On Saturday, we lost power three times in a 2-hour period. We found that the breaker immediately below the meter outside had been tripped (a 125 amp breaker in a box by itself, immediately below the meter out by the street, separate from the panel on the outside wall of the house and the panel in the garage). Each time, we reset the breaker. My spouse saw a slight smoking and smelled something burning (but I did not). After the third occurrence, we have had no other problems up to now (it is Wednesday). I don't think the load at the time was unusually high, though we had the AC, dishwasher, and a few lights running. I called the power company and the representative said he was almost sure the main breaker was weakening and needed to be replaced.
I would like to know:
1) Does this sound like the main breaker needs to be replaced, and what are other possible causes of the problem? Is it likely I might need to replace the entire box? What steps should I take to verify the cause of the problem?
2) How difficult should the repairs be for me to do myself, since I can get the power company to cut power while I make repairs (and thus don't need to deal with hot wires while I work)?
3) If you strongly recommend a licensed electrician, about how much should I expect the repair to cost?
As a side detail, Monday evening we noticed a red LED in the meter had turned on (may have been on since Saturday, don't know). I have spoken to four different power company reps and none have a clue what that LED means (I've been told four different things, including the meters aren't supposed to have LEDs
). They have issued a service request, but a power company serviceperson has not been out to check it yet, because they are backed up and it is low priority. Anyone know what the LED means? I am guessing an error of some kind (duh).
Thank you for your time.