Author Topic: a switch is overloaded in the breaker box  (Read 1834 times)

Offline chopin1397

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a switch is overloaded in the breaker box
« on: Nov 21, 2012, 04:14 PM »
Iím in a home with 2 upstairs bathrooms. There are small floor heaters in both. If they are both on they trip the switch in the breaker box. Lights in both are no problem. Itís the wall receptacles that are apparently the problem. Seems to me the easy solution is to put a new switch in the breaker box (there are 8 available slots), then simply split off some of the wiring to the new switch to take the load off the existing switch. Would this work?

Offline Bill

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Re: a switch is overloaded in the breaker box
« Reply #1 on: Nov 21, 2012, 04:54 PM »
JA is right.  Unless you are ABSOLUTELY qualified to do this kind of wiring, DON"T.  Hire an electrician.

Bill
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Offline chopin1397

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Re: a switch is overloaded in the breaker box
« Reply #2 on: Nov 23, 2012, 03:56 AM »
I definitely wouldn't just replace the breaker with a higher amperage. There are 8 free slots in the box. The switch that trips is no. 17 with a 15 amp rating. If there are 2 sets of wires going into 17 I don't think there is a risk if I split off one set of those wires to a new 15 amp switch in one of the free slots.

Offline Bill

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Re: a switch is overloaded in the breaker box
« Reply #3 on: Nov 23, 2012, 06:56 AM »
If there are two sets of wires going into #17, it wasn't wired properly in the first place.  Chances are the second set were added by someone other than the original electrician.  But you're right, splitting one set to a new breaker would probably solve the problem.  Be sure to turn off power to the Breaker box before going any further.
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Offline chopin1397

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Re: a switch is overloaded in the breaker box
« Reply #4 on: Nov 23, 2012, 02:05 PM »
I should have mentioned I haven't unscrewed the cover and looked behind the switch yet. So it might not be possible to fix it without new wiring which I would not attempt. I do not see a switch on the box that cuts off all electricity. Is that switch somewhere else?

Offline Bill

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Re: a switch is overloaded in the breaker box
« Reply #5 on: Nov 23, 2012, 02:15 PM »
Generally there is(are) a main power breaker(s) inside the box, typically very near the top; could be two depending on the size of your service ( 110 vs 220 and the total number of number of circuits.)  I wouldn't be surprised if #17 has only one hot wire to the breaker and one ground (white) to the box lugs that is sometimes across the bottom or vertically between the 2 rows of breakers, also all inside, under the cover you haven't take off yet.  That would mean that more than one room is on a single circuit.
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Offline chopin1397

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Re: a switch is overloaded in the breaker box
« Reply #6 on: Nov 23, 2012, 03:31 PM »
Thanks Bill and others for the input. It appears the Main Breaker is hidden until you unscrew the cover(?) It's not visible now. I may wait and try another floor heater to see if it trips the breaker too. I'm thinking now after all your input I will find only one set of wires on 17 anyway. Get back later.