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Critchy

Keep tripping circuit breaker

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So I’ve had this problem for a while now.  I have resetable circuit breakers.  The one for my 40” light bar trippes all the time.  Sometimes my smaller light bar will trip, almost like the two light bars rotate on which one trips.  My set up is one 40” light bar, one 20” number light bar on the bumper, two side pods, and your normal tail light, front running lights, and gauge lights.  All my lights with the exception of gauges and front running lights are LED.  I ran two pieces of 8 gauge wiring up to the front, each one going to a post for power.   I’m not running relays because I’ve read several post that indicated you don’t need them when running LED’s.  Additionally I ran the car for about a year before adding the 40” light bar and side pods.  I never had a problem with breakers tripping before I had these two items.   So I’m not sure, do I need another hot wiring going to the front, or do I have a ground issue.  Thanks for any help.

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I'm summoning all of my powers of mental telepathy, but unfortunately, the rain is interfering with my abilities.

How about you just tell us what each of your 2 circuit breakers are rated at, and how much each of the light bars are rated at. ;)

Also, do you remember what your voltage was the last couple of times your breakers tripped?

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the Small light bar was 20 and the large was 25, this was what the rep from the light bar place  told me to run.  But I bumped up both going to 25 and 30 just Incase that was wrong and the problem still exists.

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Do you have enough voltage? As voltage goes down, the current goes up, even though the resistance, or load is the same.

For example, a 240w load at 14v is  17.14A. The same load at 12v is 20A. At 10v, it's 24A. So the same load wouldn't trip a 20A breaker at 14v, or 13v, but it would at 12v or below and at 10v it might even trip a 25A breaker.

Did the seller tell you how many watts the light bars are? Can you look it up?

Your 40" light bar has 80 LEDs. If each LED was only 5 watts, that's still a 400w light bar. At 12v, that's drawing at least 33.33A. dangerously close to 35A, close enough it might trip it even if it's within specs. 

I know when I fired up all of my lights at night and the 3 fans kicked on, I saw some really low voltages, below 12v. Knowing what your voltage is when  they tripped is an important part of the equation. 

If you're not really interested in finding out why, you could just move your 35A breaker over to the smaller light bar and put a 40A or 50A on the bigger light bar. If you're really drawing over 25 or 30A, you should consider running relays on both light bars.

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I do want to know what’s going on for sure.  Not sure how to check the voltage though other than looking at the gauge.  I’ll have to go buy a volt meter and figure out how to use it.  

But looking at the gauge on the car, the volts were at 13.  I did notice a drop when the lights went on and off, it was very minimal but it was a drop.  I did notice with the engine off I can leave every light on and nothing trips.  So I’m guessing that means the circuit breakers are the correct size correct?  I would think they would still trip if they were the wrong size even when the car is not running.   Then with the car running I left every single light OFF and the 40” light bar would still trip.  

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👻👹

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I have had older resettable breaker do the same thing. I replaced the breakers and problem fixed. I was told the resetting filament gets old or weak and trips easier. Mine would trip randomly.  

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I tried replacing the circuit breakers already for that reason.  But they are still tripping.  Though

 

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I'd go on Amazon and buy a clamp on multi-meter that can measure AC and DC current, up to 100A. Then you can clamp it onto one of the wires powering the light bars and see how much current you're actually pulling.

Any chance your wiring is chafing on a sharp edge and shorting out?

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Agreed with Socaldmax 

however I also have a question  What Vehicle Battery is in the vehicle example if a Odyssey  Battery it is Not Fully Charged from any smart charger because they charge upto 12v only and an Odyssey Battery is not fully charged until it is charged to 12.84 volts if the Alternator isn't able to keep up with the demand of the running car with options turned on when the light bars are turned on the draw  vs the load capability of the charging system would need the battery to supplement and if not fully charged to spec requirements it would increase  amp causing a tripped breaker.  jmo

this may be an area to check 

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Socal, I ran a brand new power wire and ground wire to the light to rule out any chafing and the problem still exists.  Sand seeker, yes it is an odyssey battery.  But I turned on only the 40” light bar and nothing else besides the engine and it still trips.  If I leave the 40” light bar off, I can run everything else, my 20” light bar, side pods, electric power steering, and all gauge and running lights.  I would assume all of those together would pull more than the 40” light bar.  

So do you guys think a relay will more than likely solve the problem, or do I need more power to the front of the car.  Currently I have two 8 gauge wires going to the front of the car to power the equipment below.  Should that be enough or do I need more power?   Again I never had any of these problems before I put that light bar in, and it still trips when it’s the only thing on besides the car running.  Thanks.

ignition

starter

electric power steering

gauges

running lights front and rear

whip

light

40” light bar

20” light bar

2 side pods

lawerance navigation

Rubbed headset head unit

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Maybe the 40 lightbar has a wiring problem that is shorting out causing the tripped circuit. Test by bypassing the car altogether and put an inline fuse along with a new toggle switch inline with the new power and negative lead wires run directly to the battery if inline fuse fails my guess would be the light bar itself is the problem

 

 

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Ok I think I have it figured out.   I’ve read a few places where people have said that circuit breakers trip easier than fuses blow.  I took the circuit breaker out and put in a 30 amp fuse instead.  I ran the car in the garage with everything on and and it never blew the fuse.   Heading to Glamis Monday morning, so we’ll see how it does this week.  I plan on pulling the car apart after the season to paint it, so if it works good this week then it looks like I’m going to get rid of all my circuit breakers and go to fuses instead.  Anyone have thoughts on the  push button circuit breakers vs. fuses?

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3 hours ago, Critchy said:

Ok I think I have it figured out.   I’ve read a few places where people have said that circuit breakers trip easier than fuses blow.  I took the circuit breaker out and put in a 30 amp fuse instead.  I ran the car in the garage with everything on and and it never blew the fuse.   Heading to Glamis Monday morning, so we’ll see how it does this week.  I plan on pulling the car apart after the season to paint it, so if it works good this week then it looks like I’m going to get rid of all my circuit breakers and go to fuses instead.  Anyone have thoughts on the  push button circuit breakers vs. fuses?

I'd rather go to a larger circuit breaker than switch to fuses. At least you can reset the CB out in the dunes instead of searching around in the dark for fuses, assuming you have all of the right sizes.

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7 hours ago, Critchy said:

Ok I think I have it figured out.   I’ve read a few places where people have said that circuit breakers trip easier than fuses blow.  I took the circuit breaker out and put in a 30 amp fuse instead.  I ran the car in the garage with everything on and and it never blew the fuse.   Heading to Glamis Monday morning, so we’ll see how it does this week.  I plan on pulling the car apart after the season to paint it, so if it works good this week then it looks like I’m going to get rid of all my circuit breakers and go to fuses instead.  Anyone have thoughts on the  push button circuit breakers vs. fuses?

Fuses are typically more sensitive than circuit breakers and will trip faster to overloads and short circuits. If you are using your circuit breaker at or near its ampere rating you can get the nuisance tripping that you are experiencing. As suggested a better solution would be to upsize your circuit breaker. It would be best to determine the actual amps that your light bars draw and size the circuit breakers according to that. What size wire are you using from your circuit breakers to your light bars? 

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