Electrical Wiring in the Home/AFCI's


After a power outage all 12 of my neighbors arc fault breakers would not stay reset. Even after removing the load wires they would trip instantly as he reset them. If you removed the white wires they would hold. I cannot understand why they trip without the load wires on them. Regular breakers held. The outage was due to a tree falling and taking out his service including the incoming lines from the pole. After the power company replaced his incoming lines his arc fault failed. They are all "Square D" HOM breakers. All 20 Amp. Thanks!!


Heck of a question  

Couple things,  one I understand but do NOT KNOW for sure, but the reviews of the standard Home Depot available HOM Square D versions are made as cheap as cheap can be,   a large enough surge from this tree, and who knows what hit what or what wires crossed and hit each other, the magnitude of the surge could have been even higher than normal and normal is unreal

Next it could be that the surge that was introduced has somehow bonded the neutral to hot,

the second link goes into great detail about these faults and here is a preview:

f there does not appear to be a short circuit in one of the plugged-in
devices, including the electrical cords,
then there may be a short circuit in
the permanent wiring.

But then you throw this monkey wrench in with normal breakers hold but not these 12   

Ok so it is one home with twelve of these breakers, take a look at these links and especially the last one from Texas,  gives you about any possible scenario, but it sounds like collateral damage beyond the breakers   I just dont see even cheap all failing at the same time in the same way so something in common is the problem,    



After you go through the outline above and take another look,  let me know what you see or maybe suspect  but I would be looking real hard for something beyond the breakers themselves,    I suppose swapping one out will tell a lot,   to start with    but it could be a fairly intensive diagnostic chore,  but do keep me in the loop     and maybe something you find or suspect after going through the chart will give us a plan  
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Will Babbitt


Electrical issues of all types, wiring, control, appliances, components, specialty in Electric MOTOR or APPARATUS trouble shooting, electric motors, electrical problems, single phase, three phase, DC, capacitors, elevator MG-Sets, modifications, reverse engineering, VFD Drives, single to three phase convertors. Repair of most any electrical/mechanical/electronic apparatus, OEM, AC, DC, Industrial Applications, Three phase, single phase failure mode, determining the root cause of the equipment failure BEFORE failure repeats, Antique appliances, electric motors, fans, ceiling fans, base mount fans, poor equipment performance, Modifications, habitual failures, vibration, redesign, obsolete issues, collectible items restored, rewinding. Owner of EMR Repair Inc www.emrrepair.com More information on electric motors, under Engineering/Motors Ask about any electrical or mechanical problems in the home, office, or even at your work. B2B or business to business CONSULTING I can do but it would be a much more complex issue, that would require a significant amount of time. repair@mearservice.com from there we can discuss and begin work on about anything. Industrial electric motors, controls, troubleshooting, vibration, alignment, any type of industrial or commercial electric/electrcical equipment For the home owner, renter, apartment if you have odd things going on, describe to me, photos are normally very helpful, appliances, heating and air conditioning issues, light switches, installation, DIY PROJECTS FOR THOSE NOT EDUCATED IN ELECTRICAL, we can do some things, but for safety and sanity reasons, I may refer you to a local electrician, and help you find one, help you with pricing and even speak directly with anyone you hire if you have issues,


Over thirty years with a major repair and sales company, VP of Operations, and former owner of my own specialty repair shops, MEAR Services local to Kansas City Missouri EMR Repair Inc., located in Kansas City Missouri, 2014 sold both businesses to JCI Industries, Lee's Summit Missouri wbabbitt@jciind.com Evaluation and repair of electrical/mechanical apparatus. Electrical and mechanical repairs, trouble shooting including, vibration and balance issues. About.com provides this service, and the huge costs to provide help on about any subject. They provide the servers, the people to vet the experts, costs that would be the same as operating a good sized business, They should be appreciated for what they do, the huge costs and the great help they provide for free, Electric motor questions, can be answered here but there is a dedicated category that has other experts to help and add to a solution. Other common questions, are noises in the walls, breakers tripping, devices not starting or shutting down for no apparent reason, smoke alarms buzzing, thermostat change outs, or sizing wire or needing information for a new project, but anything can be resolved, anything, with enough effort and patience, DIY, with electrical is possible, but in most cases the use of a simple ohm meter or volt meter is needed, they can be purchased at any hardware store for a few bucks. If you have smoke, or smell smoke, don't be writing me, call 911 the Fire Department has no problem looking for smoke smells, better then spraying water on a blazing fire. DO NOT GET CAUGHT INVESTIGATING AND TRAPPED IN A BASEMENT LOOKING FOR A BLOWER FAILING< As to the tip jar, it is up to you, it is appreciated, every expert spends out of pocket that I know, we spend on IP time, computer wear, printing documents, books, and of course our time, but if we prevent a $400 service call, we did well,

Former IBEW, EASA, IEEE, UL, ..............


10 plus years, various Technical Schools, followed by Industrial College Credit and non Credit Courses, electronics courses, experience in most any electrical apparatus, electric motors and generators, AC OR DC, fractional to above 5000HP, other electrical apparatus, slip rings, sleeve [plain] bearings, lubrication, identification-no data plate, control components, service and sales. I have continued night schools for decades, the list is extensive. I have been in the business of repairing most anything with wires or mechanical parts for decades, I have some helpful hints and directions you won't have to dig up. Or hopefully not have to pay a huge service call invoice to find.

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