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Jarid 04-08-2007 05:01 PM

No heat or stove problem
I was replacing light switches and plugs over the weekend. As i went along i would flip the appropriate breaker switch and complete the work and test. All went fine and i have all the lights and plugs working as normal. But now i do not have heat to the electric base boards and the elements on the stove will not work. (the light bulb in the oven works and the orange temp lamps work) The dryer seems OK.

The breaker box looks ok as all the switches are in the "on" position. What could have went wrong?


Stubbie 04-08-2007 08:57 PM

First the things you mention are 240 volt appliances most commonly. You don't mention any 120 volt applainces or receptacles not working. It sounds like you have lost one leg in some double pole breakers. This isnt uncommon and probably resulted from the simple vibration when you shut the single pole breakers off on the circuits you worked on. they might look on but possibly are not. Some breakers like Murray,challenger, general (Old Ge) trip out on one pole and still look "on". First thing is turn the double pole breaker to the baseboards off...push the toggle all the way over to off....think of it like your cocking the thing...then back to on...same with the stove. See if you have restored things. If not post back and we will go on to some other approach, be sure to tell us what make of panel and breakers you have.... and any thing else that you might not have mentioned.


Jarid 04-08-2007 10:04 PM

Ok i tried reseting the breakers again. i pushed them all the way to the off position. I then flipped and pushed them to the on position. They are all alligned. Still no juice.

The box is Nova Line 24 125Amp 120/240VAC. I could not see any name brand on the switches other than an underscored W with a circle around it. It had text on it such as:

DNPL 154015
4 . 1 Pole units
certified circuit breaker

When i initially finished my work and went to flip the swiches back on the electric room was in the dark. As i flipped them you could see a blue spark as they went on. Just now when i tried it i turned out the lights and flipped the range switch. I did not see the blue spark. I also switched the ones on either side of the range and heat switches.

It seems all my 120V lights and plugs are OK including the 240V dryer. It is only the range and all base board heaters that are out.

Brik 04-09-2007 12:09 PM


When i initially finished my work and went to flip the swiches back on the electric room was in the dark. As i flipped them you could see a blue spark as they went on.
Are you talking about the breakers? Where did you see the spark come from?

When you swapped the "light switches and plugs" are you sure you put everything back the way it was?

Also, they are called receptacles or outlets, not plugs.

Your problems is one of the flollowing
1- You didn't reconnect something correctly or inadvertanly disconnected something in one of the boxes you were working in.
2- You have a bad breaker(s)
3- You have a short preventing your breaker from staying on (see#1)

I would assume that your heat and your range are on different circuits. It would be extremely unlikely that you had 2 breakers go bad. Most likely you either didn't reconnect something correctly, didn't use the same type of outlet or switch or disturbed another connection in the box you were working on.

Why were you replacing outlets and switches in the first place?

Do you know what old outlets came from which locations? Outlets can look the same from the front yet be a little different on the back. Some have tabs that are removed if an outlet has two circuits passing through it or 1/2 switched. Its a common mistake to not remove that tab. Its unlikely thats related to your problem but could be, who knows.

Anyway, this problem may be very had to troubleshoot on a forum. May be time to call in a pro.

Jarid 04-09-2007 02:32 PM

Thanks all for your input. An electrician will be here this evening.

Brik 04-09-2007 03:48 PM

Post back what he finds. I'm curious.

Jarid 04-09-2007 11:28 PM


The electrician came and did a couple quick tests and had it working really quick. It was related to the tabs on the back of the "plug". I guess all of them together in the kitchen was enough to cause a problem. I never noticed these tabs before. The new outlets functioned upon testing so i never suspected anything wrong.

One of the main 100 Amp fuses at the mains disconnect was turned to glass. This was why my 240V was out and my 120V was OK.

Anyways something i will look out for from now on.


If those tabs are not removed does this mean the electricity constantly flows thus increasing the kilowatt hours on my utility bill?
Why would you ever leave the tab on?

jwhite 04-10-2007 04:23 AM

The blown fuse would keep the 240 volt stuff from working.

If it was related to the tabs on the recepticles, you must have shorted one out some how. Most of the time you do not remove them when installing a recepticle.

joed 04-10-2007 07:04 PM

You had split receptacles with a multiwire circuit. When you left the tabs on you shorted the two 240 leads together.

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