400A Main turns off by itself

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roger

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Fl
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Electrician
All 120v gfi cb's have been replaced with normal breakers and gfi devices have been installed where necessary. Since then no breakers or gfi receptacles have tripped. It's just the sporatic nature of the main turning off.

As I suggested in post #33, lock the breaker in the on position and what ever is turning it off will need the key or combination for the lock you use.

I believe THIS is what you need

Roger
 

jim dungar

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Wisconsin
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Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
As I suggested in post #33, lock the breaker in the on position and what ever is turning it off will need the key or combination for the lock you use.
Actually, I believe, the correct part number is an HPALA.


The LA breaker was introduced some 50 years ago. After trying 3 different breakers (hopefully from different manufacturing batches), I would lean towards this being a problem specific to the site rather than to the general product.
 

roger

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Electrician
Actually, I believe, the correct part number is an HPALA.
Thanks Jim, I wasn't sure.


The LA breaker was introduced some 50 years ago. After trying 3 different breakers (hopefully from different manufacturing batches), I would lean towards this being a problem specific to the site rather than to the general product.
I agree and locking the breaker closed would stop it from being turned off regardless of what's doing it.

Roger
 

GoldDigger

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Placerville, CA, USA
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Retired PV System Designer
Thanks Jim, I wasn't sure.


I agree and locking the breaker closed would stop it from being turned off regardless of what's doing it.

Roger
But it could still trip.
Interesting to see if after tripping free the handle will move to tripped or off position when unlocked.
 
Sorry guys...thought I had caught this issue on camera several times. The weirdest thing happened. The camera was fully charged, though I had it plugged in to a receptacle as it could sit there recording for hours. After the main turned off I reviewed the footage on my computer. The camera recorded 2 separate movies, like someone stopped and started again the recording. If I pause the video the second before power goes down, the camera seems like it was shaking, though it was really the screen becoming distorted. Then the next clip shows a dark room with me walking into it to turn back on the breaker.

Now I took the camera and plugged it into the wall and filmed myself reciting a speech, mid way through I pulled the cord out of the camera and the video never skipped a beat. I figured there would be an issue going from AC power to battery with the camera but my test proved that false. I'm leaning toward an issue of a bleed off from neutral to ground. I can't explain my theory just yet, but I am convinced it is some kind of neutral issue.

I now have a small 1KW generator I plug the camera into, so hopefully I can catch this phenomenon by using an external power source.
 

mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Thanks for the update. You have the attention of many on here. You're not the first to present this subject but it's never been conclusive before. Let's see what happens next...
 

MD84

Senior Member
Location
Stow, Ohio, USA
Obviously the strangest thing here is that the breaker is opening instead of tripping. Most any logical path would lead to a tripping breaker. This is especially confirmed with the square D rep getting good functional test results in the two previously replaced breakers.

My troubleshooting mind goes to isolating. I would almost want to isolate the physical breaker location from its electrical position in the circuit. Would it be possible to temporarily remote wire the breaker? I know this may be difficult but I wonder if there is something going on inbproximity to the panel it is installed in.

Also I wonder what the sample rate of the previous power analyzer? Could an electrical impulse be happening very quickly such that it was missed by previous studies?

The breaker lock seems to be an excellent suggestion. I would wondet if the breaker would trip with it installed and whether it would remain in the trip position or move to the open position once the lock is removed following an "event".

Your last post seems like a disturbance in the force is occurring. A vibration detector could you place? Some phones can pickup vibrations.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
My education and sometimes my imagination is lacking, l know, but I can not begin to think how a neutral to ground anything would account for a standard 400 amp breaker turning Off. Really close to the poltergeist theories followed by NWIH.
I was thinking same thing, only way neutral current has an impact is if it is passing through the breaker, be it directly (neutral attached to one of the poles, or a unit with ground fault protection) or indirectly (fault current on the neutral is also flowing on one of the protected ungrounded conductors).

