Electrical – What could be causing the main breaker to continually trip


I live in a apartment, it has a 100 amp main breaker. It trips usually everyday at 6 pm and sometimes a couple of times after the first.

The individual breakers don't.

The main breaker gets hot to touch.

The maintenance man has an amp meter. Checks to see it it getting overloaded. But the amps never go over 70. We turn everything on as when it tripped. Now they to the point they say they going to change the breaker box.

This is getting to be a pain in you know where. I thought there could be a short somewhere, but seems it would trip the individual breaker first. Those breakers are not even hot. Mind boggle.

Best Answer

This is a classic problem. The breaker connection to the buss is compromised/arcing/burned/etc. The fact that the breaker is getting hot and tripping under a load well below it's rating is clear evidence. This fact also says it is past the time when it should have been replaced.

Tell your "maintenance man" to get a real electrician in there NOW! This job is well beyond the scope of a maintenance man. It is almost a certainty that the enclosure/guts will need to be replaced along with the breaker itself.

I have photos of this exact situation from some of the ones I have done.