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Old 04-25-2009, 06:34 PM   #1
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Circuit never tripped. No power for days then came back...


Hi I'm new to the board.

As the title states, I lost power to various outlets in the house, including central vacuum. I checked the circuit breakers, nothing was tripped, so I had no recourse to reset it. Then about 4 days later the central vac suddenly came on in the house (with no hose plugged in - which it usually requires to activate) and this alerted me that the power was restored and all the various lights and outlets on this line were working again.

Anyway ideas as to what might be going on?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:38 PM   #2
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Circuit never tripped. No power for days then came back...


I would start by checking the wires inside the panel. Make sure they are nice and tight, but not so tight the screws are stripped.
Next thing I would do is replace the breaker. They can go bad and do lots of strange things.
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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Circuit never tripped. No power for days then came back...


Replace the breaker, but don't stop there. Find everything this circuit powers and start at the first thing on the circuit. Pull out receptacles, switches and lights until you find the very likely loose connection. This is a dangerous situation which could lead to a fire. Loose connection get hot, and that is no bueno...
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:57 PM   #4
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Circuit never tripped. No power for days then came back...


Check the mains. It sounds like you lost one of the incoming lines. Replacing branch circuit breakers won't solve a thing if the incoming lines are dead.

The problem could even be outside, in the meter box, at the service point of attachment, or even at the utility transformer.

You might want to give the power company a call and have them check all their connections before spending anything on replacing breakers that don't need it.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:05 PM   #5
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Circuit never tripped. No power for days then came back...


Thanks for the input everyone. What concerns me is the central vacuum part of the equation. Normally you have to plug in the hose, which has a metal ring on the hose end to activate power to the system. It just powered up suddenly with no hose attached to activate it.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:11 PM   #6
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Circuit never tripped. No power for days then came back...


Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Check the mains. It sounds like you lost one of the incoming lines. Replacing branch circuit breakers won't solve a thing if the incoming lines are dead.

The problem could even be outside, in the meter box, at the service point of attachment, or even at the utility transformer.

You might want to give the power company a call and have them check all their connections before spending anything on replacing breakers that don't need it.
Usually if you lose a leg from the service, it affects more than one circuit. If I lost a leg at my house, alot of lights and recepts wouldn't work, my air compressor and welder wouldn't work, I couldn't dry my clothes and I'd have no hot water. That would be quite noticeable I would think...
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:54 PM   #7
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Circuit never tripped. No power for days then came back...


Quote:
Thanks for the input everyone. What concerns me is the central vacuum part of the equation. Normally you have to plug in the hose, which has a metal ring on the hose end to activate power to the system. It just powered up suddenly with no hose attached to activate it.
That's what caught my eye. While I agree that the breaker and wire connections should be checked in the panel, I believe the problem may be in the supply for the vacuum. I don't like the fact that the mechanical override isn't functioning. The vacuum may or may not be on a dedicated circuit. If not, a loose connection somewhere near the device would account for other devices not functioning. I'm not sure how it explains the thing starting up suddenly, but it's worth a look.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:47 PM   #8
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Circuit never tripped. No power for days then came back...


Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
Usually if you lose a leg from the service, it affects more than one circuit. If I lost a leg at my house, alot of lights and recepts wouldn't work, my air compressor and welder wouldn't work, I couldn't dry my clothes and I'd have no hot water. That would be quite noticeable I would think...
From the description in the OP, it appeared that more than one circuit was affected ....
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:47 PM   #9
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Circuit never tripped. No power for days then came back...


Quote:
It just powered up suddenly with no hose attached to activate it.
How did you turn it off?

!. While it is working, map out the entire circuit that includes the vac. Generally the vac is on a dedicated circuit. If that is the case, you have issues with more than one circuit and go ro #3

2. If the central vac is one with other lights/receps, you need too understand that the circuit takes a path thru several receps, switches and maybe even light jboxes to get to the vac location. The circuit can fail at any junction point along that route. Map the circuit, turn off power and start pulling out receps and switches looking for loose/bad/burned connections likely in the back of a recep. A bad connection can "reconect" temporarily.

3. If the vac is on a dedicated circuit, look in the panel and see if the wire coming from the breaker goes into a 3 wire cable. A 3 wire cable will have both a black and a red "hot" wire along with the white and bare as opposed to just a black/white. If so, go to #5

4. If the vac is on a dedicated circuit and other receps/lighte were affected and it is not a 3 wire cable, the problem will be in the panel or the wres feeding the panel.

5. If it's a 3 wire cable, you need to check the white wire at the panel and at the jbox(whever it may be) where it splits off.

Actually....forget it....just call somebody
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:39 PM   #10
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Circuit never tripped. No power for days then came back...


I think it's the wiring ghost from electricians past.
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