Vibration/ physical shock should cause the breaker to go to trip position not the off position if it reaches high enough level. Something has to be pushing the handle to the off position somehow
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
I was thinking same thing, only way neutral current has an impact is if it is passing through the breaker, be it directly (neutral attached to one of the poles, or a unit with ground fault protection) or indirectly (fault current on the neutral is also flowing on one of the protected ungrounded conductors).

Vibration/ physical shock should cause the breaker to go to trip position not the off position if it reaches high enough level. Something has to be pushing the handle to the off position somehow
ghosts.
 
Sorry guys...thought I had caught this issue on camera several times. The weirdest thing happened. The camera was fully charged, though I had it plugged in to a receptacle as it could sit there recording for hours. After the main turned off I reviewed the footage on my computer. The camera recorded 2 separate movies, like someone stopped and started again the recording. If I pause the video the second before power goes down, the camera seems like it was shaking, though it was really the screen becoming distorted. Then the next clip shows a dark room with me walking into it to turn back on the breaker.

Now I took the camera and plugged it into the wall and filmed myself reciting a speech, mid way through I pulled the cord out of the camera and the video never skipped a beat. I figured there would be an issue going from AC power to battery with the camera but my test proved that false. I'm leaning toward an issue of a bleed off from neutral to ground. I can't explain my theory just yet, but I am convinced it is some kind of neutral issue.

I now have a small 1KW generator I plug the camera into, so hopefully I can catch this phenomenon by using an external power source.
So you weren't in the room when the breaker got shut off, correct? And, you could see some camera image movement just before the camera misses a few seconds of image, just coincidentally the few seconds that transpired when the breaker shut down.

I think this is something physical. My biggest hunch is some human is doing this and they are pretty good at fooling you. (I am a Penn and Teller fan).

Next would be some kind of vibration or shifting of the building structure. But vibrations don't turn cameras back on.

AND, this is the part that intrigues me the most, and I think is the best clue for the source of your problem. In your own words, "The camera recorded 2 separate movies, like someone stopped and started again the recording".

I will bet if you asked your camera tech he would say the same thing the breaker techs are telling you. That can't happen. If I were Penn or Teller, I would hone in on 'like someone stopped and started again the recording', which is probably exactly what happened.

How about doing the video again, only this time lock the breaker on, or lock the panel door. If that isn't possible, there is this stuff called 'Dykem Steel Blue'. It's a layout fluid for metal workers. It's a cobalt blue dye that doesn't dry on metal or plastic but makes an almost permanent stain on skin. Lightly and evenly coat the breaker handle with dye. If a human so much as touches it, they will get blue on their fingers. Even if they manage to hide that from you, close inspection of the handle will reveal smudges, or maybe even fingerprints, if it has been touched at all.

Back to the video. You say you have 2 separate movies. Check the 'properties' of the movies and you should see the exact date and time each one occupies, right to the second. Look close at when the first one stopped and when the second one started. How much time elapsed? A second or two, or enough time for a person to shut the main down and turn the camera back on?

Thanks for keeping us in the loop. Pay no heed to those that offer no other alternative than to blame the spirit world. This is an interesting problem and I assure you the cause is not supernatural. Also, it stopped being humorous quite a while ago. I am sure you are at your wit's end over this and I hope you don't stop posting because of people poking fun at you.
 
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kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I won't claim it is supernatural, but won't completely rule it out either. That possibility is last on my list of possibilities and even has a simple "unknown" ahead of it.
 

mivey

Senior Member
There is no such thing as supernatural.

That's just a word humans use to describe natural things they don't understand or can't explain.
I believe in the supernatural, I just don't think it has anything to do with a breaker being turned off.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
There is no such thing as supernatural.

That's just a word humans use to describe natural things they don't understand or can't explain.
True, and we still have things we can't explain, but some day may be able to.;)

Some people are just ignorant or don't want to believe things that others have discovered/explained.
 
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