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Re: [Shop-talk] Easier EE question

Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Easier EE question
From: Brian Kemp <>
Date: Mon, 06 May 2013 16:55:56 -0700
Cc: shop-talk@Autox.Team.Net
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Eric - I agree that you should try another breaker.  But first, when you 
trip the breaker what else goes out?  In other words, is it a dedicated 
circuit for the bed or is the circuit shared with something else?  As an 
example, I can't start my compressor when the living room TV is on or I 
trip the breaker.  Even then, to start it initially, I have to pulse it 
a few times or it trips the breaker. My situation is a 15A compressor on 
a 20A circuit, but it is a good distance from the breaker box with 
several connections along the way.   (The house came this way - a future 

You may also have a bad outlet.  You could try a good 20A outlet (one of 
the prong holes looks like a sideways "T") and don't use the push in 
connector/back-wire.  You want a large part of the wire well clamped for 
a great connection.

Do you have a different circuit near enough to try?  That is also a 
quick check.

I've never used one, but search for "clamp on amp meter".  It seems like 
a easy solution to check the current going to the bed.  Check it 
compared to the power tag on the bed.  If you don't have one, you can 
buy a new tool.  Amazon had them starting about $20.

If all of that is good, I'd try the top or bottom of the bed by itself.  
My assumption here is that one part may be bad and turning off a bank of 
lights is easier than individual lights.  The top and bottom should each 
pull a near equal current, so you can do a process of elimination and 
look for the problem - half of the top/bottom, then half of the next bad 
half, etc.

Also, that connector that shorted may have failed due to an overload, so 
I'd look at what is around it as well.


On 5/6/2013 11:14 AM, wrote:
> OK, Since I'm out of luck for my other EE question, let me try an easier
> one.  Note, not much shop content, but it does allow me to use tools, and
> it makes the SO happy.
> Anyway, I got a tanning bad for the SO.  She only uses it to relax her
> muscles since her car accident.  But here is the problem...
> The machine worked fine for a while (I got it used*)  But now, when she
> starts it up, it trips the breaker.  I called the company and the breaker
> size (and wiring) I ran was for the correct size (I think it was a 10%
> over max rating.)
> And since the machine worked fine for a while, what could be causing the
> extra current draw?  (and more importantly, how do I find it?)
> Do I just try another breaker first?  is there a way to measure it?
> Thanks.
> *= I got this unit used from someone who had it.  They got rid of it
> because it 'sparked and made  a loud noise.'  When I got it home, turns
> out that one of the connectors had shorted.  I fixed the connector and
> have been using it since.
> Thanks again
> Eric P
> "Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational
> being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory." Ralph
> Waldo Emerson
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