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Old 03-21-2018, 09:49 PM   #1
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Default Why is this happening?

Just something that happened in the field today that sort of trips me out. So I'm part of this demolition job/remodel of this bank. So far we've gutted most of the mc from the ceiling and left some mc that feeds some lighting that we are keeping so the job can have some temporary lighting. We took the circuit off the contactor and timeclock and just wire nutted the constant hot and the load so the lights will stay on 24/7.

I went to the panel today to turn off a random breaker in the 277/480 panel (we were trying to trace something) and the lights turned off? Which shouldn't of happened because the lights were on breaker #12, and I turned off breaker #2.... So yeah, when I turned off breaker number #2, it tripped breaker #12 and turned the lights off. So I'm a bit confused why it would do that?

May I add, this 277/480 panel has these weird breakers in it that has a very small red button on each breaker, that pushes in and pops out, its like some sort of gfci breaker or something? I honestly have no idea what they are. It's my first time seeing it. I'm also an apprentice so I don't have all these years of experience where I've ran into those breakers before...

Lastly, I just wanted to add that breaker #12 didn't actually trip, it was still turned to the on position, but the little red button on it changed. All I had to do was turn off breaker #12 and turn it back on and the lights came back on. Also I wanted to add, when I turned off breaker #2, it made the wires buzz for a split second. Didn't sound normal...

Sorry for such a long read! Thanks for any sort of ideas, will read them all!
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:04 PM   #2
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The breakers I use don't have "little red buttons" on them so I can't tell you what's what.

But I have to ask? Where is your journeyman?!?!?
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:05 PM   #3
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The breakers I use don't have "little red buttons" on them so I can't tell you what's what.

But I have to ask? Where is your journeyman?!?!?
Let me see if I can find these breakers online, I'll post a link if I can find it.

Edit: I'll just take a picture of it tomorrow and post it after I get home. It's just a normal looking breaker (little larger than normal actually) with a very small red button on them lol. That's all I can say for now

Last edited by JasonCo; 03-21-2018 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonCo View Post
Let me see if I can find these breakers online, I'll post a link if I can find it.

Edit: I'll just take a picture of it tomorrow and post it after I get home. It's just a normal looking breaker (little larger than normal actually) with a very small red button on them lol. That's all I can say for now
That is a trip button. Push the button trip the CB.
CB 2 is A phase, CB 12 is C phase, both circuits are tied out in the building only one can be on at a time.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:26 PM   #5
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That is a trip button. Push the button trip the CB.
CB 2 is A phase, CB 12 is C phase, both circuits are tied out in the building only one can be on at a time.
Awesome, thanks! So it's a trip button. Why even have a trip button o_0, couldn't I just turn the breaker off and on...

But what do you mean by "both circuits are tied out in the building"
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:37 PM   #6
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But what do you mean by "both circuits are tied out in the building"
Its what some would call a double-fed circuit. It's quite provocative. Most likely a mistake in a J-box somewhere. The circuit leaving breaker 2 and the circuit leaving breaker 12 are connected together somewhere. When both are on, it is a phase-to-phase short. The buzzing is the sound of circuit elements flexing due to the intense magnetic field.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:43 PM   #7
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I guess I need to really pay attention to what position the red button is in. Because when I turned off breaker #2 (random breaker), when I turned it OFF it made a buzz sound and turned off the lights as well which was breaker #12. I just think its weird that it happens when I turn off the breaker. Tomorrow I'm going to focus on the red buttons and see which ones are pushed in and which ones are out.

So, if the button is being held in (without me forcefully holding it in), it means the breaker is tripped (even if the breaker is in the on position). So theoretically, if I turn the breaker off and back on, it should re position the red button back to the untripped position and the circuit will be live.

Also! What's the point of a breaker with a trip button, why would you ever need that. Couldn't you just turn the breaker off and on. I don't see the point in a trip button. A breaker will trip and go to the off position anyways if it needs to trip for whatever reason, I just don't understand the need for the red button.

Last edited by JasonCo; 03-21-2018 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:52 PM   #8
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Well that is odd. John Valdes will come by with all the answers and give that circuit the boot if you don't get it figured out.

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Old 03-21-2018, 11:03 PM   #9
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https://www.amazon.com/Siemens-ED41B.../dp/B005XHAJY2


Pretty sure these are your breakers.. unless the circuit is double fed on a NC contact conrtolled by #2 i realy dont see how turning off #2 would trip #12
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Old 03-22-2018, 03:42 AM   #10
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HMMMMMMMMMMMM

Demo fun just wait you will find all kinds of fun stuff . You will !!!!!

Demo out a 30 year old Dennys or a 40 year old Sambos . Or stuff before ww2 . Always fun lots O fun !!!!

What was done when done is done now undue it . I DARE YOU !!!!
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:25 AM   #11
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https://www.amazon.com/Siemens-ED41B.../dp/B005XHAJY2


Pretty sure these are your breakers.. unless the circuit is double fed on a NC contact conrtolled by #2 i realy dont see how turning off #2 would trip #12
Well my journeyman called in sick today so I basically took the day off! I was going to take a picture of the panel but you found the identical breakers I think lol. So yeah, really appreciate that!

