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Discussion Starter #21
I wonder if he knows the difference? You have a good point, because he doesn't mention changing out any of the circuit breakers. I have experienced the same tripping deal with QO's... they are very sensitive.
Yep, I know the difference and have said twice that we changed out the breakers, and to clarify yes they were brand new. I have seen and got batches of bad breakers, but the one or two times that's happened they came in the same box, ie same batch. These are different amperages. We have done the same troubleshooting rotation with both the old and new breakera- load, no load, wires landed, wires removed, wires exchanged to another breaker in another location- same result. Handles go to full right or left, not trip to center. These are Sq D not the old ITE's or others that you couldnt tell if they'd tripped. I'm about to have them string some SER from the meter to the Panel and see if its somehow the feed wires. PG&E had a recorder on their end, but we haven't put one on yet, should probably do that too.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Have you checked the condition of the subpanel? Any chance for debris floating around the hot bus bars? Maybe a loose screw causing intermittent shorts? Check condition of bus bar anyway.
Yeah we have removed every wire and reterminated. We've inspected the panel - no cracks, breaks, heat discoloration the make up was done very well, and the panel is spotless. I once had a neutral bar broke back behind were you couldnt see it doing this but it was tripping breakers not turning them off. I'm holding off swapping out panel as last resort
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I had a similar situation recently. A 2 pole 50A for the range was burning up. A handy man wire it and cut several strands off the #6 cu to make to easier to fit in the breaker. The heat caused by that connection was destroying the 2 pole 50. The heat was also causing nearby breakers to heat up and lose the connection to the bus. Some would trip, some would just quit working. Thankfully it was copper bus and I caught it early enough that the bus wasn't ruined, only several breakers.
I shut off the main, used emery cloth to shine the copper bus and installed new breakers. I tightened every connection in the panel. That was 2 months ago and everything is still fine.
We get this alot in the apartments. I think there are some folks that have truly missed their calling in the cosmetology field based on the barbering of wire we see.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I would use a gfci tester and trip the breakers on purpose to see if they are capable under a gfci fault of going all the way to off rather than tripped.

If they can then its sounds like a simple problem of gfci sharing wires. The problem is this will only show up when a load is present and its using more than 6 ma. A light dimmer, occupancy sensor, etc may be able to bug ground as a neutral on a gfci circuit and be just on the trip range but you are saying its always more then 1 breaker.
A receptacle with a live from one breaker and a neutral from a different gfci breaker will not trip until you plug in a load then both will trip together but it should always trip the same 2 breakers every time.
We'll check gfci wiring and try swapping out the two GFCI's. We did use a tester and they tripped not shut off. The other thing is I keep thinking its the feed wires, but a circuit breaker is one way, load side only. A short on the line side or current overload shouldn't turn it off or trip it.
 

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I pretwist and then use wire nuts. Solder pots rule.
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We changed out all breakers (main and branch). We purposely did not terminate wire on one of the breakers. No trip but shutoff with the rest. Sq D factory folks asked that we video the panel - lol. They said what we have all said "Can't happen, someone is turning them off"
All new breakers, Only some are terminated and yet a non-terminated breaker trips also.
The only thing that could be common is a thermal issue and yet you did a thermal scan.
That leaves only a ghost/cat/person doing it, but you were standing there when it happened....
Or it’s a mounting issue and they are torqued or twisted in some mechanical manner putting stress on the breaker shell.


I would sacrifice a drywall guy or two painters to the closet ghost and call it good
 

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Just a wild guess, but could there be a high frequency vibration from some source? Is there a radio or TV transmitter or electric transmission line nearby?

What, if anything, is different on or about this apartment from the others?
 

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Are you near a railroad track ? When I worked in Freeport TX we had a office building that was near a RXR track that trains where made up on at all hours of the day and might. We had one breaker that would trip for no reason . We ruled out everything that was internal to the building floor polisher , portable heaters , excessive load, power quality. I was working in the building on something unrelated to this problem and they were making up a train and I noticed that the building would shake every time that the train would couple. I told my supervisor and he said that I was grasping at straws .With in a week I was in the building felt the building shake heard the breaker trip . The following we pulled out the old TW and pulled in THHN/THWN problem solved. We examined the old TW and could not find any bad places in it but there must have been.
Where I live now I am about 1500' from a CSX mainline and I can feel the house shake and see the the water shake in the toilet when a heavy coal train goes by but none of my breakers have ever tripped.
Look for external vibration problems. with it being a apartment building are near a dumpster ? Most of those drivers show no mercy when handling dumpsters.
Thanks for your time

LC
 
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It could even be the neighbors getting REALLY excited during romantic adventures.

The mechanism in most small breakers is similar to an old style mouse trap, so an impact or vibration can trip them.

Many mechanical items are subject to vibration from high frequency radio waves.
 

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There is no magic in electricity, if they are being turned off someone is doing the operation of the CBs.
 

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There is no magic in electricity, if they are being turned off someone is doing the operation of the CBs.
Look... Satan wants you to believe it’s magic, so can you just get on the bus or what? He said he has free tacos on Tuesday and Thursday, so there is that.
 

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Video camera to prove your claim to manufacturer then ask them, "When is your flight arriving?"
 

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Look... Satan wants you to believe it’s magic, so can you just get on the bus or what? He said he has free tacos on Tuesday and Thursday, so there is that.
I'm gobsmacked! Did the OP try "Exorcising" the machine??? hahaha
 

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Whats above the panel. Any place for a rat, snake, raccoon to hide.

Anyone in the family sleep walk.
 

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We had a guy in a Starbucks or similar with a situation similar. We finally convinced him to set up covert video. Sure enough it was a rogue employee.
When you say it happened with you standing there, did you see it? Or were you and someone else there and it happened and they want you to believe they did not touch it?
Set up a video and then post a video of this happening with no human intervention.
Is there anything in the building other than apartments? Like a MRI facility?
As I remember, the thread continued for several days and many posts

OP in that thread kept explaining that it was impossible for anyone to be turning off the breakers

Until they set up cameras: "never mind, we saw the guy doing it" {or words to that effect}


Thanks guys- One of our guys was standing at the doorway talking with occupant when he heard the handles flip. He said there were no other people there other than small toddlers that couldn't reach. Landlord said they are good tenants with no beef. That's the first thing I thought was a disgruntled tenant. I also had him stomp on the floor at the panel and pound on the wall around it- nada. No other facilities other than 3 or 4 more apartments on same meter cluster. No gfci breakers or Arc fault breakers- standard Sq-D homeline breakers. One GFCI in kitchen, one in restroom.
 

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I would do no more replacing or troubleshooting. OP said ALL breakers, including the main, have been replaced. There is no way the breakers are going to the "off" position by themselves. All the things to check that have been mentioned might cause a trip but not to the "off" position.
Time to set up a camera and not tell anyone it is there. Game camera w/video would work.
 

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I would do no more replacing or troubleshooting. OP said ALL breakers, including the main, have been replaced. There is no way the breakers are going to the "off" position by themselves. All the things to check that have been mentioned might cause a trip but not to the "off" position.
Time to set up a camera and not tell anyone it is there. Game camera w/video would work.
I wish I had made this perfect suggestion about 15 posts ago!
 
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