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Can A Surge Protector Trip A Breaker

author
Maria Garcia
• Friday, 04 December, 2020
• 8 min read

Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts Within the last couple of weeks my breaker has tripped multiple times while I'm gaming on my PC.

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Contents

I haven't made any hardware changes to my PC, and I've unplugged everything else on the circuit. I plugged my PC into a regular power strip and haven't had any issues with the breaker tripping.

Or could my surge protector have been working properly and now that I'm using a power strip I could be damaging my PC? Talk shop, show off pictures of your work, get general help, and ask code related questions.

Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. In the electrical profession, questions still arise about what type of circuit breaker to use with surge protectors.

Most manufacturers do not test circuit breakers to determine performance when subject to industry standard surge current waveforms. Standard UL489-listed, Heating Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HAIR)-rated, thermal-magnetic breakers perform well when used with surge protectors.

“High inrush”-rated breakers (applications include motors and HID lighting, etc.) AFC breakers, which sense for line-to-neutral (L-N) and line-to-ground (L-G) arcs, may also nuisance trip during a surge event.

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The same nuisance tripping may occur with ACFCI breakers, which sense for L-N, L-G, and series arcs. All of these “smart” circuit breakers are equipped with electronics, which makes them more prone to surge damage.

Therefore, surge protection is a good idea on panels with these types of breakers employed. However, industry standards show that 10,000A (8×20 microseconds) is the highest energy waveform you can be exposed to in a typical residential/commercial service entrance location.

In certain surge protector applications, a stand-alone circuit breaker is needed to ensure a safe and reliable system. Keep in mind that the fault current rating of the protector's breaker must be sized properly for the application.

This approach is sometimes implemented using a separate fused disconnect switch in series with the protector. The Photo (left) shows a setup whereby a 3-pole breaker is used to service the surge protector, which is equipped with a low-impedance 10AWG cable.

This type of installation affords the convenience and most of the safety aspects as a load center's breaker. It's also a good way to employ the specialty, high-performance circuit breakers mentioned earlier.

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Using a dedicated circuit breaker with surge protection can improve overall system reliability. Dion Nero is an engineering manager with MCG Surge Protection, Deer Park, N.Y.

But unlike a circuit breaker (with common trip), fuses are not ganged. From a safety consideration, this may not be advantageous as power is present inside an already damaged piece of equipment.

A circuit breaker or a fused disconnect can easily be turned off to remove power to the protector. Keep in mind, if a surge protector has been tested at Underwriters Laboratories (UL) using a circuit breaker, substituting a fuse may void the UL listing and also may result in an unsafe installation, and vice versa.

Stood September 6, 2021, 5:03pm #1I am I running cooking appliances that keep tripping (knocking out) my surge protector /power strips. I don’t really understand electricity, but Amazon search suggests to me that a big # of “Joules” would have the greatest effect on how much I can run on a given strip.

I don’t need to run two induction plates, an instant pot, a grill an and skillet all at once, but at least two, or run the induction real hot (kicks off a few minutes after a pot of oil hits fry temp… The strips I have are all so old, but I can no longer read much in the way of their details regarding volts and amps and what not, so I don’t know what’s already failing… It just seems to me that I ought to be able to run modern appliances without my electricity getting knocked out.

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You have about 1700 Watts to play with on a power strip as most have a 15 amp breaker if not less and are designed to run around 80% capacity continuously. Breakers run on an inverse time curve such that the more they are overloaded the sooner they trip.

I think my first concern here would be why your main circuit breakers (which are your primary protection against overloaded circuits) are not tripping before a heavy-duty extension cord gets hot to the touch. Robby September 6, 2021, 5:39pm #5Anything with a heating element (whether old or “modern”) draws a lot more power than most people realize.

You absolutely should not be trying to run multiple high-power devices off of one power strip simultaneously. Having a FCI cord for your power strip would add catastrophic breakdown protection for the 2 prong appliances though.