Hm, Yeah that's odd. I don't think the breakers are double fed through one of the contactors. Each contact only has 1 wire going to the line and load side. But, idk, something is very strange about the wiring done up in the ceiling. There are big 12x12x10 (or close to that) junction boxes up in the ceiling right before it hits the control station (time clocks/contactors/ect..), and up in those J boxes the wiring is all messed up. Like whoever did all the wiring even has ground wires spliced with hot wires, and neutral wires spliced with hot wires. Its incredibly confusing and really messed up...

Right before we left yesterday we took all the wires off the contactors and time clocks and just capped them off and made some lights constant hot so the outside lights would be on over night. Anyways, tomorrow when I show back up for the job, I'm going to turn breaker #2 back off and see if it trips the lights. If it doesn't, then I guess the problem was with the control station. If it still does it, then the problem has to do with the wiring up in the ceiling I assume.

Thanks for all your help! Going to test this out tomorrow, will do a lil follow up. Sense everything is being demoed and re-wired, it isn't the end of the world if I don't figure this out, but I just really wanted to understand this so I can realize the theory behind it. For future reference! Well, thanks again! Will do a bit of a follow up
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Old 03-22-2018, 03:32 PM   #12
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Default Open neutral

You may have open neutrals and the two circuits both on put the loads in series.

Think MWBC with open neutral.

Funny voltages may of made the short circuit noise.
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Old 03-22-2018, 03:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonCo View Post
I went to the panel today to turn off a random breaker in the 277/480 panel (we were trying to trace something) and the lights turned off? Which shouldn't of happened because the lights were on breaker #12, and I turned off breaker #2.... So yeah, when I turned off breaker number #2, it tripped breaker #12 and turned the lights off. So I'm a bit confused why it would do that?
Are you explaining this correctly?

You turned off a breaker, and it tripped another one?

You think you're confused?????
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:41 PM   #14
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Are you explaining this correctly?

You turned off a breaker, and it tripped another one?

You think you're confused?????
Yep that is exactly what happened. When I turned off the breaker, it tripped the other breaker. 100% sure of this. The same thing happened a couple weeks ago, it really confused the crap out of us. So we took the circuit that tripped (breaker #4) and relocated it to another breaker (breaker #12), then we tried to turn the lights back on and they wouldn't turn back on, even when the breaker was on... Which was mind blowing to us. So we took the circuit that we put on #12, and traced it back to a contactor. We took the line side and the load side off the contactor and just wire nutted them together, to make the lights constantly on 24/7. So we just left it like that... Fast forward 2 weeks, I go to turn off a random breaker (breaker #2) and the same thing happened again......... The lighting circuit (breaker #12) trips and the lights go out. This time I'm able to just turn the breaker (12) off and back on and the lights come on again.

So yeah, incredibly confusing but 100% accurate, what I explained is defiantly what happened, no doubt about it. It's a real trip...
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:19 PM   #15
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. The same thing happened a couple weeks ago, it really confused the crap out of us. So we took the circuit that tripped (breaker #4) and relocated it to another breaker (breaker #12), then we tried to turn the lights back on and they wouldn't turn back on, even when the breaker was on... Which was mind blowing to us. So we took the circuit that we put on #12, and traced it back to a contactor. We took the line side and the load side off the contactor and just wire nutted them together, to make the lights constantly on 24/7. So we just left it like that... Fast forward 2 weeks, I go to turn off a random breaker (breaker #2) and the same thing happened again......... The lighting circuit (breaker #12) trips and the lights go out. This time I'm able to just turn the breaker (12) off and back on and the lights come on again.

So yeah, incredibly confusing but 100% accurate, what I explained is defiantly what happened, no doubt about it. It's a real trip...

I'm not sure who your buddy "we" is, that is working with you, but that's really not the way to troubleshoot a problem.

Does anyone own a meter?
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:28 PM   #16
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I'm not sure who your buddy "we" is, that is working with you, but that's really not the way to troubleshoot a problem.

Does anyone own a meter?
Well the place is being demoed and rewired, so we weren't going to spend all day troubleshooting something that is going to be demoed. Yes my Journeyman and I both own multiple meters
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:33 PM   #17
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Well the place is being demoed and rewired, so we weren't going to spend all day troubleshooting something that is going to be demoed. Yes my Journeyman and I both own multiple meters
Is we wiring it?
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:47 PM   #18
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I think a MWBC with an open neutral will cause these symptoms !
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:12 PM   #19
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So MWBC is MultiWire Branch Circuit right? Sorry I'm still trying to learn the slang of the trade! So you are saying that these 2 circuits are sharing a neutral possibly somewhere down the line? and the neutral is also open somewhere? Thanks for the tip, just trying to wrap my head around it!
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:09 AM   #20
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Side note;
Just FYI, you asked why it has a push to trip button. In a lot of industrial installations, there is a requirement to periodically test the trip function of any breaker as part of a routine maintenance and safety check procedure. Moving the handle doesn’t do that. You must activate the trip mechanism, which is what that button does. This is almost never a requirement for residential or many light commercial installations, but is very common in industrials.
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