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1 16th January 22:07
kevin m quinley
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Default Electric Smoker Trips Circuit-Breaker??


I have an electric smoker, a Char-Broil. Every time I plug it in to do it's
thing, it trips the circuit breaker to my house and the power goes off. I
can't get anything smoking and it doesn't seem to matter what outlet I plug
into. Same result.

Has anyone else had an issue like this? The unit seems to pull so much
"juice" that it trips the circuit breaker.

Any ideas on a fix, solution or how to go about working around this, short
of paying to rewire the whole house? (or buy a charcoal smoker)

Thanks!

Kevin
Fairfax, VA
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2 16th January 22:07
miles
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Default Electric Smoker Trips Circuit-Breaker??


You've tried different outlets that are on different breakers? What
amps are your breakers, 10, 15, 20amp? Is it possible someone put too
small of breakers in your house? How old of a house? Anything else on
that same breaker such as refrigerator?

Has the smoker done this since new? If the smoker is wired incorrectly
and drawing current off the ground line then it would trip any GFI on
that circuit including a GFI breaker.
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3 16th January 22:07
steve wertz
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Default Electric Smoker Trips Circuit-Breaker??


Make sure it's the only thing on that particular circuit. Do not use
an extension cord either (that really narrows down your choices). It
could be a defective element with a short in it. Unlikely, but
possible.

You can tell what else is on the same circuit by which
lights/appliances go out when you plug it in. Turn off all those
before plugging it in again.

It draws 1650 watts, but I don't know how much current. What size
breakers/fuses on that circuit?

-sw
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4 16th January 22:07
cuchulain libby
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Default Electric Smoker Trips Circuit-Breaker??


There are several tips to an eecb.
To wit:
Find a circuit that has few branches. No a/c, no fridge, etc nothing that
draws the 15 amps this does and nothing automatic, you are the one tripping
the breaker, not the eecb. ( Go look at the meter when it's running, it
spins like a top)
Keep extension cords to a dull roar, buy the smallest gauge and shortest
length if you *have* to use an extension cord. ( Simply grab the plug end,
if it's hot toss it)
Keep it out of the wind; just inside a garage in SoCal, wrapped in a blanket
and surrounded by a box in the NE.
Use unsoaked chunk, maybe wrapped in foil with some holes punched in it and
only til the first 2-4 pieces burn off...
Use hottest tap water to fill the water pan, not cold water.

-Hound
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5 16th January 22:07
cuchulain libby
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Default Electric Smoker Trips Circuit-Breaker??


It'll draw all the amps fed it...

-Hound who used one on a by-God 2-wire fabric-wrapped circuit, the kind that
runs along the joists with glass insulators...
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6 16th January 22:07
the fat man®²°°³
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Default Electric Smoker Trips Circuit-Breaker??


Cuchulain Libby said something like this:

'Scuse me gents, but watts / volts = amps. 13.75 amps on that dude. You can
run it on a 100ft 12 guage cord.
They say not to use extension cords, cause most folks have 16 guage 100 ft.
cords that'll only carry 9 amps.

Remember most houses are wired with 14 guage. Plug your 100 ft. 12 guage
into an outlet as *close* to the panel as possible, thereby shortening the
amount of 14 you have to pull through.


--
The Fat Man-13® ²°°³
When I want your opinion I'll squeeze your head.
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7 16th January 22:08
david higgins
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Default Electric Smoker Trips Circuit-Breaker??


If this isn't clear, by "smallest gauge" Hound means
the smallest *number*. Certainly nothing smaller in
size (larger in number) than 14 gauge, and that only
for short runs. Anything longer than 10..20 feet you
want to use 12 gauge, which can handle 15 amp loads
without a lot of voltage loss.

I'm leaning toward there being something wrong with
the smoker -- that, or every circuit Kevin has tried
has other loads running at the same time, which seems
unlikely.
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8 16th January 22:08
brick
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Default Electric Smoker Trips Circuit-Breaker??


I hate to throw a wet blanket over all the excellent advice contained
in this
thread, but no one has touched on Kevin's primary problem. This
appliance,
and only this appliance, is tripping the master circuit breaker, not
the breaker
that he's plugging it into. He clearly stated that it doesn't matter
where he
plugs it in. The result is the same. That's not only unreal, it defies
all the good
intentions of the National Electric Code. Even if the device is dead
shorted, it
should simply trip the breaker he's plugging into, not the master
breaker. The
only possibility I can think of that fits this scenario is highly
unlikely, but here
it is. The existing total load on the master breaker might be maxed
out. Unlikely,
but that's the only thing I can think of that fits the stated facts.
Thus when Kevin
plugs in an additional 1650 watt load, the master trips instead of the
utility circuit
breaker. (I know, there's so many variables involved in that theory,
it borders on
hogwash). The kicker though, is that his electric bill would look like
the national
debt.

So Kevin, answer just one question. Does it trip instantly or does it
wait a little
while after you plug in the smoker? I'm sorry to say that if it waits
a little while,
then it is likely that your house is maxed out. If it trips instantly,
then you need
an on site inspection by someone qualified to figure it out. Don't
discount the
possibility that you may have a failing master breaker. I've seen it
happen.

Brick
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9 16th January 22:08
miles
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Default Electric Smoker Trips Circuit-Breaker??


Hmm...Thats a new twist on Ohms/Watts law.
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10 16th January 22:08
milesh
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Default Electric Smoker Trips Circuit-Breaker??


Didn't catch that when he stated the power went off that he meant the
entire house and not just power on that one circuit. That would mean as
you said that he is running close to the max amps on the master. Either
he's pulling a ton of power throughout the house or the master breaker is
much smaller than it should be. I have never seen it done but I suppose
it is possible for a master breaker to have a GFI in it. If the smoker is
wired incorrectly it could cause the GFI to trip without actually
exceeding any breakers current rating.
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