How to find a defective breaker that won't trip?
Yesterday I plugged a small 800 watt heater into an outlet and the overhead lights flickered for an instant and then everything was fine. Today I plugged in the heater and the lights flickered and then went off and the outlet wouldn't work either. No tripped breaker. The outlet is on the other side of a stud next to the bank of four light switches. Four-way switches, no idea what feeds what.
All I have to test with is a continuity tester and an outlet tester to verify outlets are wired correctly. The outlet and the switches still have some current present, but the outlet wonÃ¯Â¿Â½t even light a 15 watt bulb. I am guessing a bad breaker hasnÃ¯Â¿Â½t fully tripped and is still passing a small amount of current.
Two Square D 200 amp breaker panels, about 25 breakers per panel, theyÃ¯Â¿Â½re double-breakers (2 breakers in one slot). Only a dozen of the breakers are marked as to what they feed. I removed the panel covers and checked only to find current at all breakers. My uneducated guess is that a breaker has gone bad and instead of tripping is letting some current still pass.
Thanks in advance for any experienced advice.