To add to what I said above, there is a reason portable space heaters max out at 1750 Watts and say to not use extension cords. Robby September 6, 2021, 6:24pm #8 Riemann: I think my first concern here would be why your main circuit breakers (which are your primary protection against overloaded circuits) are not tripping before a heavy-duty extension cord gets hot to the touch.

A typical house circuit breaker is 15A or 20A, and often feeds several wall outlets. So it is certainly possible to overload a three-pronged extension cord and not trip the circuit breaker.

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In particular, it is very easy to inadvertently connect a 15A power strip to a 12A or 13A extension cord. This might not be big deal if it’s just a few low-power electronic devices on the power strip (like cell phone chargers), but can be a real problem if connecting high-power devices with heating elements to the power strip.

This could quite easily result in a very dangerous situation, like a possible electrical fire. Riemann September 6, 2021, 6:42pm #9 jailbird: If you find a power strip without a breaker perhaps without a switch, it wouldn’t trip.

Common sense dictates that it’s really not a good idea to make sarcastic jokes like this on this topic. Even though your second sentence should make it obvious that your first is a joke, sarcasm is so frequently missed in written comments, and the consequences here could be greater than hurt feelings.

In my apartment if I have either the (window) AC or the stove on, the lights won’t stop flickering. Riemann: Common sense dictates that it’s really not a good idea to make sarcastic jokes like this on this topic.

Thank you, I figured it was bad, so I don’t have anything on (including lights) when using either the AC or the stove. ERM, surely the conclusion if the total is near 15 amps is not to hope that the breaker continues to trip, but to stop using them.

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JackieLikesVariety: thank you, I figured it was bad, so I don’t have anything on (including lights) when using either the AC or the stove Power strip should be tripping on overload before outlet breaker is loaded.

Alternate thread title: How do I defeat the safety measures on this device? But before then, you need to perform some few tests that can help you establish if your circuit breaker has failed.

First things first. The circuit breaker is designed to trip when there is an electrical problem. Obviously, having a correctly sized breaker is an important factor in designing your home electrical circuit.

Hence, our first task before we conclude the circuit breaker is bad would be to check that the above situations are not present. For your safety, if you are not comfortable or trained to work in an electrical panel, we recommend you seek professional help from an electrician.

Step 1 Disconnect all the appliances and electronics that this circuit breaker serves. First ensure that you switch off the main power and that the electrical panel is dead.

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Tape the ends to insulate them before switching ON the power to the electrical panel again. If after doing step 1 and 2 it does not trip, call an electrician to correct the problem in your wiring that is causing a short circuit.

After this test, remember to switch off power before connecting back the wires to the circuit breaker. Step 5 Ensure the wires on your circuit breaker terminals are tightened and there is no loose connection.

Following the above steps is a simple guide on how to tell if a circuit breaker is bad. Two important things worth considering: When your circuit breaker does not hold to either the OFF or ON position, please replace it immediately.

A circuit breaker should make a definitive click when you turn it ON. Given the technology advancement the market is offering every year, if your circuit breakers are older, we recommend you replace them.

This heat is eventually transferred to the bi-metal inside the circuit breaker causing it to trip. Second worse scenario; you can lose one of your home appliance due to too much electrical power that the circuit breaker has not shut off.

Personally, circuit breakers have saved me a lot of trouble and dollars. How to Tell if a SurgeProtector is Bad For most surge protectors, it is easy to tell when they are faulty by looking at the diagnostics LED.

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2 www.tripadvisor.com - https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g34515-d7262831-Reviews-The_Cabins_at_Disney_s_Fort_Wilderness_Resort-Orlando_Florida.html
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4 www.facebook.com - https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfDisneysFortWilderness
5 www.mouseplanet.com - https://www.mouseplanet.com/6719/Fort_Wilderness
6 www.disneyfoodblog.com - https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/11/06/whats-new-at-disneys-fort-wilderness-resort-an-entire-thanksgiving-meal-on-a-sandwich-and-guest-decorations/