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Old 08-07-2011, 05:16 PM   #1
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Need advice &/or help for strange electrical outlet problem


First, I have a older house with old fashioned blue & orange fuses. I also have a flat roof that sometimes leaks and causes water to leak within the walls [I'm hoping to get a new roof this year]. One more problem, I've got a problem with either mice or maybe even a squirrel that I can hear sometimes running in the space between inside the ceiling of my finished basement and the wooden floor of the 1st floor directly above.

My immediate problem is that during a rain storm today some of the ceiling lights [which operate via wall switches] and wall outlets suddenly stopped working. There were at opposite ends of the house and presumably on different circuits/fuses. I checked the fuses & they are fine. My electric stove has its own pullout type or cartridge fuse & should not have anything else on that circuit. Yet today, when I turned on the stove, some of the ceiling lights that were knocked out earlier today mysteriously came on, but only while the stove was on. The ceiling lights in my dinning room stayed off.

I know I'll probably need an electrician, & probably need to replace the house fuse box with circuit breakers, but the possibility of wires suddenly crossing themselves has me rather unsettled. If I had the money, I'd rip everything out, but I don't.

Any idea or helpful advice is more than welcome. How much of a panic should I be in?

Thank you

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Old 08-07-2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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Need advice &/or help for strange electrical outlet problem


Welcome amiupacreek, to the best darn DIY'r site on the web.

Sounds like you have a immediate need for an electrician.

I am sure one of the more electrically experience persons will be along, but it sounds to me like you have a loose of broken neutral in your fuse box, and when you turn the stove on you are backfeeding the circuit to your lights.

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Old 08-07-2011, 05:40 PM   #3
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Need advice &/or help for strange electrical outlet problem


Contact your poco and have them check the neutral connections at the transformer and the meter enclosure. If that is not it, contact a licensed, bonded and insured electrical contractor and have them check the panel and go from there. Good luck.
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Last edited by electures; 08-07-2011 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:40 PM   #4
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Need advice &/or help for strange electrical outlet problem


Not a problem with the neutral, fortunately, but a problem with one of the hot legs of your service. You'll probably discover that half of the 120V circuits are out, and will come on when you turn on the stove or another 240V load. Call the power company first, and they'll check their equipment. If the problem isn't on their end, then it's probably best to let an electrician handle this unless you are quite experienced. It requires working on parts of your electrical system that cannot be de-energized without the power company's assistance.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:14 PM   #5
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Need advice &/or help for strange electrical outlet problem


Thank you! The guy from Nstar just left, the problem was a result of a bad wire between my house & their line on the street.
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:03 PM   #6
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Need advice &/or help for strange electrical outlet problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by amiupacreek View Post
Thank you! The guy from Nstar just left, the problem was a result of a bad wire between my house & their line on the street.
DId they state which wire it was?
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:58 PM   #7
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Need advice &/or help for strange electrical outlet problem


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DId they state which wire it was?
Sorry no, but he said they were going to send someone out to replace the wires because they were worn out.

They'll also have to trim some tree branches back as my home is set way back [one extra telephone/electric pole] off the street in the woods.

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