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(Topic ID: 179518)

how many amps on breakers? (fried breaker playing pinball)


By jake35

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 42 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by YeOldPinPlayer
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 3 years ago

    well I guess I'm officially in the club, had all 4 machines going at once over the weekend and fried the breaker. Does going to a 30 amp double pole breaker solve these issues? What sort of wiring/amp do I need for 4-6 machines?

    11
    #2 3 years ago

    You can't just stick in a bigger breaker. The wiring won't support it. Could be a fire hazard.

    This is where you need an electrician to figure out what you have going on, and needs.

    LTG : )

    #3 3 years ago

    if each game pulls 2.5 amps, a 20 amp single pole should be sufficient shouldn't it?

    #4 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    if each game pulls 2.5 amps, a 20 amp single pole should be sufficient shouldn't it?

    I have successfully ran 7 machines on a 20 amp. But it's not just about the breaker...the wiring needs to be the right gage also.

    That said, if you "fried" the breaker, you either had a faulty breaker or you have bigger problems. It should have just thrown with no damage. I would not just replace it without figuring out what happened.

    #5 3 years ago

    There could be other stuff on that circuit other then just the pins. If your asking these questions call an electrician and dont risk burning your house down.

    #6 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    fried the breaker.

    Can you be more specific? Did it actually burn up? Or is it stuck in the tripped position?

    If it's stuck in the tripped position, unplug everything that is plugged into it.

    If you are able to reset the breaker successfuly, then it's likely that there was something plugged in that is drawing too much current or shorting out the circuit.

    If you have power strips, check those for problems. It's not unheard of for those to fail.

    Use the process of elimination to figure out what is causing the breaker to trip.

    #7 3 years ago

    Never change the breaker size unless you know what you're doing. Seems like you don't.

    #8 3 years ago

    I'll call an electrician. I have a friend who came over and is better at this stuff than me. He's not sure why but for some reason it killed the breaker (tripped it but also "killed it") and it's not working now. Odd because after having all 4 machines on, had no issues for two days, and played just two of them last night with no problems. Went downstairs this evening and that basement room had no power, so at some point the breaker tripped and died without the machines even on.

    #9 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    Does going to a 30 amp double pole breaker solve these issues?

    NO! Far from it. What size is the breaker that popped, 20A?
    I once had a faulty 20A breaker that tripped much easier than it should
    have, and changing it with "exactly" another 20A did the trick, but never
    had any that came close to frying..

    #10 3 years ago

    If they used 14/3 wire then it's 15amps on the breaker, if they used 12/3 wire then it's 20amps on the breaker. 30amp pole won't solve the root issue, the purpose of the breaker is to stop the wires from getting to hot and starting a fire. I would have a professional come in and see if there is any underlining issues going on.

    #11 3 years ago

    Just to be clear did the breaker fry or trip? If it was a trip was it hot?

    and as other said as well as me, DON"T OVER SIZE BREAKER!!!!! breakers are rated for the wire size I stated above and if it's Romex and not BX wire you lose even some more shielded protection.

    So if it's 14/3 wire at 15 amp breaker and you are playing 4 machines pulling an average of 20amps the panel is doing it's job. If it's a 20amp breaker with 12/3 It still maybe doing it's job but a surge pending what was all happening at once still can trip it if exceeded 20amps. It might be best just to have another circuit added and spilt the work load.

    #12 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    so at some point the breaker tripped and died without the machines even on.

    If you unplug everything from the circuit, are you able to reset the breaker?

    Something can still cause a short, even if it's not technically powered up.

    #13 3 years ago

    Operating 4 Pinball machines did not "fry" your breaker, unless there was a direct short to ground. It's most likely the breaker was failing before you plugged in the games.

    I've had 10-12 modern pinballs fire up simultaneously and operate just fine on a 15A at my shop.

    Have an electrician check the circuit, and then replace the faulty breaker if no other issue is found.

    #14 3 years ago

    it was only a 10A breaker that failed. Maybe having the electrician upping it to a 20A will solve the issue? The wiring is 12-2 gauge.

    #15 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    it was only a 10A breaker that failed. Maybe having the electrician upping it to a 20A will solve the issue? The wiring is 12-2 gauge.

    12/2 can handle 20amp but have it checked for a short.

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from DeathHimself:

    12/2 can handle 20amp but have it checked for a short.

    Thanks! I will do that.

    #17 3 years ago

    I am not an electrician but have a lot of wiring experience. Never seen a breaker "fry", but maybe because i know what im doing.

