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Thread: Circuit Breaker Trips same time every night

  1. #1

    Default Circuit Breaker Trips same time every night

    On the same line are three outside plugs, overhead bathroom light (75 watt)and vanity light in bathroom (three sixty watt light bulbs) and two outside lights (75 watts a light). On one outside plug are outside garden patio lights 12 watts a light and no more than ten lights. Nothing else plugged in to other two outlets and also outside motion detector light on same circuit. Motion detector light has one light that turns on and off and one set to motion. The switch that turns on the motion detector light that turns on and off also turns on and off another floodlight some 15 yards away.

    Problem statement. Circuit trips almost every night between hours of 1 and 6 am as bathroom lights work fine before going to bed and circuit trips by the time you get up. Have paid over 400 dollars to electricians who "investigated", replaced circuit breaker and still not fixed. Strange thing is that almost every single night the circuit trips. You can leave the bathroom light on throughout day and no problem, just trips at night. Have turned off all outside lights, did not turn on floodlights, unplugged garden lights and still tripped? Did replace vanity light as it was very old and problem went away for 2-3 weeks then returned all of a sudden. I am not electrician but fear my house is turned into Blair Witch Project. Bought a motion detector light replacement but have still not replaced as it may be a bear to get the old one off without some sort of idea motion detector light (and its on off companion) are likely the problem. Suggestions more than welcome.

  2. #2
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    North Carolina


    If you have paid an electrician $400 dollars I suggest you call them back and have them fix the problem or call your licensing board and have them get the electrician fix it.

    If you paid some maintainence man this $400 then you just wasted your money and still need to spend some to get a real electrician.

  3. #3


    Sometimes there are intermittent problems which take a bit of trial and error and time to fix. One way to attack this problem is to disconnect portions of the circuit and see if the problem still happens.

    So if you have a circuit which goes to A, B, C, and D. Then start by disconnecting (at the junction box) A and B. Then wait a few days and see if problem still happens. If still there, then try disconnecting C. If problem goes away, then check out C, etc.

    Note: As a rule, these things will work just fine when the electrician shows up!

  4. #4

    Question My experience at work........

    When is sunrise where you live?? A problem the company where I worked had is that when the building outside lights shut off in the morning, it would trip the breaker. These lights were on a sensor to turn on at dusk and off at dawn. We had the breaker replaced, but it kept occuring. We had this sensor replaced on the roof and the problem quit. Maybe the motion sensor has a short circuit tripping the breaker. Is the light sealed properly?? Is the seal between the bulb and the fixture dry and brittle??

    Just my $.01


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