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ITSANSS 05-08-2011 08:33 AM

240v questions....
 
Well, I've got some problems with my 240v at my house.

Had an air conditioner guy come out to do an A/C unit inspection and none of the 240v operated stuff in the house is working. So he couldn't do the inspection! The 240v stuff was working a few weeks ago and for some reason it has quit. I don't live in the house at the moment, which is why last known working time was three weeks ago and not three minutes ago. Haha

There is a shop next door the house, which is a mobile home by the way, and the electrical, water, and cable actually come from the shop and feed the mobile home. There is also a 240v outlet in the shop. When I put my multimeter to it, black lead in the third, round hole, and red lead in the rectangle shaped hole I get ~120v in both rectangle holes. Now, should both holes be reading 240v or do they both supply 120v which combined is 240v?

There is a tethered 50A fuse breaker in the breaker box in the shop. I assume that this is the 240v breaker as it is the only "two-in-one" breaker in the box. When I put my black multimeter lead to the ground inside the breaker box and touch the wires going to the breaker with the red lead, both sides read 120v. Again, combined would be 240v. Is this correct or should both sides read 240v?

The A/C guy ain't an electrician (and neither am I!! lol) but he said that perhaps something was wrong with the main line coming into the breaker box. I'm in southwest Oklahoma and it's windy 355/365 days of the year. Ahh, The Great Plains. Well, a few weeks ago we had 50 MPH sustained winds with 70 MPH gusts. That ain't unheard of but it is uncommon to be that windy and there not be a thunderstorm or anything like that and it lasted....allll....dayy....looong and into the night. Usually, around here that kinda' wind is short lived and in a thunderstorm. I had a lot of damage to fences, etc. Anyhow, maybe the wind did something to the outside line because that wind storm was almost exactly three weeks ago.

I'm also wonderin', do the main lines from the pole come into the breaker box at 240v or 120v? I saw a thing on YouTube that made me believe that it came in at 240v and my uncle also thinks that it comes in as 240v.

Sorry for the short story long!

Thanks, ya'll!

rjniles 05-08-2011 09:02 AM

A 240 volt circuit measures 120 volts from each hot leg to ground or neutral. To test for 240 volts, measure across the 2 hot legs.

a7ecorsair 05-08-2011 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ITSANSS (Post 643892)
I'm also wonderin', do the main lines from the pole come into the breaker box at 240v or 120v? I saw a thing on YouTube that made me believe that it came in at 240v and my uncle also thinks that it comes in as 240v.
Thanks, ya'll!

Your incoming power is 240 volts between the two hot lines which would be connected to the meter and then to your main breaker. The main breaker is connected to the two bus bars in the panel. The neutral line comes in through the meter and then to the neutral bus bar. You will have 240 volts across the two hot lines and 120 volts across either hot line and neutral. If you had one open hot line coming into the panel you would also be missing 1/2 of your 120 volt circuits if they are evenly divided between the two bus bars.

ITSANSS 05-08-2011 01:34 PM

Thanks for the replies, ya'll.

Ok, so I AM getting 240v to the meter and to the 240v volt outlet in the shop. I reckon next thing to do is to recheck the house 240v outlet. I believe it was the same scenario as the shop, though, with two 120v readings from both rectangle holes in the outlet, but I need to check to be sure. There is a breaker box inside the house, also. I don't recall there being a double breaker, but surely there is. I reckon I need to take the front panel of the breaker box off and check the voltage to that breaker.

Now let me as ya'll this...Generally, does each 240v outlet have its own circuit breaker? Or can there be a couple 240v outlets on one breaker?

Thanks! I think we're getting it narrowed down! Hopefully this don't cost me much money, if any! :yes:

rjniles 05-08-2011 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ITSANSS (Post 644024)

Now let me as ya'll this...Generally, does each 240v outlet have its own circuit breaker? Or can there be a couple 240v outlets on one breaker?

:yes:

A 240 volt circuit uses a 2 pole breaker (2 slots in the panel) and is dedicated to a specific appliance or device. Some are plug in - electric stove, large room air conditioner, welders, compressors, etc. Some are hard wired- water heater, well pump, central air conditioning, electric heat. Not all of the example devices will be 240, some of them with less capacity may be 120 volt. Note that any 240 volt plug in device has a special receptacle based on the amperage involved and is arranged so you can not plug a 120 volt device or a device of the wrong amperage.

dmxtothemax 05-08-2011 05:51 PM

A common misconception for newbies,
240v is measured from hot to different hot,
Not from hot to ground.
Sounds like you have got that now.
Unless the two 120v legs are the same phase,
In which case you wont get 240v.
You could get nothing.
Must be different phases.

