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[RESOLVED] Is there an electrician in the house?! Keep tripping breaker! - Page 3

post #21 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

I work as an Electrical designer and a third year Electrical Apprentice, so I'm not fully licensed, but I've dealt with my fair share of Arc-Fault Circuit Breakers.

Arc-Fault circuit breakers seem to have an issue with higher power DC Switching Power Supplies, like the one use in your computer.  So far I've seen the issue pop up with as low as 225 W machines including slim-line PC's, and gaming/workstation laptops with the massive power bricks.

I have yet to find a solution to having them play nice together all the time.  Normally it will come down to running just a regular breaker to another receptacle.

The problem is that because the circuit is shared between your living room and your bedroom, it needs to be Arc-Fault protected.  You could change the living room over to it's own circuit with a regular circuit breaker and that would undoubtedly fix your problem.



Another option you could try is using a big enough UPS for your computer that has built-in conditioning of the input power.  Some of the cheaper ones will just pass the input power directly through until it needs to be on back-up.

Awesome answer, thank you! I knew these arc faults and DC power supplies were to blame. That's been my route with it anyway. So I'm stuck then until I get a new wire run to another breaker. Hmm...

Why exactly do I need arc-fault breakers in the living room? No house I have ever seen except mine have these new crazy BREAKers. If it's so much safer, is everyone else really that much worse off? 90% of the houses don't have them, but I really NEED to? Or realistically will I be fine replacing the breaker with the older style that plays nice with my hobby?
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post #22 of 43
Thread Starter 
+Rep to everyone who helped once this thread is complete, thanks for everyone's help I really appreciate this forum.
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post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by LtStinger View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

I work as an Electrical designer and a third year Electrical Apprentice, so I'm not fully licensed, but I've dealt with my fair share of Arc-Fault Circuit Breakers.

Arc-Fault circuit breakers seem to have an issue with higher power DC Switching Power Supplies, like the one use in your computer.  So far I've seen the issue pop up with as low as 225 W machines including slim-line PC's, and gaming/workstation laptops with the massive power bricks.

I have yet to find a solution to having them play nice together all the time.  Normally it will come down to running just a regular breaker to another receptacle.

The problem is that because the circuit is shared between your living room and your bedroom, it needs to be Arc-Fault protected.  You could change the living room over to it's own circuit with a regular circuit breaker and that would undoubtedly fix your problem.



Another option you could try is using a big enough UPS for your computer that has built-in conditioning of the input power.  Some of the cheaper ones will just pass the input power directly through until it needs to be on back-up.

Awesome answer, thank you! I knew these arc faults and DC power supplies were to blame. That's been my route with it anyway. So I'm stuck then until I get a new wire run to another breaker. Hmm...

Why exactly do I need arc-fault breakers in the living room? No house I have ever seen except mine have these new crazy BREAKers. If it's so much safer, is everyone else really that much worse off? 90% of the houses don't have them, but I really NEED to? Or realistically will I be fine replacing the breaker with the older style that plays nice with my hobby?

 

Arc-Faults are not required in bedrooms.  The original reasoning was because people tend to run extension cords in rooms for stuff behind dressers, under trim, under carpets/rugs and this damages the cables internal structure. Over time it gets to the point where certain surges form turning things on and off will create mini arcs between the hot/live and the neutral/ground wires inside which are high current arc-faults.  In the case of a Switching DC power-supply, there are many of these surges all the time.

 

The Arc-Fault Relays are designed to be very sensitive to these mini current spikes.

 

Typically you wouldn't find an arc-fault circuit breaker on any room other then bedrooms.  It sounds like who ever wired your house chose to do it at a slightly lower cost by powering the bedroom and the living room off one breaker.  While this it perfectly legal and to code, as you can see, it is not the best option.

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post #24 of 43
Thread Starter 
Ok, with all that's been said, a little research and a call to a contractor to confirm everything, I'm confident to make the repair without repercussions. I was going to up the amperage to a 20A in anticipation for the next build coming in, but the wire is too small and it would be unsafe to do so.

I have replaced the 15A arc-fault breaker with a 15A standard ground-fault only breaker to solve the issue. So far so good with everything on the circuit running. I will consider the problem solved and let the thread die, if the breaker trips again I'll be back to square one and be forced to run a new wire and new breaker for dedicated outlets.

Thank you for everyone's input and help during this frustrating problem. It looks like I'm out of the woods.

