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Old 08-10-2012, 10:24 AM   #1
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Power in breaker box none out of box


Hello I am a Pastor of a small church where we have been having power issues for over 10 years in our building.

The first upgrade came when we switched from fuses to breakers; that was a cost there. Then a few years down the road the breakers began to pop. From that we were told the power was not disbursed evenly in the building and so they came out and supposedly fixed that; more money.

Now I am at a lost because I am having issues again and I don’t know where to start looking for the problem. I am getting readings from a meter of 120v per leg and 240v coming into the panel. However, when I turn on the breakers voltage reading is 0v on both legs. But once I turn off all breakers it reads the 120v per leg and 240v. I have power coming into the panel box but none coming out. Are there any ideas where I might want to start.

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Last edited by oh'mike; 08-10-2012 at 07:32 PM. Reason: added spaces
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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Power in breaker box none out of box


Appeal to your congregation to find an electrician who will volunteer their time to at least check on your concerns and explain the electrical system to you.

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Old 08-10-2012, 10:48 AM   #3
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Power in breaker box none out of box


Where are you getting the 0 volt reading, the same place as the 120/240?
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:50 AM   #4
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Power in breaker box none out of box


Thank you Techpappy this is one avenue that we are currently checking on as well we believe we may have found someone but i cant meet with them until Monday.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:16 AM   #5
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Power in breaker box none out of box


Danpik
Yes I am getting 0v from the same location as the 120v/240v.
When i switch on the breakers. Left leg and right leg to neutral is 0v as well as left and right legs is 0v when breakers are switched on.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:50 PM   #6
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Power in breaker box none out of box


Your post does not quite make sense. You say you are getting readings from the meter of 120V to ground, and 240V phase to phase. This is as expected. However, where exactly are you measuring? Do not open the meter to measure voltage, that is dangerous and illegal. The normal place to measure incoming voltage would be across the hot legs of your panel, which requires you to open the panel. If you are unfamiliar with safety precautions, please do not open the panel, as it can be extremely dangerous to open a panel and measure voltage across hot legs unless you use safe techniques.

If you were to measure voltage across the hot legs of the incoming service to the panel, you should measure 240 volts across the two legs, and 120 volts from each leg to the neutral. This reading should not change regardless of the condition of any given breaker, i.e. even if a breaker pops or is deliberately shut off, you should still measure 240 leg to leg at the panel. You need to tell us EXACTLY how you are measuring voltage, where you are measuring, what type of instrument. The more precisely you describe what you are doing, the more likely you will be able to get reasonable assistance.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:57 PM   #7
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Power in breaker box none out of box


more than likely it's the poco's problem.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:13 PM   #8
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OK Dan you second paragraph is... If you were to measure voltage across the hot legs of the incoming service to the panel, you should measure 240 volts across the two legs, and 120 volts from each leg to the neutral. This reading should not change regardless of the condition of any given breaker, i.e. even if a breaker pops or is deliberately shut off, you should still measure 240 leg to leg at the panel. This is how I am measuring and yes this is the puzzling part. Forgive me for my vague discription but your post describes my method of measuring exactly.

So again this why it is puzzling to me when i turn on the breaker power volts power down to 0v
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:22 PM   #9
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Power in breaker box none out of box


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pastor Dee View Post
Hello I am a Pastor of a small church where we have been having power issues for over 10 years in our building.

The first upgrade came when we switched from fuses to breakers; that was a cost there. Then a few years down the road the breakers began to pop. From that we were told the power was not disbursed evenly in the building and so they came out and supposedly fixed that; more money.

Now I am at a lost because I am having issues again and I don’t know where to start looking for the problem. I am getting readings from a meter of 120v per leg and 240v coming into the panel. However, when I turn on the breakers voltage reading is 0v on both legs. But once I turn off all breakers it reads the 120v per leg and 240v. I have power coming into the panel box but none coming out. Are there any ideas where I might want to start.
You say that with the breakers on there is no power ?
Correct ?
Where are you measuring your power from ?
What side of the breakers or switch ?
Load side or supply side ?

If there is power available with no load !
And no voltage with load applied !
This means you have a serious current limit !
Which is usually a loose connection somewhere !
or possibly a bad switch / breaker !

We need more specific infomation !
Pictures of an open panel is even better !

Please be super careful around the main panel !
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:41 PM   #10
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Power in breaker box none out of box


Ok, something isn't adding up.

When you turn on the main breaker, the voltage reading drops to 0V on everything...L1 to N, L2 to N, and L1 to L2? Do you actually lose power on all the circuits in the panel or is your meter telling you that you have 0V. I guess what I'm trying to ask is do you see the complete power loss?
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:37 PM   #11
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This is why I beleive it is a bad connecttion somewhere!
With no real current flowing (such as testing with a meter),
There would be no great loss,
But apply a real load (breakers on).
Then the loss is substancial.
Technically known as a current limit !
Non technically known as a loose connecttion.

Maybe even a ghost voltage !

This is why we need more info !
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:47 PM   #12
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Power in breaker box none out of box


I'm guessing a call to the POCO will solve this, but the problem could be in the meter and I don't know who owns the wires after the service point.

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