ITSANSS 05-08-2011 10:24 PM

Ok, got a little more information for ya'll...

Went back over to do some measuring. Inside the house there are two "double" breakers. If I remember correctly, a 20A and a 40A. I figure one is for the dryer and the other is for the heat/A/C.

On the bus bar, I believe it is called (learn somethin' new everyday!), I get two 120v readings.

On the dryer plug, I get two 120v readings.

On both "double" breakers, I get 120v on both wires on both breakers.

So, I have no idea what's going on. lol However, I found another clue...I set the dryer to whatever and turned the knob to 'Start' and I could hear the dryer try to do something and I noticed, get this, the lights in the other room turn off. HA! As I turn the switch on the dryer 'Start', 'Off', 'Start', 'Off', the lights are turning on and off.

Something is definitely wrong. Hahaha I also discovered that a bathroom and closet light switch is acting weird, too. They're separate switches, but in the same little housing thing. I turn one light on and then the other, and the first light that was one dims a considerable amount. This happens vice versa.

It's like the house is way underpowered or somethin'! But it wasn't like that before.....

Now, experts, what do ya'll think? :laughing:

Thanks again!

rjniles 05-08-2011 10:46 PM

What do you get when you measure across the 2 hot terminals of the dryer receptacle or across the 2 poles of the 2 pole breakers? Are you getting 240?

joed 05-08-2011 11:01 PM

You have one hot lead into your house that is out. The 120 is back feeding through the 240 volt devices and powering the rest of the house. Turn off the double pole breakers and i bet half the house goes out.

Call the POCO ASAP.

a7ecorsair 05-09-2011 08:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ITSANSS (Post 644024)
Now let me as ya'll this...Generally, does each 240v outlet have its own circuit breaker? Or can there be a couple 240v outlets on one breaker?

Each 240 volt receptacle should have its own 2 pole breaker but you never know what you will find and you could have more than one on a circuit.
Since you are probing around your panel etc. with a meter, you need to know that to read 240 volts you would read between the two wires connected to the two pole breaker not from each connection to neutral. If you are measuring at a receptacle you would read 240 volts by probing the two straight slots. Most of this has already been posted so read the posting carefully before you start your checks.

ITSANSS 05-10-2011 10:53 PM

Ok, very interesting turn taken today....

Had the electric company come out this morning while I was at work. I don't know what they did or how they did it, but they came out and determined that their end was fine.

Well, I had a guy that knows a bit more about house electricity than I do (not hard to do) and after about an hour of probing through various meters, boxes, breakers, etc. etc., he basically determined that something was wrong with the electric company's meter.

He phoned a friend, the guy that told him everything he knows about electricity, a guy that has been in the electrical business and has his own business dealing with electrical installs, etc., and told him all the details about my situation, and he said that the electricity is, "feeding back through the meter", and that he's seen it a number of times over the years. So, what we figure is that the power company came out, took off the front meter cover, checked that the voltage going into the meter was 240v and called it good. Well, it's not coming out of the meter at 240v!!! Haha

I am going to set something up to where I can meet the power guys out there to show them what we were getting and to make sure that they know it's their deal and not mine.

The plot thickens!

Thanks, ya'll!

mpoulton 05-10-2011 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ITSANSS (Post 645495)
Ok, very interesting turn taken today....

Had the electric company come out this morning while I was at work. I don't know what they did or how they did it, but they came out and determined that their end was fine.

Well, I had a guy that knows a bit more about house electricity than I do (not hard to do) and after about an hour of probing through various meters, boxes, breakers, etc. etc., he basically determined that something was wrong with the electric company's meter.

He phoned a friend, the guy that told him everything he knows about electricity, a guy that has been in the electrical business and has his own business dealing with electrical installs, etc., and told him all the details about my situation, and he said that the electricity is, "feeding back through the meter", and that he's seen it a number of times over the years. So, what we figure is that the power company came out, took off the front meter cover, checked that the voltage going into the meter was 240v and called it good. Well, it's not coming out of the meter at 240v!!! Haha

I am going to set something up to where I can meet the power guys out there to show them what we were getting and to make sure that they know it's their deal and not mine.

