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Old 06-17-2012, 10:44 AM   #16
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


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More details on my power losing issue:
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:08 PM   #17
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


HI Everyone,

The power loss at one side of all brekers occurred againn yesterday. I immediately went out to test the voltages on the two bus bars and all the breakers terminals. I found that it was true that one bus bar power mossing - it was the upper bus bar. All breakers connected to the upper bus bar had no power. I further tested the input 2 phase, both were there. That means the input two phases had no problem, the POCO transformer is fine too. The root cause of the power loss was bad connection between the main breaker and the upper bus bar. I then stired the upper end of the main breaker trying to scrach off the rust, the power was back immediately. So far no power loss happened again. I hope the problem has been finalized.

I would like to thank all the friends who powt their ideas here to help.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:31 PM   #18
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


Thanks for the update.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:34 PM   #19
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


The thing is, the bus bars should not have any corrosion. You may want to set up a service call, to have an electrician schedule with the POCO, so they can clean all contact surfaces in the panel, or just replace it all together at this point.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:46 AM   #20
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


This is a standard Zinsco failure. See here for examples. It will eventually get worse, and complete failure will be the result. Plan to replace the panel.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:11 PM   #21
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


New update:

The power loss hapened again today after I stired the 100 amp input main breaker against the uppen bus bar that was thought bad connection. Today I measured the voltages on every breaker and found still the upper bus bar no power. I also found that both 2 pole breakers, the 50 amp range and the 30 amp dryer could still turn on and, as soon as either the range or the dryer, the lost power immediately came back. This allowed me to think that it was not the bad connection at the upper bus bar with the input main breaker, it was something inside the main breaker was bad. A high current impact trigged the main breaker and caused the lost power back. I now think that I need to replace the main breaker. Anybody has any coments on this? Thanks for posting your opinions.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:05 AM   #22
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


Sounds like a high resistance joint !
Turn off your main breaker !
Check again for no power !
Measure with an ohm meter from the load side of the sus breaker
to the main switch.
This should be very low resistance.
If it is not, it proves the point !
You can compare the good breaker readings with the sus ones.
To be sure .
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:27 AM   #23
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


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Originally Posted by River888 View Post
New update:

The power loss hapened again today after I stired the 100 amp input main breaker against the uppen bus bar that was thought bad connection. Today I measured the voltages on every breaker and found still the upper bus bar no power. I also found that both 2 pole breakers, the 50 amp range and the 30 amp dryer could still turn on and, as soon as either the range or the dryer, the lost power immediately came back. This allowed me to think that it was not the bad connection at the upper bus bar with the input main breaker, it was something inside the main breaker was bad. A high current impact trigged the main breaker and caused the lost power back. I now think that I need to replace the main breaker. Anybody has any coments on this? Thanks for posting your opinions.


when you used the dryer/range, the 120v was backfed to the 'upper' bus bar via the heating elements.

they dryer/oven will still not heat in this condition or very little.


You need to plan on replacing the entire panel.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:32 PM   #24
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


Hi dmxtothemax,

You talked about measuring the resistance at the load side of the sus main breaker. Could you tell the details how to measure it? Do I need to pull the main breaker off the two bus bars? I
Even so, I still do not know how to measure the resistance.

Hi Techy,

It costs $1500 to replace the main panel. All my neighbors in this area are using the same Zinsco panel. They are used for over 42 years. It is hard for me to make that decision.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:33 AM   #25
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


There will eventually come a time where the missing power doesn't 'come back'. Pay now, or pay later. it's up to you.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:06 AM   #26
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


replace the whole panel and be done with it. Your going to have to do it anyway
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:37 AM   #27
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


Quote:
Originally Posted by River888 View Post
Hi dmxtothemax,

You talked about measuring the resistance at the load side of the sus main breaker. Could you tell the details how to measure it? Do I need to pull the main breaker off the two bus bars? I
Even so, I still do not know how to measure the resistance.

Hi Techy,

It costs $1500 to replace the main panel. All my neighbors in this area are using the same Zinsco panel. They are used for over 42 years. It is hard for me to make that decision.
On the load side of the breaker, there should be a screw where the wires
are secured. you should be able to put a multi meter probe on the screw head, and measure from there to the main switch. should be very low !
If there is an obvious difference between the faulty one and a good circuit, that proves the point.
Remember even a low resistance can produce significant heat at the high currrents seen in an electrical panel.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:58 PM   #28
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


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It costs $1500 to replace the main panel. All my neighbors in this area are using the same Zinsco panel. They are used for over 42 years. It is hard for me to make that decision.
And i bet every single one of them are having problems with it and/or a house waiting to burn down. Zinsco panels have a bad name for a reason.
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:06 PM   #29
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


Hi dmxtothemax,

The main breaker is installed on the two bus bars through the two notches. The bottom part has two screws, which secure the two input thick wires. If I turn off the breaker by pulling the double switches down, the there is still 120VAC at each screw to the groud or 240VAC between the two screws. I don't really know how to measure the resistance. I am not a smart guy...
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:58 PM   #30
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One Side of three 2 pole circuit breakers lose power intermittently


those wires come from the meter.that is why they still have power.you need an electrician.you either have a bad main breaker or burnt buss bars.to kill power to those whires to the screws on main breaker,you need to pull meter.your going to get hurt.

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