Let this be a warning to anyone on these forums who has arc-fault breakers or plans on moving into a newer home. Arc-fault breakers are now code, and since this is my 2nd issue in around one year with them, we can conclude that axipher is correct in saying these breakers do NOT like computers. If anyone has problems with an arc-fault breaker on a circuit their computer is plugged into, I would recommend kicking it to the curb and switching to a regular breaker. They're garbage as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks again OCN
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post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by LtStinger View Post

Ok, with all that's been said, a little research and a call to a contractor to confirm everything, I'm confident to make the repair without repercussions. I was going to up the amperage to a 20A in anticipation for the next build coming in, but the wire is too small and it would be unsafe to do so.

I have replaced the 15A arc-fault breaker with a 15A standard ground-fault only breaker to solve the issue. So far so good with everything on the circuit running. I will consider the problem solved and let the thread die, if the breaker trips again I'll be back to square one and be forced to run a new wire and new breaker for dedicated outlets.

Thank you for everyone's input and help during this frustrating problem. It looks like I'm out of the woods.

Let this be a warning to anyone on these forums who has arc-fault breakers or plans on moving into a newer home. Arc-fault breakers are now code, and since this is my 2nd issue in around one year with them, we can conclude that axipher is correct in saying these breakers do NOT like computers. If anyone has problems with an arc-fault breaker on a circuit their computer is plugged into, I would recommend kicking it to the curb and switching to a regular breaker. They're garbage as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks again OCN

 

No problem man.  Just be sure to keep that Arc-Fault breaker handy, they are not cheap.  You will need to put it back in if you ever want to get the house inspected to sell or rent down the road.

 

Like you said though, anyone looking to put computers in a bedroom especially, check if that bedroom is protected by an arc-fault circuit breaker first.

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post #26 of 43
That is some great information.
Seems more like a cheap cost saving move than a useless type of breaker.

Would a Backup Power Supply with power cleaning/regulation prevent this situation from occuring, knowing a room is combo'ed on an arc-breaker?
Handy things to have for our rigs anyways, just more of a reason to invest in a decent unit.
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post #27 of 43
Thread Starter 
From everything I have read, yes, a battery backup will eliminate the issue, but not a power cleaner. A good quality UPS will first have the electricity charge the battery, and the computer will be powered from the battery itself. Through this process the sensitive breaker won't "see" the natural arcing of the computer's PSU. I actually have my rig plugged into a monster power strip, that is supposed to clean the power. Since there is no battery to buffer the arcs, the load still passes straight through and the arc is sensed. A good battery backup will eliminate the need to replace the arc-fault breaker. For me, replacing it with a standard circuit breaker was the cheapest fix (free).
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post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aparition View Post

That is some great information.
Seems more like a cheap cost saving move than a useless type of breaker.

Would a Backup Power Supply with power cleaning/regulation prevent this situation from occuring, knowing a room is combo'ed on an arc-breaker?
Handy things to have for our rigs anyways, just more of a reason to invest in a decent unit.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LtStinger View Post

From everything I have read, yes, a battery backup will eliminate the issue, but not a power cleaner. A good quality UPS will first have the electricity charge the battery, and the computer will be powered from the battery itself. Through this process the sensitive breaker won't "see" the natural arcing of the computer's PSU. I actually have my rig plugged into a monster power strip, that is supposed to clean the power. Since there is no battery to buffer the arcs, the load still passes straight through and the arc is sensed. A good battery backup will eliminate the need to replace the arc-fault breaker. For me, replacing it with a standard circuit breaker was the cheapest fix (free).

 

As LtStinger said, you need to find a quality UPS that powers the load off the battery and doesn't simply switch to the battery when needed.  The only thing to remember about those is that the battery's life span will be severely reduced compared to a regular unit so be sure to get one that has the USB connection so you can monitor it's health.

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post #29 of 43
Wow...a lot of great information. Learned a lot. Definitely good to know. Thank you thumb.gif
 
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(14 items)
 
CPUCPUMotherboardRAM
Intel Xeon L5640 Intel Xeon L5640 Dell R710 Mobo Hynix 144GB DDR3 ECC PC3L-10600R 
Hard DrivePowerCaseOther
Intel X25-M G2 80GB Redundant 840W PSU Dell 710 2.5" - Google Search Appliance Dell Perc H700 Raid Controller 
OtherOther
Dell iDRAC6 Enterprise Mellanox Connectx-2 10Gb SFP+ NIC 
CPUCPUMotherboardRAM
Intel Xeon E5-2670 v1 Intel Xeon E5-2670 v1 SuperMicro X9DRL-iF 64GB Kingston ECC (kvr16r11d4/16HA) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
12x 4TB HGST 5K4000 SanDisk SSD 960GB (cache) 6x 8TB WD Red Scythe AP-29 
CoolingOSPowerCase
2x Noctua U9DXi4 FreeNAS Corsair AX750 Norco RPC-4224 
OtherOther
3x LSI 9211-8i (HBA) Mellanox Connectx-2 10Gb NIC 
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Play Server
(10 items)
 
