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Bad Contactor, or breaker wired wrong?

 
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ajcamm



Joined: 21 May 2020
Posts: 1
Location: Buffalo, NY


PostLink    Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 12:22 am    Post subject: Bad Contactor, or breaker wired wrong? Reply with quote


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Cheers all, new guy here...
Iím in the process of building my control panel. I opted for contactors (120V Packard C230B) for my high power switching.
Iím only at the beginning, wiring up main power into the panel.

My issue is, when I turn the key switch ON to apply 120V to the coil, my breaker pops...I tried multiple contactors so itís not isolated to the one. I also disconnected anything on the ďloadĒ side of the contactor so this is isolated to only the contactor part of the circuit.

Iíve racked my brain looking at my contactor specs to make sure they are 120V, good there.
I even measured resistance of the coils to make sure I donít have a short...I canít find anywhere what the resistance is supposed to be but Iím getting roughly 270ohms on each coil...pretty consistent across the board.

Iíve measure my power at the receptacle before turning ON power, ~240V across HOT lines, and 120V from each HOT to Neutral.

I could hook up a power supply and tests the contactors, but I suspect its not them since they are brand spanking new. My hunch is that something is a miss at the breaker. What, wonít know until I open it which is the next task...
I installed the breaker myself - this is simple enough and I have previous experience installing breaking just from finishing my basement...

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated!
Cheers!
Andy
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10504
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, German Pils, Belgian Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 1:10 am    Post subject: Re: Bad Contactor, or breaker wired wrong? Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum!

ajcamm wrote:
Iíve racked my brain looking at my contactor specs to make sure they are 120V, good there.
I even measured resistance of the coils to make sure I donít have a short...I canít find anywhere what the resistance is supposed to be but Iím getting roughly 270ohms on each coil...pretty consistent across the board.

Keep in mind that the measured resistance of a relay or contactor coil should indeed measure close to 0 ohms as it is actually a short. Through the magic of electromagnetics however, you don't get infinite current passing through due to the inductive nature of AC vltage passing through a coil wrapped around a ferrite core. Long story short: Measuring resistance doesn't tell you anything - putting a DC voltage across the coil should measure either completely open (blown coil) or short (it works). You've got 3 of them so I'm sure they're fine, assuming they're a model that works and you've wired them correctly.

Quote:
My hunch is that something is a miss at the breaker. What, wonít know until I open it which is the next task... I installed the breaker myself - this is simple enough and I have previous experience installing breaking just from finishing my basement...

Most likely the breaker. See my control panel build instructions for details on the wiring a GFCI (I'm assuming it's a GFCI breaker). They're wired differently than normal breakers and many people (even licenced electricians) get this wrong. Many times a year we get a panicked email from someone who bought a pre-assembled panel from us that consistenly pops the GFCI breaker, and it's their electrician that made a mistake and wired it as a regular (non GFCI breaker). See here for details: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/control-panel-part-2?page=3

Good luck!

Kal

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