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Breaker getting hot


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I finished my display today I have put up more this year then any year before .I took a bunch of amp readings I was pulling 115 amps 58 amps on A phase and 57 on B phase . I have 11 20 amp circuits the most on any circuit is 15 amps so I have it well balanced. Well this evening I smelled something getting hot I went downstairs to my main panel and my 100 amp breaker that feeds my sub panel in the garage was hot . I went to my garage panel and my main breaker on it was fine. I shut my display down for the night and tomorrow I will have to get a new 100 amp breaker for my panel . I am going to move the breaker up in my panel closer to my main 200 amp breaker which should help with the heat I will know more tomorrow when I pull the breaker out .I guess the moral of the story is keep a close eye out for your breakers getting hot . I thought I had done everything right but it still got hot I think my100 amp breaker is old . I just hope I haven't hurt my panel I would hat to not be able to run my display when I just finished it but I would hate more burning my house down lol wish me luck tomorrow.

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It Normal for your breaker to warm, putting it closer to the 200A breaker will make it worse, try to keep it from other so it can dispate the heat. You may have a bad breaker, but don't be suprised if the new breaker gets warm also. If its so hot you can't keep your hand on it then yes there some thing wrong, check to see that all your connection are tight, even at the main panel. One loose wire and it can cause a lot of heat.

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If the loading is as you say then the breaker should not have been hot regardless of position within the panel. What is more likely the culprit is that the breaker stabs that go over the bus bar in the panel have loosened over time and this loose connection will heat up. This is how the great majority of panel failures and fires occur.

Tony

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I put the new breaker in I took some amp readings now I am only drawing 45 amps on A phase and 40 on B phase so that breaker heating up was causeing higher amps . here are two pics one is upc labels from brakers right across from 100 amp breaker the other of my panel you can see on the top left my bus is discolered .

PB280858.jpg

PB280860.jpg

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Mark,

You really want to move that breaker and not use those two slots again, don't forget to get snap-in fillers for the panel cover. Once those bus stabs have been heated that severely getting them to be reliable again will be a challenge. My biggest concern is that most residential panelboards have aluminum bus bars in them and aluminum does not do well after it has been overheated. The metal weakens due to fatigue and the overheating and then cooling off. Depeding on the overall condition of the bus you may be looking at a panel replacement.

Tony

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Mark,

You really want to move that breaker and not use those two slots again, don't forget to get snap-in fillers for the panel cover. Once those bus stabs have been heated that severely getting them to be reliable again will be a challenge. My biggest concern is that most residential panelboards have aluminum bus bars in them and aluminum does not do well after it has been overheated. The metal weakens due to fatigue and the overheating and then cooling off. Depeding on the overall condition of the bus you may be looking at a panel replacement.

Tony

Tony I moved the breaker all the way up top and I wont use that spot again I still have lots of free space in panel . Bus still looks in good shape except in that one spot I will keep a close eye on it if I notice anything I will replace panel and get a better one next time .My garage panel is a bolt in it is much nicer then my main panel . I had DOH moment when I said my amp draw had went down I had forgotten I had turned off my two highest amp breakers of in my sub panel but new breaker is doing well and not getting hot so far so good Thanks for the advise

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