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View Full Version : Home and Auto Any electricians on here , I have a problem.


ROYC75
04-28-2008, 06:46 PM
3 weeks ago, I had 5 rooms in my house lose electricity. I went down to the garage to reset the breaker, problem is, it wasn't tripped. About the time I went back upstairs, the power came on. Then it went off and on several times within a matter of 10 seconds.

I went and bought 2 new 20 amp breakers, cut the power and replaced the breaker thinking it went bad, thinking the breaker never got hot enough to trip the breaker. Replaced new breaker, problem solved.

Or so I thought. That lasted for 2 1/2 weeks and again, it started just like last time. Lights going on and off, losing power several times within a few seconds. So Tuesday this last week , I replaced that breaker, thinking I got a bad one after talking to the local electrical hardware supply store. They gave me a new one , thinking it was the breaker and since there was no smoke, nothing. Plus their was an electrician there that said I got a faulty breaker.

So here I am, on another new breaker and it is starting to do it again. It's bitch cause my office runs off that breaker.

The lights are coming on and off at times. I'm typing as fast as I can hoping I don't lose power again.

No smoke, no sparks, no boxes, switches are hot, not even the breaker.

BTW, it's a Square D box, all slots are taken so switching places is not an option.

What gives ? Anybody ?

kstater
04-28-2008, 06:48 PM
Whole house or just parts of house?

keg in kc
04-28-2008, 06:51 PM
Your house is haunted. You're doomed.

mikeyis4dcats.
04-28-2008, 06:51 PM
could be a broken wire...better call an electrician. pretty dangerous if thats the case.

Sully
04-28-2008, 06:52 PM
Are you sure it's not a Poltergeist?

Bugeater
04-28-2008, 06:52 PM
I'm no electrician, but my guess is you have a loose wire somewhere in the circuit or maybe a faulty outlet or other device. Have fun trying to track that down, especially with 5 rooms on the circuit.

aturnis
04-28-2008, 06:53 PM
Definitely ghosts....you should rent Poltergeist. Might help.

mikeyis4dcats.
04-28-2008, 06:54 PM
oh, by the way, thats probably too many devices on one circuit. that can also be dangerous. I'd ask your electrician to check while he's there and see if you're exceeding the loading allowed by code.

Brock
04-28-2008, 06:54 PM
Might be something going on out at the pole.

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 06:54 PM
Whole house or just parts of house?


Only those five rooms . We have a total of 13 rooms in the house.......:doh!:

Hydrae
04-28-2008, 06:54 PM
Check that your neighbors don't have a light switch they have been trying to figure out what it runs.










I love that ad! :)

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 06:55 PM
Your house is haunted. You're doomed.

We do have some strange creature or spirit in the house ...... I'm serious, I have some stories to tell ya when I have the time.:eek:

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 06:56 PM
could be a broken wire...better call an electrician. pretty dangerous if thats the case.


When I first checked the breaker, I checked all the wires on the box and the breakers, all were tight. With that many rooms, there are alot of switches and boxes to check.

stlchiefs
04-28-2008, 06:57 PM
Doesn't sound like something to mess around with. Time to call a pro.

keg in kc
04-28-2008, 06:57 PM
We do have some strange creature in the house ...... I'm serious, Well, that goes without saying, since, you know, you live there...

[/evil laughter]

Bugeater
04-28-2008, 07:00 PM
Have you replaced any light fixtures recently? Maybe something came loose?

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 07:02 PM
Damn thing is driving me nuts ......... The other day I was running a small window AC, several lights on in the house ( kids ) , nothing, worked perfect. Today, nothing on but a few small things, 1 ceiling fan 1 light and 2 PC's, 1 fax, 2 phones , a coffee pot, that's all .

Now here it is dark, all lights on ........ nothing, working fine so far. Damn ghost !

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 07:02 PM
Have you replaced any light fixtures recently? Maybe something came loose?

