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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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    στο άλφα έως ωμέγα
    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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  15. guardrail72 New Member

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    i have a similiar problem i bought a two bedroom trailor and had the electric turned on all seemed normal hot water tank was old so i disconnected the power and replaced it connected the power wires to the new tank as per manual white on red black on black and green to ground screw turn power on waited for the tank to heat up and it never did upon checking for power at the tank i found more power then should be there the green ground wire also has power to it just being curios i hooked up the green wire to the black wire the red to the black and the white to the ground screw funny the hot water tank got real hot but lost power thruoghout the trailor all but the kitchen reversed the wires back to normal and all power in the trailor was restored and the hot water tank no longer heats up i traced the wire from the tank in which it lead me to the outside meter box where the black and white wire are conected to a 40 amp curciut breaker and the green wire is connected to a white wire on a power socket in the meter box any ideas would be appreciated
     
  16. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    While this thread is a tad old, we can appreciate you not rehashing this with a new thread.
    That out of the way let me be honest here about that H2O tank wiring. Either you know what you are doing with electrical wiring to a breaker box, or you don't, and is't something you want to do wrong, as you are seeing now. If you have no idea what to do to fix it, the best idea is to hire a licensed and insured electrician to come over and fix it for you. It may be expensive to go this route, but peace of mind of not burning the trailer to the ground or making a potential missile of the water tank is well worth the investment!
     
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  17. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    Yeah, don't do that!

    I know how wacky trailer setups can get. The older they are, the more non-standard they get so perhaps call in a professional certified electrician. I've done plenty of work to mine (including a new water heater), but I'm 'handyman' level of knowledge, sitting in front of the box with a multi-meter and other tools. Wouldn't want to attempt any help remotely, over a forum.
     
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  18. ChevyOwner

    ChevyOwner

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    I suggest you call an electrician. With this jumble of vague information I doubt anyone that could help will help.
     
  19. xorbe

    xorbe

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    You are lucky you didn't start a fire. And sounds like you attached the hot black wire to the tank's ground -- the control board is probably toast now.
     
  20. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Woah dude, yes, call an electrician.

    If something does not work, shuffling the wires around ... is not a brilliant idea. What do you mean with "power" on the green led? If you measured the voltage between it and any of the other leads and get a value something is shorted, somewhere.
     

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