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Old 10-31-2015, 12:46 PM
yardburd yardburd is offline
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Default 200A breaker question: continuity test?

I have a 200A Siemans circuit breaker that apparently has no continuity between the input and output terminals. 200 ohms, 200 megohms, on, off, my multimeter indicates an open circuit. Not good for a breaker I think. Am I missing something here? It is acting erratic. Sometimes totally dead, sometimes live on one leg, then the other, sometimes works fine. I have torqued down all connections and verified that 120V is always present at the input. My next solution is really big wire nuts.
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yardburd View Post
I have a 200A Siemans circuit breaker that apparently has no continuity between the input and output terminals. 200 ohms, 200 megohms, on, off, my multimeter indicates an open circuit. Not good for a breaker I think. Am I missing something here? It is acting erratic. Sometimes totally dead, sometimes live on one leg, then the other, sometimes works fine. I have torqued down all connections and verified that 120V is always present at the input. My next solution is really big wire nuts.
Before you use the wire nuts make sure you're in good graces with the local Fire Department. It's likely you will need them.

If it sometimes works, sometimes doesn't it has probably deteriorated internally. Replace it.
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:08 PM
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I would second not using wire nuts instead of the breaker. A 200 amp breaker is HUGE! Is this the main breaker for the house?

I'm a little confused by your statement. If the breaker is closed and you test from one side to the other is it 200 ohms, 200 mega ohms or open? It can't be all, it has to be either. Are you testing it installed or are you doing in place? To test it for continuity you would need to remove it from the panel. An easier way is to test voltage across the terminals for the wires leaving the breaker. How many wires are coming out of it?
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:20 PM
yardburd yardburd is offline
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Default 200A breaker

This is a brand-new-out of the box breaker. It has the same test results as the one that is installed. The original was removed and tested and tested dead even though it worked, even if erratically. Am I correct in assuming that there should be continuity between inputs and outputs in the ON position? I now have three of these little jewels. One on the service entrance, one on the house panel and one in the box. Can all three be bad?
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:39 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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A friend who is an electrician/lineman just told me about a similar situation he ran into last week. He said the problem was not the breaker or the line (they checked it out to the nearest transformer). It ended up being a jumper between two buss bars in the box. He said this is usually caused by either a bad neutral circuit or a bad or corroded ground. Does that make sense? I am no electrician, so I am just taking his word. Do your lights, etc. flash or flicker? Anyway, in the case he mentioned, when the jumper wire on the buss bars was tightened, the problem corrected. Your statement concerning resistance across the breaker doesn't make sense to me either, though. It should either be open (if the breaker is off) or continuous (essentially 0 ohms) if the breaker is on. Measureable resistance across a closed breaker would equal HEAT.

My next question would be, "Are you measuring between the proper terminals?". If you have a two-phase circuit, you would not have continuity between the phases--just between each phase and neutral.
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Old 11-01-2015, 04:40 AM
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Question: Is this a 2 pole breaker as in 220 volt? If so, you should check the line voltage (between both "in put" bars.). It should read 220 volts. If not, then you have a problem with the coming lines - either the transformer or the line drop to the main panel.
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Old 11-02-2015, 02:25 AM
Crawlingtoy Male Crawlingtoy is offline
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I would say that you should call a qualified electrician and have them take a look. Honestly, it's not worth the possible issues to do things the wrong way. If you don't understand, find someone who does. Even pro's have to ask for help sometimes!
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:38 PM
yardburd yardburd is offline
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Default 200A breaker

Since it's now a weekday and the folks at Siemans are at work, I decided to give them a call. Turns out that the circuitry inside the breaker forms an "X". The right-side input feeds the left-side output and the left-side input feeds the right-side output. It never occurred to me to try that hookup. Maybe they should stencil a diagram on the body of the breaker to avoid confusing dummies like me. Thanks for the advice, guys.
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