Stove - Tripped breaker

fjackyOctober 25, 2012

Been living in my 12 year old house for a year, never had a problem with breakers tripping. Last night my power to the whole house went out. (I was using stove) I thought it was storm related at first. After realizing that neighbours were not affected I went to my elec panel. I put power back on and everything seemed normal. Went to use my stove and still dead. It seems that the breaker for stove was tripped still. Flipped that back on and everything was good. Stove was now not being used. Woke up in morning and stove was off again. Breaker tripped in middle of night. Would my first option be to replace breaker?

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Changing the breaker is probably the first option without test equipment if the tens of dollars involved is an acceptable risk and you know what you are doing in the breaker box. Breakers do fail, sometimes, so it is not a poor bet. Also, the transient that shut down the whole house breaker might be expected to have caused some harm to the stove breaker. This could explain the overnight trip.

However, one might ask what could have caused this transient, as the house breaker should not have tripped just because the stove breaker decided to fail from old age? The logic here suggests that there may be an intermittent overload in the stove or the wiring thereto. Intermittents are the worst things to diagnose without data recording equipment, so I would replace the breaker first.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:45AM
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I'd be worrying more about a short in the stove than a faulty breaker.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:15PM
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I agree with weedmeister... The stove needs to be checked for a short before considering replacing a breaker.

The breaker blowing is usually a symptom of a problem but rarely the problem itself.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 4:04PM
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A breaker doesn't normally trip unless there's current passing through it, which shouldn't be any if the range is Off ... unless maybe a minimal current if it has electronic controls. A weak breaker will trip at a less-than-full load, but still requires some amount of current passing through, more than would be pulled by stand-by electronics. This is why you're being advised to have the range checked for a short or other such problem ... something is pulling enough current to trip the breaker, whether it's a weak breaker or not.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:05PM
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The fact that both breakers tripped the first time but not the second time is somewhat reassuring that things are now working in a more normal manner.
You might be wise to shut off the stove breaker when you are not using same.

What is the stove brand and model?
Did you notice any unusual smells or noises when the power failed?
Were you doing any diy work in the house earlier in the day?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:16PM
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It is hard to imagine a reason for both breakers tripping other than that at least the stove breaker is defective and needs replacement immediately. A stove overload should only trip the stove breaker and when it trips, that should protect the mains from damage. I see no reason for waiting to replace the stove breaker. Any future overload should only trip the new breaker and presumably not damage that breaker (for current or future use) or the mains either.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 9:24PM
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