Nope ........ allthe same as I bought the house 8 years ago.

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 07:02 PM
Well, that goes without saying, since, you know, you live there...

[/evil laughter]

ROFL

CrazyPhuD
04-28-2008, 07:09 PM
Damn thing is driving me nuts ......... The other day I was running a small window AC, several lights on in the house ( kids ) , nothing, worked perfect. Today, nothing on but a few small things, 1 ceiling fan 1 light and 2 PC's, 1 fax, 2 phones , a coffee pot, that's all .

Now here it is dark, all lights on ........ nothing, working fine so far. Damn ghost !

Does it consistently happen with one appliance or one set of appliances. You could have a faultly appliance that's drawing WAY too much power. But serious this is probably something you don't want to mess with. Call the pro, better safe than sorry, you don't want an electrical issue causing a fire.

Skip Towne
04-28-2008, 07:12 PM
I"ll bet III is involved in this somehow.

Dinny Blues
04-28-2008, 07:12 PM
Tighten all of the screws on the wires connected to the neutral bar and the ground bar in the panel.

If there is another space or two available in your breaker panel, move the new breakers to a new space in the panel. The reason for this is the metal on the "finger" where your breaker is "stabbed" can break down over time due to the flow of electrons and some other physical sciences stuff. It can be bad even if it looks good, and I don't know why.

If this doesn't work, PM me.

Dinny

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 07:20 PM
Does it consistently happen with one appliance or one set of appliances. You could have a faultly appliance that's drawing WAY too much power. But serious this is probably something you don't want to mess with. Call the pro, better safe than sorry, you don't want an electrical issue causing a fire.

Nope, nothing, no one thing, like I said, I was pulling more amps thru it with the window unit and all than when it happened to day with only 1 light switch on.

Now there are 5 lights on, plus the office......... it freaking crazy.

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 07:22 PM
Tighten all of the screws on the wires connected to the neutral bar and the ground bar in the panel.

If there is another space or two available in your breaker panel, move the new breakers to a new space in the panel. The reason for this is the metal on the "finger" where your breaker is "stabbed" can break down over time due to the flow of electrons and some other physical sciences stuff. It can be bad even if it looks good, and I don't know why.

If this doesn't work, PM me.

Dinny


Done all that when the main breaker was off. Not only the one in question, but all of them, making sure the ground wire was secure. I pushed that one breaker in soild, making sure it made good contact finger. None of the other breakers were lose or had any loose wires.Can't move the breaker, no room. The only thing I could try there is to switch a different one with the one above it, the one below is a 220.

I'm stumped ......:doh!::grr:

chop
04-28-2008, 07:32 PM
Just curious....does this problem occur at a particular time of day or is it random?

CrazyPhuD
04-28-2008, 07:37 PM
Is your house infested with mynocks? Chewing on the power cable perhaps?

Actually seriously any rodent issues? Something chewing on the wiring that would break the connection and reconnect? The flicker is odd, guess on bad connections or faulty power(either coming in the house or due to excessive and variable draw).

Interesting link...

http://www.aaanimalcontrol.com/ratchew.htm

Extra Point
04-28-2008, 07:38 PM
A beaker's broken breaker? (You know I'm ribbing you, as I have a kid at KU.)

Got a volt meter? Try isolating where you don't have voltage in your outlets. You most likely have break in a hot. Have you put up a picture with a nail? If so, you may have an arc fault, where there's a bridge intermittently between hot and neutral, so the breaker trips.

Your house is most likely grandfathered in, but when you change the wiring, you have to pull a permit, and in bedrooms, the city will probably have you put in arc fault breakers in each bedroom, as they are called for in new installations and some re-do's. The arc faults require three spaces each, meaning you're screwed and will have to buy a new service panel. Fun stuff!

I think GoBo's right: loose wire in the circuit. I like Hydrae's explanation most.

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 07:51 PM
Just curious....does this problem occur at a particular time of day or is it random?

