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Old 11-13-2010, 09:37 AM   #1
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Help me before my house bursts into flames...


my electrical system requires me to run my hair dryer to use the microwave. At times i have to run the hair dryer to start my dryer. My microwave situation is everytime. My dryer situation is hit and miss. The other night, for the fist time, my breaker switch flipped over, and over with normal items running. Any idea on why i have to pull more power to use my major electric items.

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Old 11-13-2010, 09:41 AM   #2
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Sounds like 1/2 your panel might be out
Or possibly out to some items
Using a 240v item would then supply power to the other 1/2

Does the bathroom have a dedicated circuit ?

What Mfg electric panel ?
Are you comfortable troubleshooting electric problems ?
If not then get an electrician in to fix this

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Old 11-13-2010, 10:04 AM   #3
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You need to test the voltage at the various breakers in your panel including the main breakers. Half your panel being out meaning one of the two hot lines of your 120/240 volt service being dead. This could be anywhere from a loose connection at the main breaker in the panel up to a break in the overhead lines on the utility pole.

When you turn on (or have to turn on) 240 volt appliances to make other things work, the voltage the other things get is unpredictable. You should unplug all electronics including washing machines with digital readouts from the "dead" circuits until this problem is fixed.
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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Sounds like a BAD NEUTRAL to me. This situation is not good, and should be corrected ASAP!

Call the power company, and ask them to verify their connections are good. If they tell you that you need an electrician, then call one.

This is not your typical D-I-Y project, and the consequences can be much greater than any "savings" you might realize by not calling in a professional.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movingshadows13 View Post
my electrical system requires me to run my hair dryer to use the microwave. At times i have to run the hair dryer to start my dryer. My microwave situation is everytime. My dryer situation is hit and miss. The other night, for the fist time, my breaker switch flipped over, and over with normal items running. Any idea on why i have to pull more power to use my major electric items.
And it never occurred to you to have someone come out and look at this???
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:52 PM   #6
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The house is from the late 20's, and I have about enough money to pay the bills. Im on here asking questions so I can come to some sort of conclusion about this problem. The house has the original knob and tube main wiring. And early nonmetallic cable spliced into to all the outlets, and switches throughout the house. Im looking at a complete rewire. Again, not cheap for me. Im just asking about option's since Im not a electrical genius.
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Old 11-13-2010, 02:07 PM   #7
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the problem is: you have a serious problem now and it needs to be remedied. While those here can, and often have, walk just about anybody through just about anything, there are times where it simply is not a good idea to wait for that education.


So, you need to have the power company check your incoming line for a neutral connection problem. Then if that doesn't remedy your problem, you should seriously consider hiring an electrician.

Until this is diagnosed and repaired, you simply should not be using any electricity. You have a possibility of causing a serious situation but you also have a possibility of damaging any electrical appliance in your house.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:27 PM   #8
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I'm sure the OP doesn't have a 240V hair dryer.

This is definitely a neutral problem. By the sound it's completely disconnected. The dryer situation being "hit-or-miss" is due to the variation in other loads in the house (the controls and motor are 120, remember.)

Worst of all, all the devices that ARE working are most likely getting MORE than 120 volts, which is NOT good.

Stop using everything electrical, pull your main fuse and don't reinsert it until the problem has been identified and corrected. The neutral wire is disconnected, somewhere between your fuse box and the pole.
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:23 AM   #9
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The power company showed up. Cut all the wire between the pole and the house, and found one of them was very bad off. They fixed the one that was bad, and reconnected them. The guy sent me in the house to check my microwave. It came on full power, and i found out that the lights were to full power as well. Never knew my lights were that bright. Anyway, he left after i told him it worked. I went inside told my wife our electric woes are over yay!!!!!!!! She went to try it out, and it was back to running at half power, and the lights went dim. Later i ran my air compressor off of an outlet on my ac unit, on a different breaker box, and the microwave was running at full power during. I dont know what to do. Do i need to pay an electrician to give me a diffinite answer if its me, or the power company???

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Old 11-14-2010, 01:43 AM   #10
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Once the POCO did verify thier side then you will have to call in electrician to deal with loose netural connection somecase you will have multi loose netural connections and I have see that once a while like fashon so wise thing is call the electrician to come out and deal with it.

And If the electrician verify the system is good and still have issue then you have to call the POCO to come back and deal with it again.

Merci.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:33 AM   #11
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As a do-it-yourselfer with some electrical experience, use a voltmeter yourself to narrow down the problem so the probability of hiring an electrician first and then finding that it is the electric company's problem is small. Or that the probability of calling the electric company first and they find no problem on their side and therefore bill you for it is small.

While you are at it you might want to retorque all the connections in the panel. Unscrew each connection a quarter turn, then turn it moderately tight, then unscrew it a quarter turn again, then turn it firmly tight. This cleans it off as well. (Don't use tremendous strength.) I would recommend someone with lots of electrical experience retorque the big screws or setscrews holding the main feed wires on.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 11-14-2010 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:31 AM   #12
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