(Topic ID: 81780)

Pinball machine blowing breaker. Thoughts?


By Pinphila

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Ronnie1114
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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#1 5 years ago

I am going to look at a pinball machine and the owner says it keeps blowing the circuit breaker in the house. I'm thinking the machine is just overloading the circuit. It's a TZ. Any thoughts? Thanks

#2 5 years ago

I had a Baby Pac that was tripping my GFCI at my old house. I found a washer had fallen into the area where the electric plug is terminated inside the game and with a little vibration, it would short the hot lead to ground.

#3 5 years ago

I had one that did that... turned out to be a melted and shorting power cord. Don't assume the best (problem in the house wiring), assume you have a problem with the machine. If it is a problem with the machine, the problem will be before the fuse (otherwise the overload would cause the fuse to pop). These are typically not too hard to find and fix.

#4 5 years ago

This is a few things that I would look at immediately - BEFORE TURNING ON CIRCUIT BREAKER!!!
power can shock, cause serious injury, damage property, and may result in death!

-find out how many appliances on same circuit, try a known good outlet with no load(s) if possible.
-check machine cord for damage, plug end, cord length, entry to machine.
-check underside of playfield for shorted power cord, transforms etc.
-use caution and care. GL

#5 5 years ago

Could be 10000000 things, but the MOV comes to mind.

https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/products.asp?cat=76

If the boards don't look fried, don't try to diagnose the problem on site.

Make your offer and take it home.

#6 5 years ago

Thanks guys.

#7 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinphila:

I am going to look at a pinball machine and the owner says it keeps blowing the circuit breaker in the house. I'm thinking the machine is just overloading the circuit. It's a TZ. Any thoughts? Thanks

maybe you can do this with the homeowner, at least you would know if the machine is causing the problem

I run into bad breakers all the time on my service calls to fix homeowner problems, carefully take cover off of breaker panel, make sure the breaker that trips is OFF, use a straight screwdriver on the end of the breaker where the wire is located, carefully turn that loose, pull the wire out, if the breaker above or below is the same 15 or 20 amp, turn that breaker off and remove that black wire , now just put the first wire you took out into that breaker , turn it on , make sure it stays on , then go turn the machine on and check to see if it pops, if not, you have a bad breaker, take note what breaker panel you have, siemens, ge, murray, etc, and make sure you match the amps, I would take the bad breaker out and take it with you home depot , lowes , or electrical suppy house

#8 5 years ago

What??? Please don't tell someone to stick a screw driver in an electrical panel unless you first tell them to turn the MAIN off. Everything in the electrical panel is live. I get what you are saying about testing the breaker, but one small slip and you've got a lot of juice going through you.

If you have a 15 amp circuit, it likely has 14g wire attached to it. I would not hook that into a 20a breaker, even for testing, find another similar size breaker. 20a breaker requires 12g wire.

One other point for newbies, even if the main is off, the lugs are still live. Be careful.

A better way to test is to plug a shop vac or space heater into the outlet the machine is plugged into, even a hair dryer. They likely pull more juice than a pin. If the breaker trips when something like that is plugged into, you know its not the machine. If it doesn't trip, it's the pin.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from Lermods:

What??? Please don't tell someone to stick a screw driver in an electrical panel unless you first tell them to turn the MAIN off. Everything in the electrical panel is live. I get what you are saying about testing the breaker, but one small slip and you've got 110 going through you.
One other point for newbies, even if the main is off, the lugs are still live. Be careful.

you are right about that, but i did say carefully, the problem with turning off the main is that it can be a nightmare with all the electronics running in the house , you end up with all kinds of problems when you shut down the whole house , make sure you use an insulated screwdriver, 120 volts only stings a little

#10 5 years ago
Quoted from bobbyt:

maybe you can do this with the homeowner, at least you would know if the machine is causing the problem
I run into bad breakers all the time on my service calls to fix homeowner problems, carefully take cover off of breaker panel, make sure the breaker that trips is OFF, use a straight screwdriver on the end of the breaker where the wire is located, carefully turn that loose, pull the wire out, if the breaker above or below is the same 15 or 20 amp, turn that breaker off and remove that black wire , now just put the first wire you took out into that breaker , turn it on , make sure it stays on , then go turn the machine on and check to see if it pops, if not, you have a bad breaker, take note what breaker panel you have, siemens, ge, murray, etc, and make sure you match the amps, I would take the bad breaker out and take it with you home depot , lowes , or electrical suppy house

OP. I'm a licensed electrician and I would never tell someone to do this , unless they were a trained electrician. Could it be a bad breaker or overloaded circuit? Absolutely. But there's easier safer ways to find out then this. I would rule the machine out first, then move from there.

#11 5 years ago

its an easy thing to do , making too much of it , just trying to help the guy out

#12 5 years ago

Why not just move the machine to an outlet on a different circuit? If it blows that one too, it's likely the machine.

#13 5 years ago

I won't be taking apart the box. I am very comfortable with electric but in this case, I'll just triage the machine first, offer a price, then hopefully take home.

#14 5 years ago

Why fix the problem for the seller unless he is paying you. Figure worst case and make him an offer from there.

#15 5 years ago

Piece of advice - the less screwing around you do there the better off you'll be. What if you try a different circuit and the machine doesn't trip the breaker? Instantly more dollar signs pop up in the eyes of most sellers. Offer a price assuming you'll need to work on the machine, load it up, and get out of there.

#16 5 years ago
Quoted from jadziedzic:

Piece of advice - the less screwing around you do there the better off you'll be. What if you try a different circuit and the machine doesn't trip the breaker? Instantly more dollar signs pop up in the eyes of most sellers. Offer a price assuming you'll need to work on the machine, load it up, and get out of there.

Exactly.

Don't mess around with diagnosing the game in front of the seller.

Look at the boards for signs of carbon or fire. Look for battery corrosion. look that the transformer is there.

If game is intact, make an offer and take it home to fix.

#17 5 years ago

That's what I plan to do. Offer a price and go. Game is in players shape. Thinking 2500 with the electrical issue.

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinphila:

That's what I plan to do. Offer a price and go. Game is in players shape. Thinking 2500 with the electrical issue.

That's MORE than a fair price.

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