    When you say "fry" what exactly do you mean? Is it physically burnt, when you reset it, it trips, or do you reset it and no electricity flows to the outlet. If the breaker keeps tripping, it could be a couple of possible issues, including a short at one of the outlets or a short somewhere along the line, possibly from a staple or nail from molding.

    If you dont know what you are doing, leave it off and wait for help. Checking for continuity across the hot, ground and nuetral wires is where i would start.

    #18 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    if each game pulls 2.5 amps, a 20 amp single pole should be sufficient shouldn't it?

    The 20 amp breaker requires #12 AWG wire as a minimum. Installing a 20 amp breaker with #14 AWG wire is asking for a fire. A fire that can destroy a building.

    #19 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    if each game pulls 2.5 amps, a 20 amp single pole should be sufficient shouldn't it?

    Most late model and modern games do not pull 2.5 amps, not always even in attract mode. They average 3-3.5 amps.
    Some games can reach over 7 amps in multiball.
    Consider the age of the machines as well, as this can also make a difference in the "steady state" of electricity.

    You have under gauge wall wire or an older home, if you are damaging breakers.

    You are correct to call an electrician, because if your circuit breaker failed, there are more problems than running 4 pinball machines on a single 15 amp outlet.

    There is not enough detail to provide a diagnosis, but the baseline is correct as you cannot increase breaker size while using the same wire gauge unless you want to start a wall fire in your home.

    #20 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    well I guess I'm officially in the club, had all 4 machines going at once over the weekend and fried the breaker. Does going to a 30 amp double pole breaker solve these issues? What sort of wiring/amp do I need for 4-6 machines?

    I'd like to see a pic of the breaker in question

    #21 3 years ago

    It was a 20 (correction). I will post pic of breaker. Home was built in 1991.

    #22 3 years ago

    Challenger and sylvania another brand that starts with a z zelco?, lots of brands not covered by insurance because they are cheap, shitty and cause fires, i had challenger and change my main to ge and subs to squar d. NEVER oversize a breaker. Maybe your breaker just broke or melted down, happens with those brand names metioned. Just change your breaker with the same amp rating that was in there, never higher. Wire can only take so many amps through it until it get to warm and melts, thats the whole idea for a certain breaker rating is to protect wire, not devises you plug in. PLUS A LOT of people dont know this but breakers trip at 80 percent of capacity after 2 hours (required for ul listing)

    #23 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    It was a 20 (correction). I will post pic of breaker. Home was built in 1991.

    Have I checked for sure now, be on the side of safety over sorry. In the end hopefully it was just a failing breaker but have it looked into for underlining problems as a 20 shouldn't pop that easily.

    #24 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    It was a 20 (correction). I will post pic of breaker. Home was built in 1991.

    Verify that the wire is 12 Gauge and not 14. If you don't know how, call someone that does. If you are not the original owner, someone could have installed an incorrect breaker.

    #25 3 years ago

    I verified with the original owner of my house that the wiring is 12-2. 20 amp breaker should work fine with that wiring. Guess it's time to call in reinforcements.

    #26 3 years ago

    If your trying to reset the breaker without turning it off first it will not reset the latch mechanism no matter how many times you try. You should be able to feel it latch when turning it off. Inside the breaker there is a set of contacts, bi-metal strip, arc suppressors, and exhaust/arc vent path to the exterior of the breaker. Nothing in it to really "fry"

    #27 3 years ago

    4 pins on a properly grounded 20 amp circuit will not be enough to trip the breaker. I would start with checking what else is on the same line. Were you running a space heater, hair dryer or any other appliance (dish or clothes dryer, old school toaster or blender etc) or combination of things that draws alot of juice at the same time the pins were on? If your house was built in the 90's to code you will be using modern romex but this is before it was color coded and it is likely that someone installed a 20 amp breaker on what is only rated for 15 amps. After unplugging everything on the dead line try reinstalling a new 15 amp breaker that matches the specifications of your breaker panel and test the nearest outlet with a receptacle tester. Continue in series with each outlet to make sure each has been properly installed. The breaker and tester should cost about $10. The tester has a guide on the top that will tell you how each outlet is wired. An open ground or backward polarity on an outlet in the chain could cause the issues your having. Turn the breaker back off once you are done testing and/or you find an issue. Do NOT try and rewire or replace a recipticle if you are not comfortable or experienced doing it yourself, find someone who knows what theyre doing. An electrician would definitely be the best way to go as they can diagnose the problem in a few minutes but will most likely cost $75+ for the house call.

