Reply by Lazyman

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Posted on HF dust collector tripping 20Amp dedicated breaker

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4545 posts in 1997 days

#1 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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