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Old 07-14-2010, 07:44 PM   #16
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Home electrical issues


ok folks...now that i'm home this is what i have discovered. Again I checked all connections, everything seems to be good. I have taken all the breakers "off" the leg that is lugging down under a load. What I found is that one leg read around 125 and the other is almost 0. I left the breakers off the bad side and checked outside and back to the pole. There is still a little drop on one side but nothing like before. Now my question: if the house is wired for 240 and one leg is bad, would the other possibly feed though the other to complete the circuit?

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Old 07-14-2010, 07:52 PM   #17
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Jim,
If the neutral was bad in the service feed wouldn't he have problems on both legs of his service? If I'm reading these right, only one leg (I assume the same leg) is reading low under load. To me, this would be a problem with the neutrals or hot for that side in or after his circuit panel, wouldn't it?
I thought one leg was going up while the other leg went down.
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:59 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rampage View Post
if the house is wired for 240 and one leg is bad, would the other possibly feed though the other to complete the circuit?
Looking at this schematic, what do you say?
http://www.diychatroom.com/attachmen...re-diagram.jpg
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:29 PM   #19
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Jim Port got it right!

Loose or corroded nuetral. Check inside your panel at your main connections. Use a flashlight to see really well. You probably have an oxidized or burned nuetral connection. Over time the problem gets worse finally resulting in your fluctuating voltage. Call a qualified electrician to fix this.

If the load you are applying is the same every time this problem occurs, it is possible that you have this identical problem within that particular circuit, however, this would not likely cause a system wide problem. I think the first thing you should do is check the nuetral connections in your panel and meter.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by rampage View Post
ok folks...now that i'm home this is what i have discovered. Again I checked all connections, everything seems to be good. I have taken all the breakers "off" the leg that is lugging down under a load. What I found is that one leg read around 125 and the other is almost 0. I left the breakers off the bad side and checked outside and back to the pole. There is still a little drop on one side but nothing like before. Now my question: if the house is wired for 240 and one leg is bad, would the other possibly feed though the other to complete the circuit?

Do you get a 240v reading when testing each leg together?

Is your panel grounded & bonded? Do you have city water & or Gas service, and is your ground connected to that pipe with a bonding clamp? (if so, do not disconnect it)

Jamie
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:00 PM   #21
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Also check your fuses. Not just to nuetral. One phase could be back feeding the other and causing confusion. If you put a tester from phase to phase in your main disconnect, you should read +-220V. If you read 0 then a fuse is blown. If you do read +-220V, then I would go back to thinking there is a nuetral problem.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:07 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by sparx View Post
Also check your fuses. Not just to nuetral. One phase could be back feeding the other and causing confusion. If you put a tester from phase to phase in your main disconnect, you should read +-220V. If you read 0 then a fuse is blown. If you do read +-220V, then I would go back to thinking there is a nuetral problem.
Okay, I'm Confused, how did we start talking about fuses? Where are there fuses in this setup?

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Old 07-14-2010, 09:32 PM   #23
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Yes, true there may be no fuses. It was said that it was an old house. I assumed that there may be a fused disconnect. Not impossible. I hope I did not confuse anyone. Did anyone say there were no fuses? Maybe I missed that.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:33 PM   #24
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rampage,
You've received lots of suggestions so far but so far you haven't even been able to determine if the problem is before or after your main breaker.
You have a meter so let's do some logical troubleshooting and at least determine if the problem is before or after the main breaker.
Everyone, please hold replies until I get through typing..
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:58 PM   #25
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You have two hots and a neutral coming in from the meter. I will call leg A the good leg and leg B the bad leg. I will also use 120 and 240 even though your voltages may be somewhat different. Do steps 1 & 2 with minimum or no load.
1) You should always have a 240 volt reading between the two incoming legs (A and B) from the meter - before the main breaker - even if the neutral has a problem.
2) If you read 240 then measure Leg A to the neutral and leg B to the neutral. These should each be 120.
3) If the above is correct then set up your panel so it has a load on each leg where you have seen the voltage difference you told us about. Now measure the voltage as you did in steps 1 and 2. Be sure to measure at the lugs where the wires from the meter are connected. If you have 240 A to B and 120 A to neutral and 120 B to neutral then your incoming power is good. If not, then you have a problem on the service side of the panel.
Let us know.

Last edited by a7ecorsair; 07-14-2010 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:21 PM   #26
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might have high resistance in that leg. Did you check if their's any rust on that legs screws or anywhere else on that leg?

Measure resistance between leg A and B and see how much of a difference their is.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:05 PM   #27
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Problem solved. I'd like to thank everyone for their input and advice. The fix was simple but I think I might need to replace my inside main. Like I had said before I had removed all the breakers/replaced them and tightened all the wires. I still had a dead leg. I went into my attic just to make sure no critters might have gotten in...all looked good. I have an additional breaker box for my well which I checked and was getting 240. I figured I was going to have to replace the wires from the well to the main in the house...not the case. With the power on...probably not recommended...I loosened the leg that was dead and removed it and put it back in. Leg came to life. The odd thing is when I checked it before I put the meter directly on the wire and still had nothing. My main is old and is Federal Pacific so I know it needs to be replaced. Learned a lot, thanks again.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:56 PM   #28
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frickin' FPE strikes again
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:12 PM   #29
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frickin' FPE strikes again
http://www.google.com/search?client=...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
???

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