The plot thickens!

Thanks, ya'll!

As someone noted above, one of the hot conductors is loose or disconnected. Only half of the house has normal power, and the other half is being back-fed through 240V loads. If the power company verified the voltage at the meter socket, then that narrows the problem down to the connection between the meter base and your main panel. It's pretty unlikely that the power company missed something.

It is highly inadvisable to try to fix this as a DIY project. The conductors from the meter to your main panel are always hot (no disconnect) so you cannot turn it off to work on it. Also, there is no overcurrent protection. If you accidentally cause a short, this will happen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaSPaF7n-OE
...and it won't stop until the power company comes and disconnects you.

ITSANSS 05-11-2011 07:06 AM

Aw, heck, electricity don't scare me! Beer gives me strength and courage! How do you think I've been checkin' the voltage on this stuff? I've just been wettin' my finger tips and stickin' 'em in. I know it ain't puttin' out 240v because my heart doesn't hurt as much as it should, hence only 120v. :laughing:

Yeah, I'd hate for that to happen to my place. It's on a metal building so I don't think it'd burn the whole place down, but it'd certainly do some damage.

I reckon I'll just have to have a professional do it. *sigh* :)

Thanks

del schisler 05-11-2011 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ITSANSS (Post 645592)
Aw, heck, electricity don't scare me! Beer gives me strength and courage! How do you think I've been checkin' the voltage on this stuff? I've just been wettin' my finger tips and stickin' 'em in. I know it ain't puttin' out 240v because my heart doesn't hurt as much as it should, hence only 120v. :laughing:

Yeah, I'd hate for that to happen to my place. It's on a metal building so I don't think it'd burn the whole place down, but it'd certainly do some damage.

I reckon I'll just have to have a professional do it. *sigh* :)

Thanks

Good idea. i been around electricty for 60 yr's. This way you will be around to see just what was the problum. And still have that cold beer

ITSANSS 05-11-2011 04:41 PM

Well, the problem has been answered. Not solved, but answered. lol

I've owned this property since January of this year and I've been TO HELL AND BACK with the electric company trying to get meters straightened out. It's five properties (five addresses) all on four acres and that absolutely confused them to no end. It's resulted in me having been on the phone with them for literally, no exaggeration, approximately 30 - 40 hours. I actually had the electricity get shut off on one of my renters on a 20-degree January night because of a non-payment. The bills there have NEVER, EVER, EVER not been paid and have never ever been late not even once. They didn't give a calf piss about it. Well, it's a long story. I could write a novel about the ways PSO, yes PSO...THEY SUCK, has mistreated me. Actually, I have a log book of the events that have transpired between them and me......just in case.....

Well, it turns out that they checked the voltage at the wrong house the other day and that's why the voltage checked good. IDIOTS!

Anyhow, it turns out that the electricity was shut off a few weeks ago at my house where the 240v problem is. HAHA! Turns out that a "boot" inside the meter was bad and that was why I was getting 120v and not 240v. I should've been getting 0v! :laughing:

There was, nay, IS mass confusion between two of my addresses. One is, for example, 1234 and one is 1234 1/2. All of my homes have the addresses on the side of the house somewhere. I guess none of these suckers can read. Anyhow, I FINALLY got service at both addresses but they refused to separate the bills. Well, I pay the bills on both addresses so I figure that that'll work even though it's stupid. Well, apparently they want me to have two separate bills now for the two separate houses, the way it should be, and because of it I'm out of electricity. I have to set up a new account, which more than likely means I'll have to pay ANOTHER deposit. Broke back faggots. They don't even have an office here in our town and it's very likely 'cause of the way they do business. I would imagine that they and their families would be murdered if they could be gotten to in person.

Too bad I can't switch to another company's service. Somebody's sittin' in a mansion somewhere laughing themselves into tears at the little guys that get their service shut off for no reason and have to bear the extreme cold and the extreme heat meanwhile paying them whatever the piece of paper they mail ya' says to pay.

The only positive thing about this situation right now is that the house that has no electricity has no one living in it.

Well, thanks for everyone's help.


P.S. If you live in Oklahoma and you ever have a choice between PSO and someone else, you have two options to not have problems: 1) GO WITH SOMEONE ELSE!!! 2) Commit suicide.


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