Random ...... whenever if feels like it.

NCarlsCorner2
04-28-2008, 08:15 PM
Sounds like a loose common wire in the circuit, you would have to trace down everything on the circuit and check all the connections.

Phobia
04-28-2008, 08:19 PM
Roughly 50% of the population can do 50% of the work required to maintain one's home. This issue falls into the 50% of the work 50% can't do. You should pay a professional 100% to repair it or risk burning your home 100% to the ground.

alanm
04-28-2008, 08:22 PM
Are you sure it's not a Poltergeist?
That's what I always hear when you watch Ghost Hunters. That a spirt is trying to manifest by drawing energy. :)

PastorMikH
04-28-2008, 08:36 PM
Roy, you might want to crawl under your house and see if any of the tires are sitting on electrical wires. Also check the concrete blocks to make sure there aren't any wires being pinched by them too.


:)



Actually, we have a problem similar to this in our first church. Outlets in my office wouldn't work, lights in the bathroom, half the sanctuary outlets and a outdoor light - all on the same circuit. I searched and searched and was completely stumped. I ended up on a whim deciding to start at the box and check everything on the circuit. I pulled plates and checked outlets with a voltmeter. I found one outlet where wires had just been stripped and pushed in the back quick connects instead of wrapped around the screw and tightened, and had come loose. I pulled the outlet, reconnected the wires at the screws and everything came on and worked fine.

As I read your story, I got to thinking it is possible that you have a similar problem and plugging/unplugging something may be shaking the outlet causing wires to lose contact.



Also, keep in mind that electricity is dangerous. Extreme caution should be used. If you are not sure of what you are doing, pony up the bucks and hire a pro. The $ you save on hospital bills will more than pay him. If you can't afford to hire someone, at least let Roy3 do the work for you.:)

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 11:40 PM
Roughly 50% of the population can do 50% of the work required to maintain one's home. This issue falls into the 50% of the work 50% can't do. You should pay a professional 100% to repair it or risk burning your home 100% to the ground.

I have done some wiring, rewiring some my own and even installing a 220 in this same box,so I'm not completely stupid. But this one does have me stumped as well as I have consulted with a few electricians, all of them are stumped as well. So it's going to be a process of elimination is what most are telling me.

Dinny Blues mentioned something to try, stating this has happened to him before . I'll try it when I get the time, I may have to eventually replace the electrical box, which is something I will him or somebody else do for me.

I will be careful guys ....... Thanks for the concern.

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 11:41 PM
Sounds like a loose common wire in the circuit, you would have to trace down everything on the circuit and check all the connections.


That is something that has been mentioned .......

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 11:44 PM
Roy, you might want to crawl under your house and see if any of the tires are sitting on electrical wires. Also check the concrete blocks to make sure there aren't any wires being pinched by them too.


:)



Actually, we have a problem similar to this in our first church. Outlets in my office wouldn't work, lights in the bathroom, half the sanctuary outlets and a outdoor light - all on the same circuit. I searched and searched and was completely stumped. I ended up on a whim deciding to start at the box and check everything on the circuit. I pulled plates and checked outlets with a voltmeter. I found one outlet where wires had just been stripped and pushed in the back quick connects instead of wrapped around the screw and tightened, and had come loose. I pulled the outlet, reconnected the wires at the screws and everything came on and worked fine.

As I read your story, I got to thinking it is possible that you have a similar problem and plugging/unplugging something may be shaking the outlet causing wires to lose contact.



Also, keep in mind that electricity is dangerous. Extreme caution should be used. If you are not sure of what you are doing, pony up the bucks and hire a pro. The $ you save on hospital bills will more than pay him. If you can't afford to hire someone, at least let Roy3 do the work for you.:)

Ha Ha ......... crawling under all of that poured concrete floor ? I would never fit ........

