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Electric meter breaker trips

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by proengineer, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. proengineer New Member

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    There is a 200 amp circuit breaker outside with the power company's meter that keeps tripping. There is a 200 main amp breaker on the control board inside the house as well, but does not trip when the outside does. Could some one explain to me why this is happening and if the electric company is responsable for replacing this outside circuit breaker or me?

    Thank you,
    Don
     
  2. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Call the electric company. Also, is it 200 amps really? That is A LOT.
     
  3. 95Viper

    95Viper

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    I have 200 amp service. Got no breaker on meter, here.
    Might be a local requirements in your area.

    You should be responsible for the breaker on your panel, but the breaker on the meter should be the power company's responsibility.
    Breaker, probably, has gone bad or going bad.
    With power, if you don't know or unsure... don't touch it... Call the Power Company and have them take a look and repair it.
     
  4. proengineer New Member

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    The breaker is 200 amps, the same as the one inside on the panel. I called the electric company and they did not say why it is tripping, but that they are not responsable. They said it was part of the meter loop. Any ideas?
     
  5. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    The breaker on the outside of the house could be faulty. Generally, at least in my area, the power meter determines who's responsibility it is. If you trace the flow of electricity coming from the pole into the house, if the fault is before the power meter or at the power meter itself, then it is the power company's fault. If the fault is after the power meter, then it is the home owner's responsibility.

    Though some areas put everything all the way up to the pole/junction box on the home owner, so check with your local power company.

    200 AMP service to a home is common in the US, we're on 110v here so 200AMP service is the same wattage as 100AMP service in an area that uses 220v.

    Edit:

    Call an electrician and have him replace the faulty breaker. I wouldn't recommend messing around with a breaker of that size yourself.
     
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  6. drdeathx

    drdeathx

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    Bad breaker perhaps. Shit happens
     
  7. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    That's kind of odd. There are normally no breakers between the power meter and your breaker panel inside the house.
    Does your whole home drop power when the outside breaker goes?
    If so, then it sounds like it's redundant and could probably just be removed. It may be left over from something done in the past.

    Anyway, there are only two reason breakers trip. There is a short and you are drawing more current than their rating, or 2) the breaker is bad.
    The only other reason would be that the breaker is accessible to anyone and someone is shutting it off on you.
     
  8. bencrutz

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    there are two possibilities: a) breaker gone bad b) there's a fault on the line between outside and inside breaker, you might wanna do a visual inspection on the line/cable from the power meter to your 200 amps main breaker inside your house first.

    if someone open the breaker, the breaker's handle should be in open position, not trip position, well, unless that person push the trip test button on the breaker ;)
     
  9. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    I'm still kinda baffled you have 200a. You have the entire house wired to a single breaker, or am I missing something?
     
  10. Norton

    Norton WCG-TPU Team Captain

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    Do you have an automatic generator?

    This 200 Amp breaker may be on the generator line and could be part of an automatic transfer switch.

    A pic or two of the breaker, etc. may help. ;)
     
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  11. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    In the US power comes in to your breaker panel and you have a main breaker (200 amps). It is then distributed to lower amperage breakers for the individual lines in the house.
    200 amp is very common here. I have both 200A at the house and the garage.
     
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  12. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    It sounds like the breaker is faulty, like others have said. I'm sorry I can't help with advice on who is actually responsible for it.

    It's pretty hard on your computers too when the power is yanked like that, so I'd invest in an UPS to prevent this. If the power to my house was flakey I would most certainly do this.
     
  13. ThE_MaD_ShOt

    ThE_MaD_ShOt

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    I put money on there is a loose feed wire in the meter box going to the breaker or the home. It will be after the meter most likely. Check to see if the box is warm or hot? What happens is the lug loosens on the cable a little bit and the current pulling through the wire heats the cable up due to the loose connection and the breaker trips outside near the meter. You might actually hear the buzzing in the box due to the loose connection. Also this would technically be your responsibility due to the fact it is after the meter and is the cable running to the home. You may get lucky and it will be the feed cable to the meter but not likely as the power company would have notice something funky going on with the feed to the meter. And you will have to get an electrician to fix it as it is a live cable that you won't be able to shut down.
     
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  14. theonedub

    theonedub habe fidem

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    Definitely look into the stuff mentioned in this post.

    I had similar issues to what you are describing in combination with what Mad mentioned in his post. In my situation the entire box had to be replaced with the faulty/broken part being where the actual power meter plugged into the box. That was a costly repair, but I had some issues with the box before and replacing the whole thing was a reasonable course of action. Its a headache if you have to pull permits in your area, or call to have the power shut off at the pole too.
     
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