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Old 02-08-2012, 02:35 PM   #1
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


First off hello from James in NC mountains and thanks for looking.
I am not an electrician so sometimes my words are not perfect.
I have a 150 amp panel on my modest home.
Some of the breakers do not work (new problem). This seems hard for me to understand. I trade breaker locations on the buss and non working breakers work in these locations.
I remove the black wire on the breaker and put it in a non-working breaker in a working location and it works.
The buss is a solid copper part. How in the world can parts high and low work and not work?
I have replaced breakers in non working slots and they don't work.
Seems too crazy to explain.
Time for a complete trade out of the panel and breakers?

Any help appreciated.


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Old 02-08-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


Can you explain a little more? Is it every other breaker that's not working? Maybe you lost a phase.

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Old 02-08-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


I think you have an issue with the power company.

When you move the wire or breaker up or down one spot from the original location it works correctly?
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


You panel has two bus bars fed by two separate wires from the power company(POCO). If one of those wires goes bad half of the breakers or one bus bar will be dead. I would start with a call to the POCO. The connections are staggered down each side so every other breaker down each side should be dead.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:15 PM   #5
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


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Can you explain a little more? Is it every other breaker that's not working? Maybe you lost a phase.
You could Not have lost a phase unless you 240V appliances stopped working properly. Since I am not certain of your level of experience/training in electricity I cannot "suggest" anything. If you pull a meter across both busses and pull 240V then you have No problem with your panel. Neutral buss to your breaker wire (screw) should read 117V-roughly. This is true no matter what position you install the breaker at. If you are not comfortable with panel work, get an electrician ppplease!
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


do you have a meter....check the pole coming in for 230V 2 big wires at the top of the breakers.each side is 115v out per breaker if your going side to side flipping your missing a leg from the utility
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:01 PM   #7
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


You may find that the locations where the breakers do not work there is arc damage to the buss.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:23 PM   #8
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


Are you using size breakers in a GE panel?
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:53 PM   #9
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


Did these breakers work at one time or are you doing some new wiring? If they stopped working because you moved them then KBSparky probably has figured out why.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:55 AM   #10
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


Quote:
Originally Posted by scotta

You could Not have lost a phase unless you 240V appliances stopped working properly. Since I am not certain of your level of experience/training in electricity I cannot "suggest" anything. If you pull a meter across both busses and pull 240V then you have No problem with your panel. Neutral buss to your breaker wire (screw) should read 117V-roughly. This is true no matter what position you install the breaker at. If you are not comfortable with panel work, get an electrician ppplease!
Is your post directed at me?
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:21 AM   #11
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Is your post directed at me?
I especially like his 117V -roughly part ...
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I especially like his 117V -roughly part ...
I think he's a collage kid so that would mean "117v" came out of a text book
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:08 AM   #13
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


Thanks all for their input.
Yesterday I was on the phone with the electrician who installed my panel about two years ago. (Not like I was trying to blame him, just seeking help).
During our first talk I at length explained my problems and remedies I have tried.
After out talk and from advice here while the breakers were not working I checked the power at the top logs which I had some several times before and low and behold the A leg was not hot. So I called him back and he asked me to try my 220 oven and dryer and they worked properly which baffled him completely(me too). I hung up and went outside to the panel and checked the A and B lugs and there was power and all the breakers were working inside the house. Called Jeremy back and he said then there is a problem from the meter base to the top of the breaker panel. Since yesterday at noon till Friday 8 am the power has been on interrupted. Totally baffling. I asked my close neighbor if he had any problems and he stated no.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:12 AM   #14
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


Sounds like a loose connection or a failing main breaker.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:25 AM   #15
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How can a buss have breakers not hot?


Call the POCO NOW. You have a loose connection. If you keep waiting the connection could overheat and burn.

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