Outback x-240 throwing breaker

wrdaiglewrdaigle Solar Expert Posts: 65 ✭✭✭✭
What is the lifespan on an outback X-240? I've had one in service since 2006 and this week it tripped a 25A breaker for no apparent reason. Currently it always powered, but it's mostly just waiting for something to happen. My well pump and table saw are the 240 appliances I have. I have it wired to one 240V main and one 240V subpanel. Each panel has a single 240V circuit (the pump and the table saw), but approximately half of the 120V circuits in each panel are connected to the X240-generated side of the panel. Other than the pump and table saw, I don't have any big loads. The strange thing is, the breaker was tripped while I was gone. I have online monitoring of my system and know the exact time the breaker was thrown (since my internet router is on the x240 side of the breaker), so I'm confident that neither the pump nor the saw was in use when the breaker was tripped. Alll of my other house loads combined don't add up to 25A, so I'm not sure what happened. Any thoughts?

Comments

  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Outback x-240 throwing breaker

    It is possible for a breaker to trip without any apparent reason.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Outback x-240 throwing breaker

    i'm not sure if you say it stays tripped or not now. is it on input or output of xfmr? could be just a flaky breaker, but if on input of xfmr it could be a winding in the xmfr intermittently shorting. i hope it's only the breaker that is going flaky.
  • wrdaiglewrdaigle Solar Expert Posts: 65 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Outback x-240 throwing breaker
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    It is possible for a breaker to trip without any apparent reason.

    Not that I know of. It's only happened once. Hopefully it's a fluke.
  • wrdaiglewrdaigle Solar Expert Posts: 65 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Outback x-240 throwing breaker
    niel wrote: »
    i'm not sure if you say it stays tripped or not now. is it on input or output of xfmr? could be just a flaky breaker, but if on input of xfmr it could be a winding in the xmfr intermittently shorting. i hope it's only the breaker that is going flaky.

    It doesn't stay tripped. I reset it and all has been fine and dandy for a couple days.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Outback x-240 throwing breaker

    ok. if it does it in the future i'd replace the breaker then.
  • wrdaiglewrdaigle Solar Expert Posts: 65 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Outback x-240 throwing breaker
    niel wrote: »
    ok. if it does it in the future i'd replace the breaker then.
    Sounds like a plan. Thanks Niel.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,485 admin
    Re: Outback x-240 throwing breaker

    I agree--It sounds like the breaker is getting "weak"... Replace it now--Or at least have a spare on site.

    Check the terminals and bus blades in the rear of the breaker (if plugs into panel). Look for loose connections/oxidation/heating. I have seen breakers fail from water dripping down wiring (leaking weather-head, failed conduit in concrete construction, etc.).

    50 year old breakers--Will fail from age/heat/thermal cycling. Breakers with only 7 years--I would suspect other issues (running breaker very near rated power; loads behaving strangely?).

    If the inverter trips the output breaker -- I would not expect it to recover without servicing. Inverter needing at least one trip to the shop in the first 10 years--not unusual. Needing repair/replacement after 10+ years--Expected.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mtdocmtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
    Re: Outback x-240 throwing breaker

    A breaker on mine did this once a few months after the install a few years ago. Has never done it again since.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 975 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Outback x-240 throwing breaker

    Another reason a breaker could trip like this is if the AC driving it goes off and comes back just cycles later because of core saturation.
    When the power comes back up, if it comes back up with the wrong polarity at the right time, the current can go high for
    a moment and might trip the breaker.

    This would tend more to happen if you were on grid though because the grid doesn't current limit as much as an inverter will limit.

    Of course it happened while you were gone so who knows ?

    boB
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