Electrical Wiring in the Home/tripping breaker


I live in an apartment complex and every so often a certain breaker will trip (always the same one) when it did it the first time they changed it( or so they said) a couple of weeks later the same breaker tripped again. This time it happened in the middle of the night when nothing was on. There is not as much plugged in now as there was before. No more than has been on the last 10 years. I do not trust the maintenance man . Can you help?

ANSWER: Hello Pat,
My name is Robert and ill be helping you today and in response to your question yes i will help you...First keep in mind that maintenance people are NOT reql electricians and normally bullshit there way through situations just b/c of there ego and dont want to be wrong or tell you they dont know how to fix something and as far as the breaker going "bad" i dont buy that although breakers do in fact go bad its rare can you give me any more information

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Well at one point maybe 3 years again they installed a sump pump outside my apt because rain water would puddle up there( bad construction). They went through the wall and connected it to one of the receptacles which is on the same breaker that I started having trouble with. But the pump has been for a long time. The idiot maintenance changed my 20 amp to a 30 amp . Don't have a fit now when I cane home and saw it I made them put the 20 back.They also unhooked the pump.My other question is even though the pump has been there for over 3 years could it suddenly cause an overload? The power is fine right now but the last time ( before the pump was disconnected) it lasted about 2 weeks now I am just waiting to see if it trips the breaker again. Just so you know I told the manager if it happened again they better send a REAL electrician. I just want as much info as I can get.. Thanks

shorted out sump pump
shorted out sump pump  

correct installation
correct installation  
Hello Pat,
Sorry for the delay I've been really busy...My mother in law for over 25 years was just diagnosed with stage 4 canser & my wife is a wreck and it has been really hethic around hear,that being said GOOD CALL on making him replace that breaker BACK to 25amps he should have been FIRED!!! for a stunt like that and putting not only your self at risk but the rest of the building as well he put alot of lives on the line by doing that first off a breaker trips for a reason!!! and that doesn't mean that you go ahead and put a larger breaker in its place.Oh god please don't get me going THAT BURNS ME TO NO END!!! people like should not be TOUCHING ELECTRICITY!! And should just stick to painting and cutting the lawn...lol... I'm pretty sure you have #12awg wire throughout your home which is capable of up to 20amps and NO MORE.
IM so glad you mentioned that "Sump Pump" its information like that which helps me better diagnosis a problem and THAT is where i would go first and i have seen it thousands of times and what happens is after time water starts to seep in through the seals which breaks down over time,keep in mind the seals are ONLY RUBBER. After the water gets passed the seals its only a matter of time for the water to now break down the insulation on the wires.also all sump pumps should be on a GFI recepticle.and its also hard to tell unless you take it apart(which i dont recommend)unless you know what your doing,it could also be checked with an electrical multi meter,so my hest advice would be to unplug it and see if the problem goes away,and just b/c it doesn't do it all the time doesn't mean its not the problem.It could just be the start of the wires breaking down.So in closing start with the sump pump... i hope i was helpful and should you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to ask also i posted a couple of pictures and the pic with the rusty pump shows where water could be fetting in and the other pic is just simply a correct installation of a sump pump  
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Tomasulo


I am here to answer ALL your questions regarding anything to do with home wiring such as Switches, Receptacles,Lighting, Main Distribution Panels, HVAC, Thermostats, etc; if it has a wire and in your home I CAN ANSWER IT. Whether its as simple as "why do my lights flicker?" Or as complex as I would like to rewire my house im here to help, in addition i can offer advice on remodeling a kitchen or lighting up you back yard as well as offering troubleshooting on appliances.


I have over 17 years in the electrical industry including Residential, Commercial & Industrial, Im also a certified HVAC technician as well as a certified fiber obtic technician.I am currently employed by the New York City Transit Authority as the Senior Electrical Maintainer and serve as the Relief Foreman for the electrical maintenance division for the past 12 years.I also hold many certifications, licenses and certificates in my field

FOA Member(Fiber Optic Association) UTU (United Transportation Union) IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) HVAC/TALK (Heating & Air conditioning troubleshooting group)

5 years of technical school after high school in electrical installation and design sponsored by Local 3 (IBEW) As well as over 17 years of hands on in the field training and education, and till this day im still learning, Not a day goes by that i don't learn something and if i feel i didn't i will open up a book to insure I DO!

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