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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Electric guys - help me here. About 2 years ago we put a master suite addition on a house. A year ago the customer called that the lights in the master bedroom, closets, hallway and master bath were not working. On inspection the ARC Fault breakers (Siemans) were tripped. Changed beakers to new ones - no joy:wallbash:. Cutoff Halo quick connects and wire nutted all connections - JOY! :clap:

Last week the hallway and closet lights started tripping breakers again:wallbash:. Need to go trouble shoot again.

Any ideas on where to start, WAGS, etc. would be appreciated.
 

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Head Grunt
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Well, first you should check the amp draw on the circuit. You mentioned the masterbath light is on the same circuit, does the ceiling fan/light have a heater too?
 

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Fentoozler
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What type lamps are being used NOW?

What type lamps were installed THEN?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks Woodchuck and Celtic. We're talking about 3 separate circuits here. The bath is staying on now the other 2 arestrting to trip again - after a year of joy. I will check the bulbs but I know that the cans are 65w par 30's - we put them in - the HO doesn't even own a ladder - they call us to replace. Also had electrician do an amp draw on all circuits - none exceeded 6 amps with everything on.

Side note: How do I use the quote in this forum? Are there instruction somewhere?

Thanks
 

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Fentoozler
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Side note: How do I use the quote in this forum? Are there instruction somewhere?
Hit the
button under the post you want to quote.:thumbsup:

It's over here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~VV
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How about that!

Thanks. Now quit clowning around and get back to my problem.:laughing:

I tried to quote your last post but I got an error that I am only allowed to post URLS to other sites after 15 posts?
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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You need to determine whether the breaker trips due to an overload or an arc fault. Use an ammeter to check what the circuit is pulling for amps. If it's high, then you've got too much stuff on the circuit. If it's low, it may be tripping due to an arc fault.
 

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Fentoozler
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You need to determine whether the breaker trips due to an overload or an arc fault. Use an ammeter to check what the circuit is pulling for amps. If it's high, then you've got too much stuff on the circuit. If it's low, it may be tripping due to an arc fault.
I'll have sparky put his meter to these circuits. If we don't figure anything out tomorrow - "I'll be back".

Thanks to all - I'll update either way tomorrow.

Build well - sleep well - be well.
 

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Interesting coincedence. I just had a similar problem with AFCI. Spent a couple hours troubleshooting and couldn't find any reason for it to trip.

Finally, I traced every box out with this circuit, took apart every connection and re-made every single one. The breaker finally stayed closed, but I have no idea which connection was the culprit. They all seemed to be twisted tightly and all the screw connections on the devices were tight.

They seem to be pretty sensitive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Don't forget to check your appliances plugged into the circuit for shorts.
Thanks Ohmy, these are lighting only circuits. Timing is probably the strangest part. Addition completed late August 2007 - first sign of trouble late September 2008 - Problem reappears 1st of October 2009!

It's got me :wallbash:

We'll retrace our steps here in the next few hours.
 

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It appears not to be an Overload or Short as it is so Intermittant and it is only a Light circuit, so it has got to be either a leakage to ground, neutral to ground fault, or an Arc fault. For an Arc you should check all connections as others have said. What kind of Switches are operating these lights? I would really check them out. Cheaper switches can have a tendacy to Arc. For a ground fault you will have a Good Electrician to use a good Ohmmeter or Meggar it from one end to the other................

P.S. I don't use the term "Sparky" Because where I worked this was a pet name for electricians that cut thru "hot wires" without thoroughly testing it and caused Sparks !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It appears not to be an Overload or Short as it is so Intermittant and it is only a Light circuit, so it has got to be either a leakage to ground, neutral to ground fault, or an Arc fault. For an Arc you should check all connections as others have said. What kind of Switches are operating these lights? I would really check them out. Cheaper switches can have a tendacy to Arc. For a ground fault you will have a Good Electrician to use a good Ohmmeter or Meggar it from one end to the other................

P.S. I don't use the term "Sparky" Because where I worked this was a pet name for electricians that cut thru "hot wires" without thoroughly testing it and caused Sparks !!
The switches are Lutron - we'll check them out.

Regarding your P.S. - No Offense intended. Our electrician calls himself a "sparky" and has "sparky" on his biz card.
 

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Most likely cause?

Your ground wire is either touching or arcing to the neutral conductor. While this isn't a problem with most electrical circuits it will take down an arc fault breaker everytime
 

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lights

I would agree with Mr. Mike. Switches good and bad can arc enough to trip arc faults. If you kept lighting separate then I doubt it all of a sudden overloaded after a year. If no receptacles are on that circuit I would put a bet on switches or connections in fixtures. If you added a couple rec. off of it then I would check for some old clock radio or something recently plugged in. Good luck and let us know. Oh, if the switches are quickfed then I would definately look at that and wrap them around screw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Keep you fingers crossed!

Ok, here's how it went today. We got there and the lights were working fine. Turned on/off a few hundred times and still working. Replaced switch, un-nut and re-nut every light, installed new AFCI breaker! Turned on/off a few hundred more times. Everything working when we left.

The BIG QUESTION: Will they work past October 7th of 2010?

Thanks for all your help guys! When I posted this I was really hoping to avoid remaking all the connections. I assumed you had some secret mojo or dance or special swear words you could pass-on to me to please the electrical gods. Now I know you guys are just regular electricians - unless you just wouldn't spill the secret. :glare:
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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................The BIG QUESTION: Will they work past October 7th of 2010?
Big Answer: God only knows, and He's not telling.

Thanks for all your help guys! When I posted this I was really hoping to avoid remaking all the connections. I assumed you had some secret mojo or dance or special swear words you could pass-on to me to please the electrical gods. Now I know you guys are just regular electricians - unless you just wouldn't spill the secret. :glare:
I wouldn't have done any special dance or use secret swear words, but I would have meggered everything out instead of replacing and remaking everything up.
 
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