Fourtitude.com - Home Electrical Question - Arc Fault breaker tripping
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    1. Geriatric Member Hostile's Avatar
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      05-19-2017 05:28 PM #1
      We have a guest room in our house that serves as an exercise room for my wife and I. Recently, we bought a NordicTrack treadmill that is now in this room. After a month or two of having and using the treadmill the breaker for that room has been tripping a few times a week and it seems to happen either when when the motor on the treadmill is starting up or even when it's completely powered down and nothing in the room is being used. Also, we just got back from a week out of town and before we left my wife unplugged the treadmill. When we got back, the breaker was tripped.

      Besides the treadmill, we also have the following electronics in the room:

      46" Samsung LED LCD TV
      ~1 year old Samsung Blu-Ray player
      Nintendo Wii
      Wireless phone handset

      The above 4 items have been in that room for years without causing any problems so I'm not convinced any of them are the cause. Also, none of them are used (are powered off) when the treadmill is being used. Obviously the treadmill is the standout since it's the new variable and the fact that the breaker does sometimes trip when the motor starts does point to it, but the breaker did trip while we were gone and the treadmill was unplugged so that makes me wonder if the breaker itself is just going bad.

      This is the breaker, since this is a bedroom it has one of those Arc Fault breakers:


      The breakers for the other two bedrooms also have them. Here is the entire panel:


      I need to call an electrician but I wanted to run it by you guys in here to see what your thoughts are.

      Thanks!
      iain

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    3. Member candy11's Avatar
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      05-19-2017 05:34 PM #2
      Did you try putting the treadmill on another circuit? I know they are a pain to move but you could do it with an extension cord.

      Just to see if the treadmill is the issue or the breaker.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    4. Geriatric Member Hostile's Avatar
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      05-19-2017 06:40 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by candy11 View Post
      Did you try putting the treadmill on another circuit? I know they are a pain to move but you could do it with an extension cord.

      Just to see if the treadmill is the issue or the breaker.
      I have not and not sure why that didn't occur to me. Probably because it's impossible to move. I'll give that a shot.
      iain

    5. Member Frank@AntwerpenPerformance's Avatar
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      05-20-2017 07:40 AM #4
      I was just about to say the same thing, sounds like too much amps being pulled when that motor starts up or surges with all those other items on the circuit.
      class steppin'

    6. Member Jimmy Bionic's Avatar
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      05-24-2017 03:51 PM #5
      If it tripped when nothing was on I would say it indicates you need a new breaker. Perhaps the additional load from the treadmill helped the process along with breaker going bad so while an electrician is there to swap out the breaker you may want to have him look at that particular circuit.

      One other possibility - are you sure that circuit is only in that bedroom and there isn't additional load from another room? When I was swapping out all the electrical outlets and switches in my house I discovered some wacky circuit designs.

    7. Member
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      05-30-2017 04:57 PM #6
      my entire house is almost all 20amp circuits.... The wring goes everywhere..... I have an outlet in a hallway that is on the same circuit as a bedroom clear across the other side of the house. Nuts.
      Current: 2015 RPGM Chevy SS Sedan 6spd - 2000 Chevy K2500 - 2013 Honda Odyssey TE
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      06-07-2017 10:21 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Frank@AntwerpenPerformance View Post
      I was just about to say the same thing, sounds like too much amps being pulled when that motor starts up or surges with all those other items on the circuit.
      It's not an amperage problem, a standard 20A breaker won't trip with a treadmill inrush.
      It's a transient voltage problem, the AFIC is trying to do it's job, it's just built to the cheaper end of the necessary tolerances, and some equipment working as intended sets them off.
      Try a window AC unit on one, same problem.
      NEC and the manufacturers know this, yet, AFIC are code now anyway.
      What's safer, ripping that POS out for a normal breaker, or running a 30' extension cord through your house...

    9. Geriatric Member Hostile's Avatar
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      Yesterday 04:16 PM #8
      Update: I've had the treadmill plugged into an outlet in another room (using a heavy duty outdoor extension cord) for a few weeks now and haven't had a single breaker trip.

      I think at this point the treadmill is safely ruled out and it's time to call an electrician to test the circuit and breaker.

      Thanks for the replies.
      iain

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