Even though I know better than to try and fix stuff that ain't broke, I could not resist the urge to do so last week. In the end it worked out but not before some head scratching on my part.
This sorry tale begins a year or more ago when I added another 120V circuit to the Scamp
. It fed a couple of new interior receptacles and one outside under a weatherproof cover. Since I had 12 gauge wire on hand that is what I used although the rest of the Scamp
is wired with 14.
At the time I added the new wire with another one on one side of the existing sole tandem breaker. Even though the breaker box has space for two (full size) breakers, my 1988 Scamp
only had one, tandem, breaker. A tandem breaker is a means to allow two separate circuits to occupy the space ordinarily occupied by just one in a breaker box.
As the other side of the 15-15 tandem already had two wires under it I decided to get another tandem breaker and separate the wires each to their own breaker. Again, fixing something not broke, but an "improvement" nonetheless. I dropped by Home Depot and found the correct tandem breaker on the shelf. I chose a 15-20 as my new circuit used 12 gauge wire and was good for 20 amps. Again, not really necessary, but why not.
The mayhem ensued when I put the new breaker in, separated the circuits, and the two "new" circuits were now dead.
In my Scamp the breaker box is under the sink, in the back of the cabinet, over the wheelwell. Kinda tight back their it is. Wide as I am, I really can only get one arm/hand in to work on stuff. I pulled the breaker, hooked the wires back up the old way, and everything worked. Hmmm, the new breaker could not be bad could it?
Anyway, as usually happens when I take a break and just look at an issue calmly, I saw the problem. The two tabs that energize the breakers are not connected, each has its' own feed lug. At first I did not understand this, but then realized why. The box is intended to be able to hold one 220V breaker, which needs two separate legs. I simply added a 10 gauge jumper wire from the other side over the top, redid the wires and new breakers, and all is now well.
It is pretty much over-kill but should allow easier troubleshooting in the future. Although hopefully I won't have any more trouble!