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Block Heater Tripping Circuit Breaker

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by DVS Hardscaper, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    Any diesel mechanics in here?

    I have a Cat 246 Skid steer. And when I plug in the block heater....it trips the circuit breaker.

    At first I thought the cord was bad - so I replaced the cord. (the cord that plugs TO THE ELEMENT, not the extension cord)

    With the new cord, it still tripped the circuit, so I got a new element. (It is the element that goes in a freeze plug hole) And with the new element....it still trips the circuit.

    I have a heavy duty extension cord, and it is not long at all.

    Why is the circuit breaker tripping?

    Could it be that part of the element is making contact with the head and is grounding out? (the element has a rubber seal, to keep coolant from seeping, and I would assume to ground the element)

    Any idea what's goin on here?
  2. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    I'm not a mechanic by a long shot. Is the circuit GFI protected? It could be moisture. Could be a bad breaker, they do get worn out and weak. Replace the breaker before ripping into the skid steer. Block heater draw some good amps.
  3. GradeMan

    GradeMan LawnSite Member
    from canada
    Posts: 214

    I would start with breaker as well, Move up to 30 amp
  4. GradeMan

    GradeMan LawnSite Member
    from canada
    Posts: 214

    Hey do you find that your 246 is to big for your walkway jobs?
  5. Budget

    Budget LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 368

    Sounds like a short in the element it self. A breaker is rated to protect the wire feeding the appliance. So if change the breaker to 30 amp make sure you are with in code and the wire is rated for 30 amp..
    Be safe.:waving:

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    could be a few things first you need a dedicated 20 amp minimium circuit, the extenion cord could be to small of a guage wire causing to much resistence making the breaker heat up.
  7. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    you would be surprised how much those little block heaters draw.
  8. tyaroch

    tyaroch LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Posts: 119

    If it is a GFCI outlet it could trip easily if any moisture is present. switch it out. Also, a 14 wire, 15 amp circuit amy nt work. See if you can use a shorter cord. If that does not work change the supply wire from the breaker panel to a 12 wire 20 amp circuit. JM2 cents.

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