Circuit breaker pops

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by Vreelandjr, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. Nov 3, 2006 #1

    Vreelandjr

    Vreelandjr

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    After I had a new electric range installed the house circuit breaker for the range circuit started to pop every now and then when the range is operating at full load (all the burners and oven are turned on ) but not every time. The circuit breaker is 50 amps and the intermittent nature of the problem indicates to me that the maximum current draw of the range is right on the 50 amp limit. Can I safely replace the 50 amp breaker with a 60 amp breaker, or how can I tell if this is possible ie. the load capacity of the wire for that circuit.??(I have aluminum wiring in the house and the breaker is Al/Cu compatible)
     
  2. Nov 3, 2006 #2

    glennjanie

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    Welcome to the Forum Vreelandjr:
    Aluminum wire scares me to death. I don't know how many recepticals we have found burned from aluminum. I would first change the wire out for copper. Your supplier can tell you what size to get and I would venture the breaker will never pop again.
    Glenn
     
  3. Nov 3, 2006 #3

    petey_racer

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    There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with larger aluminum wiring. The wiring that receptacles were on is smaller wiring and is now illegal and is/was very unsafe. There is a VAST difference.
    One cannot accurately put out a blanket statement that all AL wiring is bad.


    Vreelandjr, what is the KW rating of the range and what size is the wire?
     
  4. Nov 4, 2006 #4

    Vreelandjr

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    Will have to get data.
    Range user manual does not have electrical specs. Assume there is a data plate on back of range, but will have to pull out range from cabinets to get to it (or from Whirlpool on Monday).
    W/R/T size of installed wire, how do I tell??
     
  5. Nov 4, 2006 #5

    petey_racer

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    The range rating plate should be inside one of the door frames, not in back.
    The wire will be marked on the sheathing.
     
  6. Nov 4, 2006 #6

    Snoonyb

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    If you have the make and model number, look it up on your PC.
    Also, consider the possibility that the breaker itself is internally deteriorating.
    I also will replace aluminum conductors, at every opportunity, with copper.
    It's simply more trouble than is lower cost is worth.
     
  7. Nov 4, 2006 #7

    petey_racer

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    I'm wondering if you have any data to explain this. I am very curious.
     
  8. Nov 4, 2006 #8

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Ahhhh the wiring .......:D

    Petey wrote,
    There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with larger aluminum wiring. The wiring that receptacles were on is smaller wiring and is now illegal and is/was very unsafe. There is a VAST difference.
    One cannot accurately put out a blanket statement that all AL wiring is bad.


    This is absolutely true, I have to say that mostly the lower amp wiring is the issue due to heat fluctuation with the outlets.
    Changing out the larger wires to copper is a waste of time and money.

    Petey could explain it better and in more detail I'm sure.:)

    You need to find out the proper amperage to the unit to start, then look at the condition of the breaker itself.

    If you have any branch circuit wiring which is AL you should have a licenced electrician evaluate it sooner than later.:D
     
  9. Nov 4, 2006 #9

    bethany14

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    Hey guys, don't know if this is helpful or not...but I just happened to be at the back of my range the other day (replacing an element) and I remember reading that it was made for copper wire, specifically not aluminum. Could this be a factor?
     
  10. Nov 4, 2006 #10

    Vreelandjr

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    The range data plate reads 240V 54.2 Amp.
    The wire sheath is marked 6 Al.
     
  11. Nov 9, 2006 #11

    Square Eye

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    It has been established that some people prefer copper over aluminum. I myself really don't care... As it has been stated already, the smaller size branch circuits need to be copper. Failure at devices is common and fires result in many cases from the arcing.

    This is the last opportunity to answer the original question.
    Can Vreelander safely replace his 50 amp breaker with a 60 amp breaker?
    Considering it is aluminum wire and it is #6, will this be safe?

    I say go for it. Make sure the new breaker is al/cu compatible.
    The label on the back of Bethany's range, specifying copper..
    well, I'm sure they're talking about the cord. Aluminum is not a good material to make a cord. The cord needs to be copper, it will last much longer.
     

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