    #28 3 years ago

    I run 5 pins on a 20 amp breaker and have never had a problem.

    #29 3 years ago

    Breakers can go bad. Check the wiring first to make sure what the maximum breaker you can install will be. Also, the connection needs to be tight. A loose connection will cause the terminal to heat up which can cause breakers to go bad.

    I have one circuit with 8 games on it on a 20A breaker. It pulls right at 15 to 16A and it hasn't tripped yet. So 4 shouldn't be a problem at all if the breaker and connection are good.

    #30 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    well I guess I'm officially in the club, had all 4 machines going at once over the weekend and fried the breaker. Does going to a 30 amp double pole breaker solve these issues? What sort of wiring/amp do I need for 4-6 machines?

    Do all of your games have all leds in them? That can reduce the usage by up to 60%.

    #31 3 years ago

    All my games are on two different 15 AMP breakers that are shared with the rest of the normal outlets in the house. Never had any issues except when turning the arcade machines on at the same time (mainly to see if my breakers were even working lol, I was surprised how far I could push it already) - then it went. Granted, they're mostly EM so it's basically a bunch of lightbulbs.

    Although the project went dormant a while back, I'm rerouting an old backyard connection that ran through the basement that had it's own dedicated 20A circuit to use in part of my gameroom.

    #32 3 years ago

    Sounds like a weak breaker.

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    All my games are on two different 15 AMP breakers that are shared with the rest of the normal outlets in the house. Never had any issues except when turning the arcade machines on at the same time (mainly to see if my breakers were even working lol, I was surprised how far I could push it already) - then it went. Granted, they're mostly EM so it's basically a bunch of lightbulbs.
    Although the project went dormant a while back, I'm rerouting an old backyard connection that ran through the basement that had it's own dedicated 20A circuit to use in part of my gameroom.

    But how many were being played? That's the true test.

    #34 3 years ago

    I remember watching this as an apprentice electrician, it's a very funny scene and it's very true..

    #35 3 years ago
    Quoted from Toads:

    I remember watching this as an apprentice electrician, it's a very funny scene and it's very true..
    » YouTube video

    An even better dolt is Kimball. Dumb as a box of rocks. Although my favorite character is Mr. Haney; "My card, sir"!

    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from wisefwumyogwave:

    Challenger and sylvania another brand that starts with a z zelco?, lots of brands not covered by insurance because they are cheap, shitty and cause fires, i had challenger and change my main to ge and subs to squar d. NEVER oversize a breaker. Maybe your breaker just broke or melted down, happens with those brand names metioned. Just change your breaker with the same amp rating that was in there, never higher. Wire can only take so many amps through it until it get to warm and melts, thats the whole idea for a certain breaker rating is to protect wire, not devises you plug in. PLUS A LOT of people dont know this but breakers trip at 80 percent of capacity after 2 hours (required for ul listing)

    Zinsco. I am in hvacand not electrician, but I know a lot about them. If you have any of those 3 get them replaced.

    #37 3 years ago

    Just cram a penny in there!

    #38 3 years ago

    Also don't take the original owners word!!!

    Even if the wire is not color coded (yellow 12, white 10) it will be printed in the wire if it is that new!

    Original owner may think or assume it is 12 but not know for sure. Some contractors will do what they can to save a buck.

    That being said I have 3 EMs and a PC all on and old 15 amp circuit with no problem. I know that isn't a great situation but it is in an unfinished part of a 100 year old house.

    As stated Do Not just throw a 30 amp breaker at it! I am volunteer fireman and have seen it happen. As someone posted above it is like the ole days of throwing a penny in a fuse.

    one thing I would check, if you know how, or pay someoneto see if one of your machines is drawing more current (amps) and it should be.

    Transformers deteriorate over time, not just in pinballs.

    Good luck

    Please be safe!

    Don't hack just to get the games going. Do it the right way.

    #39 3 years ago

    Also if it somewhat of an older machine check your AC power cords. Make sure the are not brittle and shorting or pinched in the head!

    #40 3 years ago

    Checking the amp draw (load) on the breaker that is tripping would be a good idea.

    #41 3 years ago

    Bad voltage could also cause breaker to trip. (Voltage drop)

    #42 3 years ago

    Power strip plugged into a Kill-a-Watt gives you a good idea of what the pins are drawing. Doesn't help with other things on the circuit.

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