Do you think these breakers got too hot?
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Thread: Do you think these breakers got too hot?

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    Bubber's Avatar
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    Do you think these breakers got too hot?

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    I have a dedicated circuit for my computer rack where my servers, routers, etc. are... It started loosing power very briefly up to 5, 6 times a day. My UPSs email me when this happens. Last night I happened to be standing there when the power cycled. I went to the power panel and checked the breakers. Nothing had tripped, I felt them and they where hot. 130 degrees hot according to me temp gun. My FIL came over and we took it apart. There was a screw where you see the white spot on the breaker in the pic that was loose. We fixed that up, installed new breakers and are back in business. They are running just under 70 degrees now under load.

    Scary thing is that the breakers didn't trip and you couldn't see anything out of the norm when you looked at it. I'm glad I felt them to see how hot they were. This could have been a fire hazard!

    Check your panels, especially if you are having weird issues!
    2014 2032r Classic...


    -Dan

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    felixm22 (02-22-2014)

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    felixm22's Avatar
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    My one buddy runs a haunted attraction in western PA. Last season they lost about 5-10 breakers due to stink bugs. They like the warmth and manage to get inside the breaker than short them out.

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    glc and Bubber like this.
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    I've seen this as often as a plumber sees a plugged toilet. The breaker doesn't trip because it's not drawing excessive current. Once in awhile you may get lucky, and the thermal element in the breaker will trip, but not usually. The breaker manufacturers have taken great pains to design their breakers so the thermal element is not affected by ambient temperature...just current.
    Many factories and data centers have there panels and switchgear imaged with an infrared camera once a year, then you can see this sort of problem earlier, but for your house, just check the torque once and awhile.
    Last edited by arlen; 02-22-2014 at 11:24 AM.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Good lookin out!
    I make a point of checking all the screws when I have the panel cover off of ours.
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    Bubber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felixm22 View Post
    My one buddy runs a haunted attraction in western PA. Last season they lost about 5-10 breakers due to stink bugs. They like the warmth and manage to get inside the breaker than short them out.
    I didn't know you had stink bugs up that far north.
    2014 2032r Classic...


    -Dan

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    Bubber's Avatar
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    I'll be checking with my temp gun on a regular basis. One thing I did see is that my UPSs were seeing 110-112 volts input. Now after the breaker change, 123 volts.
    2014 2032r Classic...


    -Dan

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    Zebrafive's Avatar
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    Was the loose screw where a wire attached? What brand of breaker?
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    I don't believe those breakers have a screw holding them in the panel, just a screw holding the wire in place. If the breaker is not securely pressed onto the bar resistance can increase causing the issues you have experienced.
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    Bubber's Avatar
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    Didn't get pics of it disassembled. (Excuse my non electrician description, please) The two main bars that come down vertically behind the breakers that carry the feed have small horizontal bars (crossbars?) that screw onto them that the breakers clamp on to. The screw that held the little bar in place was loose.
    2014 2032r Classic...


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    arlen (02-22-2014)

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    felixm22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubber View Post
    I didn't know you had stink bugs up that far north.
    Oh yea and we had them really bad this last year.
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