NAS
(14 items)
 
CPUCPUMotherboardRAM
Intel Xeon L5640 Intel Xeon L5640 Dell R710 Mobo Hynix 144GB DDR3 ECC PC3L-10600R 
Hard DrivePowerCaseOther
Intel X25-M G2 80GB Redundant 840W PSU Dell 710 2.5" - Google Search Appliance Dell Perc H700 Raid Controller 
OtherOther
Dell iDRAC6 Enterprise Mellanox Connectx-2 10Gb SFP+ NIC 
CPUCPUMotherboardRAM
Intel Xeon E5-2670 v1 Intel Xeon E5-2670 v1 SuperMicro X9DRL-iF 64GB Kingston ECC (kvr16r11d4/16HA) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
12x 4TB HGST 5K4000 SanDisk SSD 960GB (cache) 6x 8TB WD Red Scythe AP-29 
CoolingOSPowerCase
2x Noctua U9DXi4 FreeNAS Corsair AX750 Norco RPC-4224 
OtherOther
3x LSI 9211-8i (HBA) Mellanox Connectx-2 10Gb NIC 
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post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by deafboy View Post

Wow...a lot of great information. Learned a lot. Definitely good to know. Thank you thumb.gif

 

Glad to help mate :D

CHILZ - Lan Rig
(17 items)
 
CANARY - Main Rig
(16 items)
 
CADILLAC - HTPC
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-4570s Asus H97M-Plus AMD R9 280 G.Skill RipjawsX 16 GB (2x8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
250 GB Samsung 840 240 GB Kingston 3 TB USB 3.0 Drive Custom Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Preview BenQ GL2450 Filco MajesTouch2 Ninja PC P&C Silencer Mk III 600 W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Fractal Design Core 1000 Mionix Castor Monoprice XXL JL Amps + Custom Morel Bookshelf speakers 
Other
Scythe Kama-Panel 3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8150 @ 4.6 GHz Fatal1ty 990FX Pro 9800 GTX+ 512 MB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1866 CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 1 TB WD Black 5x 120mm + MCP350 + EK Supreme HF + MicroRes Windows 8 Consumer Preview 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2x Dell U2212HM Logitech G110 Cooler Master 850W Silent Pro Cooler Master 690 II Adv. 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Death Adder 3.5G Staples Gel Cushion Asus Xonar DG + Senn. PC333D 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 Acer X1800 ATI 5670 2 GB Kingston 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 TB WD Green Asus BD-R Windows 7 Home Premium Sony 50" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Acer Media 220 W SFF Acer X1800 Acer Optical 
Mouse PadAudio
The TV cabinet Denon 2808 7.1 AVR + Dahlquist 350W 8" Sub + Kl... 
  hide details  
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CHILZ - Lan Rig
(17 items)
 
CANARY - Main Rig
(16 items)
 
CADILLAC - HTPC
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-4570s Asus H97M-Plus AMD R9 280 G.Skill RipjawsX 16 GB (2x8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
250 GB Samsung 840 240 GB Kingston 3 TB USB 3.0 Drive Custom Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Preview BenQ GL2450 Filco MajesTouch2 Ninja PC P&C Silencer Mk III 600 W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Fractal Design Core 1000 Mionix Castor Monoprice XXL JL Amps + Custom Morel Bookshelf speakers 
Other
Scythe Kama-Panel 3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8150 @ 4.6 GHz Fatal1ty 990FX Pro 9800 GTX+ 512 MB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1866 CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 1 TB WD Black 5x 120mm + MCP350 + EK Supreme HF + MicroRes Windows 8 Consumer Preview 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2x Dell U2212HM Logitech G110 Cooler Master 850W Silent Pro Cooler Master 690 II Adv. 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Death Adder 3.5G Staples Gel Cushion Asus Xonar DG + Senn. PC333D 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 Acer X1800 ATI 5670 2 GB Kingston 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 TB WD Green Asus BD-R Windows 7 Home Premium Sony 50" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Acer Media 220 W SFF Acer X1800 Acer Optical 
Mouse PadAudio
The TV cabinet Denon 2808 7.1 AVR + Dahlquist 350W 8" Sub + Kl... 
  hide details  
Reply
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Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Power Supplies › [RESOLVED] Is there an electrician in the house?! Keep tripping breaker!