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Old 01-24-2013, 09:58 AM   #1
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Partial Power Outage - What May Have Happened?


This is NOT a DIY question, but a question to which I would like to know the answer.

Early this morning (1:48 AM), my daughter calls the home phone from her bedroom on her cell phone. She tells my wife (who answered the phone) that the power is out. However, in the very next room, our power was on. Investigating the problem, I found that every other row of breakers was without power. Half the house had power; half did not. We did have heat! I called the power company.

At 3:00 AM the truck backed into the driveway (with a loud "beep-beep-beep"). I went out and talked with the guy. He said he knew what the problem was and it would be fixed soon. I told him to stay warm (it was about 5 degrees with -5 wind chill) and went inside. He took the bucket up near the transformer on the pole, shut off all power to the house, cut the wires, stripped them, put everything back together, and turned the power back on. It took about 20 minutes.

What is the most likely cause of the problem? No wires were hanging down. They did put a new pole in about 3 years ago. Did something just not get connected right the first time? Or is this a common problem?

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:17 AM   #2
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Partial Power Outage - What May Have Happened?


A connection to one of the 120 legs coming into the house had failed. This would affect every other breaker slot in the panel.

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #3
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Partial Power Outage - What May Have Happened?


Time to call the power company, do not put it off.
While waiting for them I would be unplugging anything that plugged in or kill the main breaker until they come check it out.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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Partial Power Outage - What May Have Happened?


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Time to call the power company, do not put it off.
While waiting for them I would be unplugging anything that plugged in or kill the main breaker until they come check it out.
I would kill all the two pole breakers and leave the 120s alone. The 240 stuff could be damaged by single phasing but the 120 will live.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:54 AM   #5
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Partial Power Outage - What May Have Happened?


your daughter called you on your land line using her cell phone.... from the bedroom right next to yours?
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:20 AM   #6
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Partial Power Outage - What May Have Happened?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Time to call the power company, do not put it off.
While waiting for them I would be unplugging anything that plugged in or kill the main breaker until they come check it out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64pvolvo1800 View Post
I would kill all the two pole breakers and leave the 120s alone. The 240 stuff could be damaged by single phasing but the 120 will live.
It's already fixed guys, read the whole post.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:38 PM   #7
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Partial Power Outage - What May Have Happened?


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your daughter called you on your land line using her cell phone.... from the bedroom right next to yours?
Yes. Sad, isn't it.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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Partial Power Outage - What May Have Happened?


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A connection to one of the 120 legs coming into the house had failed. This would affect every other breaker slot in the panel.
What would cause one of the 120 legs to fail?
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:45 PM   #9
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Partial Power Outage - What May Have Happened?


Quote:
Originally Posted by brgmgb

What would cause one of the 120 legs to fail?
Could be a main breaker problem or its on the POCO end
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:23 PM   #10
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Partial Power Outage - What May Have Happened?


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Originally Posted by brgmgb View Post
What would cause one of the 120 legs to fail?
From your description, it was the connection at the transformer/pole. Whether it was corrosion build up that caused it to overheat and fail, or a poorly installed connection to begin with, we can't tell you.
For an exact description, you would have to talk to the POCO guy that repaired it.

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