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HF dust collector tripping 20Amp dedicated breaker

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Forum topic by mathguy1981 posted 12-06-2018 06:17 PM 389 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mathguy1981

83 posts in 107 days


12-06-2018 06:17 PM

Good morning,

I have the a brand new good ol’ 2HP harbor freight dust collector and it’s tripping a dedicated circuit breaker every other time it turns on. It’s rated for 14-15Amps or so, and the outlet I’m reusing is for the Beam central vac system that we don’t use. The specs on that are 14 Amps. So in theory this should have been a straight plug and play situation. I don’t believe anything else is on that circuit, however we didn’t build the house so I can’t be 100% sure.

I got a brand new Fluke 323 clamp meter to try to test the draw on initial startup…but that thing might be defective. It has a reading of 0.1 in Amp mode whether I have anything in the clamp or not. If I put it on my big powermatic 2800 drill press and crank up the rmps, I can get a momentary reading of 2-4amps, and that can’t be right either.

So now my diagnosis tool isn’t working either!

I’m thinking the first thing to do is replace the breaker, see if it’s just a bad one. What else could I do?

-- Two thumbs and counting


15 replies so far

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

742 posts in 1610 days


#1 posted 12-06-2018 06:23 PM

do you have a hose hooked up to a tool? It’s possible if you’re turning it on with no hose/duct it’ll pull more than that

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mathguy1981

83 posts in 107 days


#2 posted 12-06-2018 06:27 PM



do you have a hose hooked up to a tool? It s possible if you re turning it on with no hose/duct it ll pull more than that

- GrantA

No sir haven’t gotten that far. So far just the motor, up on the wall.
I forgot to mention I am using a Lone Ranger remote but that shouldn’t be an issue.

-- Two thumbs and counting

View SMP's profile

SMP

121 posts in 108 days


#3 posted 12-06-2018 06:33 PM

Hmm, if you are sure its a dedicated circuit, I would check the fuse in the meter. Had a similar issue and the fuse was blown for some reason. Also double check the batteries. Weak batteries can really screw with meter readings, especially amps.

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GrantA

742 posts in 1610 days


#4 posted 12-06-2018 06:36 PM

That’s your problem, you’re running it with no load and it’s over working itself. Hookup filter and duct then try

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mathguy1981

83 posts in 107 days


#5 posted 12-06-2018 07:19 PM



That s your problem, you re running it with no load and it s over working itself. Hookup filter and duct then try

- GrantA

This is counter intuitive but it I understand what you’re saying, it has access to too MUCH airflow and thus performing too well and spinning too fast?
I’ll definitely hook up some hosing and see if that helps it out.

-- Two thumbs and counting

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

602 posts in 1697 days


#6 posted 12-06-2018 07:31 PM

FWIW – need to learn how to use your new meter:
In order to use the ammeter to check current, you need access to ONE WIRE at time, not the power CABLE.
See, in the power cord you have hot and neutral. AC power flows between them (sort of in/out logic if that helps), and they cancel each other out when you clamp on the cable containing both wires.
Separate the wires in cable, or check the current on single wire near switch/motor and it will work as intended.
Cheers!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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mathguy1981

83 posts in 107 days


#7 posted 12-06-2018 07:39 PM



FWIW – need to learn how to use your new meter:
In order to use the ammeter to check current, you need access to ONE WIRE at time, not the power CABLE.
See, in the power cord you have hot and neutral. AC power flows between them (sort of in/out logic if that helps), and they cancel each other out when you clamp on the cable containing both wires.
Separate the wires in cable, or check the current on single wire near switch/motor and it will work as intended.
Cheers!

- CaptainKlutz


Oy Vey, I feel so dumb. Of course its going to even out. I’ve actually taken a bunch of EE classes, I completely understand the sinusoidal AC wave you’re referring to. See this is where classroom learning and real life intersect.

-- Two thumbs and counting

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1240 posts in 2155 days


#8 posted 12-06-2018 07:52 PM

Yes, the Captain has it right. To avoid having to cut into wires or open up switch housings or junction boxes you can cobble together a short extension cord with one wire exposed for clamping on the meter..

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

742 posts in 1610 days


#9 posted 12-06-2018 08:19 PM

If you want it to last long enough to collect any chips though don’t run it anymore till you get some resistance on it. Motor can burn slap up

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CaptainKlutz

602 posts in 1697 days


#10 posted 12-06-2018 09:24 PM



Oy Vey, I feel so dumb.
.
See this is where classroom learning and real life intersect.
- mathguy1981

Not dumb at all. We ALL have learn the cable .vs wire thing with ammeter.
I’ve seen vetren electricians ‘forget’ and spend 5 minutes trying to figure out why there is no current.

+1 on the current tap trick with short extension cord from Kazooman.
I keep a 12 inch long plug/receptacle adapter in my tool box next to the ammeter wired with 12Ga THHN just for these measurements. :)

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View klassenl's profile

klassenl

191 posts in 2862 days


#11 posted 12-07-2018 01:25 AM

You are right on the edge of capacity for a 15 amp circuit. Those dust collectors are all that way. I happen to have a similar one. The cold hard truth is some breakers will hold some will not. The startup surge on those is quite long compared to other motors.

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

View Bob5103's profile

Bob5103

108 posts in 1036 days


#12 posted 12-07-2018 03:06 AM

Before I modified my HF DC it pulled 14.27 amps at start up and 10.17 running. Throwing a 15 amp breaker will be common. I have mine on a dedicated 20 amp circuit.

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

296 posts in 114 days


#13 posted 12-07-2018 03:21 AM

Normally when a electric motor turns on, there’s a power surge to get it going. This surge is what’s probably tripping the breaker. Are you using a 15 amp line with a 15amp breaker, or a 20 amp line with a 20 amp breaker. Check the manual, what does it say the machine requires. If it’s rated for 20 amp and your using 15 amp. you can possibly expect to trip a circuit.

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mathguy1981

83 posts in 107 days


#14 posted 12-07-2018 02:55 PM

Thanks everyone. Very good information here regarding motor load and that short extension cord with the loop is genius! I’ll be fabri-cobbling one of those together shortly.

-- Two thumbs and counting

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2636 posts in 1590 days


#15 posted 12-07-2018 03:15 PM


Yes, the Captain has it right. To avoid having to cut into wires or open up switch housings or junction boxes you can cobble together a short extension cord with one wire exposed for clamping on the meter..

- Kazooman

So simple it’s brilliant. I’ve not bought one of those meters because I didn’t want to have to cut the wires. Thanks for the tip.

Another option for measuring amps is to use a Kill-A-Watt usage meter. It will tell you the amps you are drawing and can be used to see how many kilowatt hours your appliances are using over time. It also tells you how many volts in case you are getting brown outs and other power issues. A very handy device.

While it correct that you should not run your DC without any resistance for very long. If it is tripping at startup, I don’t think that is problem. Is the breaker one with GFCI? If the circuit was put in specifically for the central vac that might have been required for code. If so it could be that DC has a ground fault? Does your table saw or any other big motor high amp power tools trip it?

EDIT: One way to test with minimal load is to completely block the intake. While it is counterintuitive because the pitch of the sound goes up and sounds like it is straining, exactly the opposite is true. If you block the intake it is basically doing no work and your amps drawn will go down.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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