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Old 02-13-2013, 12:41 PM   #1
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Faulty outlet?? (Long description, sorry) But i still need ideas, please.


Hi All,

This is really boggling my mind. Two nights ago, a portion of my partment lost power, the living room, spare bedroom, stand alone freezer, washer, dryer and my oven (not the stove top, though) all lost power.

I go upstairs to reset the breaker. Nothing is tripped. So, I reset all of them anyways becuase the circuit has incorrect labeling (corrected the labeling to what had power). No change, the power is still off in all of those areas previously mentioned.

So, decided to test the breaker switches. The places that had power all had 120 VAC across the breaker. I came acoss 5 switches that only had 5 VAC acrossed them. I turned the switch off to verify 0V, switch on, and I got 5V. So I think those those 5 switches are good.

The following morning my wife notified the apartment managers, and they fixed the problem (or so I thought), and said there was a GFI fault and replace an outlet that my freezer was using. That is interesting because the only GFI circuit we have is in the upstairs bathroom, and it nor the downstairs half bathroom lost any power. My GFI tester indicted it was good, anyways.

Last night, the same thing happened, but only for 5 mintues then power was restored by itself, the affected areas where exacly the same as before. This is what happened over the weekend a few times before we lost power completely in those areas.

So, I'm lost. Could it still be a GFI issue even though those circuits didn't lose power and they are "indictated" to be fine? Or might it be something faulty before the circuit breaker?

I'm not a licensed electrician, however I'm no novice at electrical work, either. I have worked on aviation electronincs for 11 years. However, I can still overlook small stuff, too.

ANY help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


Last edited by jdouglasusn; 02-13-2013 at 12:44 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:52 PM   #2
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Faulty outlet?? (Long description, sorry) But i still need ideas, please.


Sound like it might be a loose main wire connection in your panel or at the location that feeds your panel (Utility meter).

If you feel you can handle this task. It's a pretty dangerous task and I don't recommend a DIY person to do it. When this problem happens, take the cover off your panel and check the voltage reading at the main terminals for the main (large) wires feeding your panel. Take reading from Phase-Phase and Phase to Neutral. Do you get the 5V there? If so then probably a main wire connection as stated above.

You say 5 breakers have 5V. Are all those breakers on the same side of the panel? Are those the only breakers on that side of the panel?

It's also possible it's a lose connection (probably neutral) on those branch circuits affected.

If you don't understand the above terminology, you probably are not qualified to handle the above tasks safely. You could get seriously hurt or dead if you don't understand what you are doing.

You say you are in an apartment. CALL YOUR MAINTENANCE PEOPLE. That is what they are there for.

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Old 02-13-2013, 01:09 PM   #3
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Faulty outlet?? (Long description, sorry) But i still need ideas, please.


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Originally Posted by parman View Post
Sound like it might be a loose main wire connection in your panel or at the location that feeds your panel (Utility meter).

If you feel you can handle this task. It's a pretty dangerous task and I don't recommend a DIY person to do it. When this problem happens, take the cover off your panel and check the voltage reading at the main terminals for the main (large) wires feeding your panel. Take reading from Phase-Phase and Phase to Neutral. Do you get the 5V there? If so then probably a main wire connection as stated above.

You say 5 breakers have 5V. Are all those breakers on the same side of the panel? Are those the only breakers on that side of the panel?

It's also possible it's a lose connection (probably neutral) on those branch circuits affected.

If you don't understand the above terminology, you probably are not qualified to handle the above tasks safely. You could get seriously hurt or dead if you don't understand what you are doing.

You say you are in an apartment. CALL YOUR MAINTENANCE PEOPLE. That is what they are there for.
Switches are not on the same side of the breaker. Oh don't worry, if it's stuff outside the apartment, I'm messing with it. If it might be something simple like changing a wall outlet. Then that is fine. I'll try to test the main wire. But if I feel uncomfortable, I'm not going to. That makes sense, though thanks. I'll try to keep updates posted too.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:11 PM   #4
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Faulty outlet?? (Long description, sorry) But i still need ideas, please.


There's been a lot of post lately with just about the same issue, not one of them added there location to there profile.
Have you checked to see if you have 110v power to both sides of the panel?
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:20 PM   #5
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Faulty outlet?? (Long description, sorry) But i still need ideas, please.


Apartment? Have you tried the landlord?
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:51 PM   #6
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Faulty outlet?? (Long description, sorry) But i still need ideas, please.


Are all the problem area's on one breaker ?
Or several different breakers ?
If it's more than one breaker,
are they all on the same hot line in the panel ?

Whats the common point ?
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:33 AM   #7
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Faulty outlet?? (Long description, sorry) But i still need ideas, please.


Flip off the breakers for, or turn off, all 240 volt appliances including the water heater if that is all-electric and any heat pumps. Does the problem come back?

There is a loose connection somewhere, possibly in your panel but more likelty further upstream. If a loose connection that far upstream is allowed to remain for a long time, its location will become severely overheated and could cause a fire or at the very least result in the need for an expensive repair.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:34 AM   #8
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Faulty outlet?? (Long description, sorry) But i still need ideas, please.


As others have mentioned, next time it happens check your voltage across the conductors coming into the panel.

Across 1 and 3 should be about 110V
Across 2 and 3 should be about 110V
Across 1 and 2 should be about 220V
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:54 PM   #9
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Faulty outlet?? (Long description, sorry) But i still need ideas, please.


Thank for everyone's help. I air sprayed all of dust out of the breaker box, it was a lot. It has yet to lose power for any reason. Makes sense. Should work fine for now, until I leave this piece of crap apartment. After the second complaint, they never stopped by. That was almost a week ago now. arseholes! Thanks again to all



Quote:
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Apartment? Have you tried the landlord?
It doesn't sound like you read this. YES! I did! I even stated what they did about it.


Last edited by jdouglasusn; 02-19-2013 at 07:56 PM. Reason: typo
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