he'd call me after 1600 his time, when it's all done, and then we can update after he's tested the washer and line. Then I'll update y'all again.

But please, if you have another theory, do tell. The day I stop learning is the day I stop paying attention. Please, let me know y'alls thoughts.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:34:32 AM EDT
Wow! This place is a treasure trove of information.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:47:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
Wow! This place is a treasure trove of information.



Good people help good people, bro. Saves him a hundred bucks and a bunch of frustration, and gives us something to do. It pisses me off when someone asks a question and is subsequently stomped on. None of us know everything, and at one time we all knew nothing. Ifn you can't help a fellow Arcommer, the day's not complete!

I have asked many stupid questions, and have had my guts stomped on because I didn't know and wasn't afraid to ask. On the other hand, I've learned a shitload by asking and the good guys ignored my stupidity and gave me realistic answers. The information is out there... Just have to weed through the trolls and hope you get the answer you need before some dumbass gets the thread locked - especially in this forum.

But there's tons of good people here with lots of information. I just hope I have echo the right info and his stuff gets fixed.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 2:39:42 PM EDT
I couldn't agree more. I've learned more info from good folks who were willing to answer my dumbass ?s than all the dickhead know-it-alls I've ever run into in 50 years. FWIW, Echo's in Broward County. I'm not positive but I think AL wire has been against local code next door in Dade County for many years. Hope he's good to go. Stay safe
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 6:44:40 PM EDT
Richard, sorry I didnt get back to you earlier, I was going to head bacl over there this afternoon to let the AC guy in and finish it up this afternoon, but he never called me

Rest assured I didnt fry myself and I'll be over there in the AM to finish the job.

I picked up the no-lox and a multi-meter at HD. Also bought a new outlet to replace the old one that the washer plugs into, which leads me to another question- the outlet I bought was made for use with AL wiring. Should I still buy some copper wire and make a "jumper" out of that to connect the outlet to the AL wiring or since the outlet I purchased is made for use with AL wiring can I safely skip that step?

Sparky, AL wiring is not to code here in Broward, but when the place was built in the 70's (by Lenar no less ) it was A-OK. You would be absolutly amazed at some of the stuff I've found in that place since we bought it in '99. There isnt a single plumb wall in the entire structure. When I remodled the kitchen (down to the studs & start over) I thought I was going to lose my mind.

Once again I really apprecate all the help guys.


Jack of all trades master of none,
echo6
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:32:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By echo6:
Richard, sorry I didnt get back to you earlier, I was going to head bacl over there this afternoon to let the AC guy in and finish it up this afternoon, but he never called me

Rest assured I didnt fry myself and I'll be over there in the AM to finish the job.

I picked up the no-lox and a multi-meter at HD. Also bought a new outlet to replace the old one that the washer plugs into, which leads me to another question- the outlet I bought was made for use with AL wiring. Should I still buy some copper wire and make a "jumper" out of that to connect the outlet to the AL wiring or since the outlet I purchased is made for use with AL wiring can I safely skip that step?

Sparky, AL wiring is not to code here in Broward, but when the place was built in the 70's (by Lenar no less ) it was A-OK. You would be absolutly amazed at some of the stuff I've found in that place since we bought it in '99. There isnt a single plumb wall in the entire structure. When I remodled the kitchen (down to the studs & start over) I thought I was going to lose my mind.

Once again I really apprecate all the help guys.


Jack of all trades master of none,
echo6



If the recep you bought is an AL-cert recep, which I didn't even know they sold anymore, then you're good to go without pigtails and the wire can be attached directly to the recep without tails and "grease" (No-Lox).

Test the end voltage using your new fangled high speed tactical low drag tester, and make sure you have nominal.

Keep my number, and if I can help in any way ever again, you're welcome to call me bro.
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