The breaker box is right inside of my garage, which is just outside the door from my basement, which is under the house we live in...... which is under the roof over our head.:D

ROYC75
04-28-2008, 11:47 PM
That's what I always hear when you watch Ghost Hunters. That a spirt is trying to manifest by drawing energy. :)

At first I was looking for III when the power started to go out and then on again , rapidly, I went downstairs to see if he was playing Frankenstein again.:eek:

mikeyis4dcats.
04-29-2008, 09:52 AM
When I first checked the breaker, I checked all the wires on the box and the breakers, all were tight. With that many rooms, there are alot of switches and boxes to check.

I mean it could be broken somewhere along the circuit.

Brock
04-29-2008, 09:54 AM
I have done some wiring, rewiring some my own and even installing a 220 in this same box.

Okay, well then, that's where I would start.

acesn8s
04-29-2008, 10:30 AM
Have you tried to put the tv outside?

Shaid
04-29-2008, 10:39 AM
Might be something going on out at the pole.

Your house has a pole? Is your wife hot? This thread is worthless without pics!! :p

13and3
04-29-2008, 05:10 PM
Im a licensed electrician, one guess could be that you have aluminum feeder wires coming in from the outside to your panel, they may need to be tightend however you would have to do that with the power on, not safe for a novice.

runnercyclist
04-29-2008, 08:06 PM
Most likely problem is a arcing serial fault in the wiring (very dangerous). New 2008 NEC code calls for combo arc fault circuit interrupting circuit breakers for this specific reason. My advice is to call a licensed electrician and have him retrofit your Square D panel with an Eaton Cutler-Hammer renovation loadcenter with combo AFCI devices.

Phobia
04-29-2008, 08:11 PM
Fill each room with propane. The one that burns is probably the your issue.

ExtremeChief
04-29-2008, 08:23 PM
It's not an overamperage problem or you would trip a breaker.
You could be losing power on the line side of your breaker box, but you would lose half of your electricity in your house, not just a few things.
Sure sounds like a neutral problem (as was mentioned before). They can be tied together multiple times from outlet to outlet to light in different junction boxes.
I would think if it was a problem with the hot wire, whether it was broken or arching, you would trip the breaker.

It would be nice to use a multimeter and see if you are actually getting 110 VAC between the hot and neutral (not earth ground) at your outlets.

Probably should get an electrician in there, he can use a megger to test the wires going back to your breaker box and tell you if you have a problem.

CrazyPhuD
04-29-2008, 08:23 PM
ROFL

runnercyclist
04-29-2008, 08:35 PM
It's not an overamperage problem or you would trip a breaker.
You could be losing power on the line side of your breaker box, but you would lose half of your electricity in your house, not just a few things.
Sure sounds like a neutral problem (as was mentioned before). They can be tied together multiple times from outlet to outlet to light in different junction boxes.
I would think if it was a problem with the hot wire, whether it was broken or arching, you would trip the breaker.

It would be nice to use a multimeter and see if you are actually getting 110 VAC between the hot and neutral (not earth ground) at your outlets.

Probably should get an electrician in there, he can use a megger to test the wires going back to your breaker box and tell you if you have a problem.


A serial arc fault does not draw enough amperes to trip the breaker, hence the extreme danger. See my recomendation above.

ExtremeChief
04-29-2008, 09:22 PM
A serial arc fault does not draw enough amperes to trip the breaker, hence the extreme danger. See my recomendation above.



I just wouldn't recommend having an electrician install something just to get to 2008 NEC code when it may not be a serial arc fault. What does something like that cost? Either way I guess we would all agree he needs to get an electrician in there to troubleshoot the problem.

13and3
04-30-2008, 03:36 PM
like i said a bad feeder connection can cause one half of the panel to go dead, that means every other circuit in the house. In this event dryers and electric ranges tend not to heat up as quickly, so you might check that and see if that is a symptom that occurs also. I have seen this happen numerous times with aluminum feeders becuase they expand and contract with heat and loosen inside of thier connections, creating intermitent connections and arching, wich can lead to fires.