Back in February, I bought my fiancee a new treadmill. The thing was extremely nice and worked great for about a week. Then, we started having problems with the treadmill tripping the circuit breaker. Every time we would reset the breaker, it would trip again as soon as we turned on the treadmill. Being that we live in a house that is barely 2 years old, I thought the wiring in the house was sufficient. However, we put the treadmill in one of our guest bedrooms which only had a 15 amp circuit for the entire room. I know 15 amps aren’t much, but other than the lights, the treadmill is the only other thing on that breaker when in use.
At first, my biggest worry was that the treadmill was defective. Instead of jumping to conclusions and going through all the trouble of sending the treadmill back, I did a little bit of research and found plenty of others having the same issue with similar and even identical treadmills. As a “fix”, many of the people I read reviews from said that simply swapping out their 15 amp breaker for a 20 amp resolved the issue. Personally, I wasn’t too pleased with this option as I’ve known others to do this in the past. For fear of causing a fire, I chose to look for another “solution”.
The manual that came with the treadmill said that it was regulated at 14 amps. So, I thought that I could get away with buying a standard surge protector that had a switch which would trip instead of the circuit breaker. Surely this would do the trick. Even if the treadmill was defective, I thought a normal surge protector would work and it did … for about a week. Every time we turned on the treadmill, it would still trip the circuit breaker, but not the surge protector. WTF?? By this point, I was getting furious with this thing. I felt like it was time to return the treadmill. Before I did though, my fiancee pointed me to a website from a guy that had almost an identical experience as we did, but had 1 final suggestion to make which apparently worked for him. I decided to give it one more try and follow what the writer had to say.
As I mentioned before, my house is brand new and all of its wiring is up to code. As it turned out, this was what the problem was all along. All wiring is subjective to “noise”. Wiring that isn’t shielded properly can allow “noise” (external interference such as radio, microwave, and even wireless networking) to affect the load traveling through the wires. Apparently, new wiring is shielded so well that any “noise” that gets on the line has a hard time getting out. Since the treadmill has a huge motor powering it, this can add a lot of extra “noise” to the line which will ultimately trip the circuit breaker. To prevent this from happening, the author of the article above claimed that a surge protector with EMI (electromagnetic interference) and RFI (radio frequency interference) filtration was required.
So, I got online to see what I could find. Over at Amazon.com, I came across the Belkin Professional Series SurgeMaster Surge Protector. It includes 12 outlets and an extra long 10ft cord. Not only does it provide protection for standard AC outlets, it also provides protection for coax, ethernet, phone, and fax. It’s regulated for protection of up to 3996 joules. Best of all, it includes an EMI / RFI filter for noise for up to 75 dB reduction. My local Office Depot had this surge protector in stock for around $45. Belkin.com had the same product for around $65. But, good ol’ Amazon.com had it in stock for about $27. So, I went ahead and ordered one from Amazon and also received free shipping.
When the product arrived, I plugged it up and fired up the treadmill. I was able to run the treadmill at max speed for about 30 minutes without any interruptions. As a test, I also turned on the TV, radio, ceiling fan, overhead light, and reading lamp in the room to make sure that the circuit wouldn’t be tripped. Woo hoo! It worked! My fiancee runs about 3+ miles every day on the treadmill and the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped once since we added the Belkin SurgeMaster. In fact, I’ve been so happy with this product that I’ve already purchased several more (one for each desk in the office, one for the entertainment system in the living room, and a few others for protection in the bedrooms).
To sum things up, if you’re having problems with treadmills, appliances, or other electronics in your house tripping your circuit breaker, try getting one of these Belkin SurgeMaster surge protectors and see if your problems go away. I tried resolving my issue with several different surge protectors (including other Belkin products). But, only the SurgeMaster with the EMI/RFI filter worked. If you find yourself having similar issues, you can order the same surge protector I mentioned here from the Amazon link below. Also, if you do have similar issues, tell us your story in the comments below. I’d love to see what others used as solutions.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any damages that might occur from using or not using this product. The information in this article is based solely on my own experience with the product. You should consult your electrician before attempting anything mentioned in this article.
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