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Thread: All breakers on one side of a three phase panel tripping at once!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    Raleigh, NC, US
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    All breakers on one side of a three phase panel tripping at once!!

    I had a client call me about a kitchen panel that he is having problems with. First he had to change out all the GFCI Receptacles in the kitchen out because they were tripping. Second, he said all the breakers on the right side of the kitchen panel were tripping all at once. The panel is a 225 MCB 3 phase panel. Any ideas on what would cause this?? I think it may two things wrong together that are causing this. Any help would much appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Maryland
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    First thing that pops into my mind:

    Not enough info, client is clueless, and an electrician really needs to check it before I could hazard a guess on what is truly going on and what is needed to address any problem.
    "Electricity is really just organized lightning." George Carlin


    Derek

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    NC & IN
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    I agree with Jumper. Customers tend to exaggerate.
    You'll need to see it, to believe it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumper View Post
    First thing that pops into my mind:

    Not enough info, client is clueless, and an electrician really needs to check it before I could hazard a guess on what is truly going on and what is needed to address any problem.
    ditto
    Tom
    TBLO

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmibeef95 View Post
    I had a client call me about a kitchen panel that he is having problems with. First he had to change out all the GFCI Receptacles in the kitchen out because they were tripping. Second, he said all the breakers on the right side of the kitchen panel were tripping all at once. The panel is a 225 MCB 3 phase panel. Any ideas on what would cause this?? I think it may two things wrong together that are causing this. Any help would much appreciated!!
    i'm gonna guess here. every breaker that tripped was on the same side.
    not every breaker on that side tripped.

    and "six" breakers can become "every breaker". alternative facts again.
    i'm guessing again, but breaker ties could take six breakers out when two circuits trip.
    ~New signature under construction.~
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  6. #6
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    Aug 2004
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    ASK HIM TO TAKE A PICTURE OF THE BREAKERS FOR YOU BEFORE HE RESETS THEM THE NEXT TIME IT HAPPENS.
    Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    San Francisco, CA, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersonra View Post
    ASK HIM TO TAKE A PICTURE OF THE BREAKERS FOR YOU BEFORE HE RESETS THEM THE NEXT TIME IT HAPPENS.
    Bob is likely thinking what I'm thinking... that the end user doesn't know the difference between a TRIPPED breaker and one in the OFF position. The point being, all breakers on one side of a panel would more likely mean some malicious person walked by and flipped them all to the off position. Remember, in a three phase panel "all of the breakers on one side" is going to be a mixture of all three phases, so the only thing common about them is just their mounting position; there is no electrical condition that would result in random breakers of all three phases tripping like that.

    Also, replacing ALL of the GFCIs in a kitchen because they are ALL tripping is like buying a new car because the Oil light came on... it's far more likely that they were doing their job!
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    I would offer three follow up questions, intended to help clarify the situation:
    1. Was this a one-time occurrence, or does this symptom continue to repeat itself?
    2. Did this take place while the kitchen was open for operation, or was it discovered when the first workers arrived in the morning?
    3. Was the person who closed the breakers able to simply move them to the closed position, or did they have to first take them to the open position?

    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

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