Electrical Wiring

@themyl (1423)
United States
January 10, 2007 8:21pm CST
The other day I was going to get the coffee going when I noticed that the kitchen counter electrical outlets were not working. I checked because the light switch Was working, that was odd. The bad thing about it was that the outlet where the refrigerator was connected was on the same wiring. To make a long story short, I went to the breaker box and found that one of the breakers had shorted. I temporarily rewired that portion until I bought another breaker. Once I bought the breaker, I installed it, rewired the way that it was and now everything is fine. I am not an electrician, but I know how much they charge and it was late in the night; therefore, I was not about to call one. What would you have done?
5 responses
• United States
9 Feb 07
First off I am an electrician and do not ever ever ever up the size of the breaker in your panel ever. The wires that feed from the breaker to the recepticals and lights in your home is sized to the job that they do. AWG 14 (or #14) is rated for 15 Amps, AWG 12 (or #12) is rated for 20 Amps AWG 10 (or #10) is rated for 30 Amps. The larger the wire the more ampacity (or current) it can carry. Think of the wires as water pipes the larger the pipe the more water it can move. O.K. now with that said if you go up in size with the breaker without changing the wire you have defeated the purpose of the breaker, which is to trip (turn off) when there is a problem. If the wire is too small it becomes the fuse and can burn up and cause a fire or worse can hurt someone very badly with out ever tripping the breaker. You did something most people would not have by changing the breaker yourself. I glad you were not injured, but please be careful about whom you take advise from.
1 person likes this
@themyl (1423)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Thanks for the advice, but believe me, I know exactly what can happen if you use a higher amperage breaker on wiring not meant for that type of breaker. The breaker I connected to the line leading to the refrigerator was the same and the Old one that had gone bad. Thanks for the response and advice.
@rhinoboy (2129)
16 Jan 07
I just hate it when things like that happen in the house! Doesn't it always happen at the worst times too?!! Between xmas and new-year we discovered that the drain from our bath was leaking and had been soaking the sub-floor for months. I'm insured, but I knew that calling a plumber would cost me more in policy excess than fixing it myself (that's IF the insurance company paid up without argument - doubtful!!) I think guys like us are lucky that we can get on and fix these things. Some people must just have to accept that they'll be truly stung for big money...
1 person likes this
@themyl (1423)
• United States
17 Jan 07
You are so right on that. Whether it be electrical, plumbing, carpentry, etc., anything to do with repairs to your property, if you call a plumber, electrician to do the repairs, they are going to charge you an arm and a leg. Most of these repairs can be done by the owner himself if he really sets his mind to it. Thanks
@aznjsun (11)
• United States
15 Jan 07
If you have a old breaker, the breaker could of gone bad. I work for a manufacturer of these type of breakers and sometimes if you switch then off then on, they come back to life. However if something happened to the circuitry, then there might of been a short. If the appliances pulled too much amperage or was too powerful for the breaker, it would trip it. Adding bigger and more appliances to a circuit is not bad, but you just have to get a bigger breaker to accommodate for it. If this happens again, try a larger breaker (higher amperage) and if that doesn't work, i would call an electrician because some wiring might be arcing behind the walls or your appliances are old or wreaking havoc on your system somehow.
@themyl (1423)
• United States
15 Jan 07
I think that might have been the case, an old breaker. This had happened several times before so I would switch the breaker off and back on and that would restore the power to the affected outlets. After some time it didn't work anymore so when I checked the current on the breaker, there was NOne. When I took it off, I noticed that it had shorted to a point that it didn't allow the current to pass to the wiring. Your response was very informative. Thanks
@polachicago (19143)
• United States
11 Jan 07
I am not electrition, but I would call someone for help, maybe my "handy andy" friend. With friends we just exchange our services. Sometimes it takes just one second and electrition will charge you a fortune. Good move!
1 person likes this
@themyl (1423)
• United States
11 Jan 07
Well, the reason I do most of the handy work around our place myself is because I have equipment for almost anything imaginable, so why let it go to waste, I say. Thanks
@4ftfingers (1314)
22 Feb 07
i'm training to be an electrician and i think if you know enough about what you are doing, defiantely do it yourself because i know what kind of crazy prices firms charge