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Old May 10, 2019, 01:27 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: February 15, 2018
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by kmw1954
When downstairs to reset the breaker only to find none tripped. Still dark.
More than one electrician over the years has told me it's just a good idea to REPLACE all your breakers every 20-30 years or so. Here is a good example why you should. While rebuilding my shop I had unknowingly nicked a 12-2 wire with a utility knife. Didn't even see it, just a little slit into outside and evidently also cut into the black (hot) wire inside. Why I didn't feel a zap when that happened I have no idea, it was a metal utility knife. Anyway years later I had a leak in one of the basement stone walls (it's a 110 year old house) which got that 12-2 wire I had nicked... wet. The water seeped into that cut in the wire, and got to the nicked black wire also, but instead of shorting out immediately as it should have, it just started pulling loads of current, to the point where it got hot enough to start to burn. FORTUNATELY I was down in my shop at the time, noticed the smoking wire and immediately turned off that breaker. Point is... the breaker had FAILED to trip, it was a bad breaker. It was letting enough current through to start the wire burning. My electrician buddy told me yes breakers CAN fail, like anything else. So... even if all your breakers look good and have not tripped, don't assume the breakers are working properly.
NRA life member. Making good people helpless doesn't make bad people harmless!
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