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Author: Subject: Having trouble with electricity
CycloRook
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Having trouble with electricity

Hello. I am having trouble with electricity. My breakers are rated for 15 amps (I think). When I plug in a stirring heating mantle and turn the dial beyond 1 the breaker will trip. Also I believe if I add things together like a vacuum pump condenser pump etc. It will also trip the breaker.
I have a 20 Amp breaker hooked to the refrigerator that if I use it won't trip the breaker but then I'm left plugging and unplugging my refrigerator.

Does anyone know of a device that would act as go between like some sort of transformer that would allow me to pull more current from the same breaker (I don't know the terminology)

Any ideas ?

Thanks
sauveurdumonde
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If the breaker is rated for 15 amps (at 120v or 220v), it's rated for 15 amps (again, at 120v or 220v). There is really no way around that.

The most basic formula for power is voltage x current. So, (120 volts x 15 amps) = 1800 watts. That's a lot of power. Even more if you have a 220v system. (220 volts x 15 amps) = 3300 watts (3.3 kW!)

To achieve the same temperature with your heating mantle, it will always have to be either 1800 watts or 3300 watts. That is power, and if you decrease the power rating, there will always be less energy. (heat)

If you added a transformer, it would either decrease the voltage but increase the current, or the other way around. So, your heating mantle would either be overloaded (and you may damage it), or wouldn't have enough voltage to turn on.

I'd recommend replacing the breaker with a higher amperage rating one, finding a more efficient heating mantle, or just using it in your fridge plug.

Edit: please don't replace the breaker yourself if you end up doing that.

[Edited on 24-11-2021 by sauveurdumonde]
Vomaturge
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Your heating mantle should say how many watts or how many amps it uses. Let us know those numbers . If your heating mantle is less than 15amps then you probably either have a bad breaker or have some other outlet with another appliance, connected to the same breaker.

Please don’t just change that breaker to 20A, the wire is probably only rated for 15A and will overheat if you draw more than that.

One more thing, is it a gfci/afci breaker? Are there any buttons on the front of the breaker?

I now have a YouTube channel. So far just electronics and basic High Voltage experimentation, but I'll hopefully have some chemistry videos soon.
B(a)P
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Plug another device of known wattage, for example a toaster or kettle. See if you get the same issue with the breaker tripping. Have you used the same heating mantle in the circuit that you are having an issue with previously? Can you try the hearing mantle in a different circuit?
wg48temp9
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 Quote: Originally posted by B(a)P Can you try the heating mantle in a different circuit?

That's the best trouble shooting suggestion after you check the power rating of the heating mantle does not require more than 15A as described in one of the replies.

I am wg48 but not on my usual pc hence the temp handle.
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arkoma
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extension cords and 14gauge wire in the walls also can be a problem. higher resistance>more voltage drop>higher current drawn through the breaker. there is a reason a GOOD extension cord costs out the ass. price a 50 foot one that has 10 ga versus 14 ga conductors. shock (pun intended) the hell out of you.

and depending on age and location could have aluminum conductors in the walls.

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Vomaturge
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 Quote: Originally posted by arkoma higher resistance>more voltage drop>higher current drawn through the breaker.

This is true for computer power supplies, certain high tech welding machines, and AC motors within certain ranges of voltage and current.

Adding a long run of wire in series with a resistive load like a hotplate should lower the voltage at the hotplate, cause it to run at a lower current and a much lower wattage.

For the OP, I would like to know what wattage, voltage, and amps it says on the hotplate. Also does anything else turn off when that breaker trips, besides that one outlet? Finally, since nobody has mentioned it yet, how long does it take to trip after you turn up the hotplate? If it usually happens within seconds of turning it up, there's probably a short in the plate itself.

I now have a YouTube channel. So far just electronics and basic High Voltage experimentation, but I'll hopefully have some chemistry videos soon.
pneumatician
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I think your HM have some problem, no HM can need 1800W, maybe 12 liters and more at full temp.

 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Miscellaneous » Having trouble with electricity Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues