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austinomega 12-21-2012 09:52 PM

Power is dimmed, but not because of the electric company.
As the title suggests, my power is incredibly dim, and even flickers off when i power on an appliance. There wasn't a problem until the purchase and use of a portable radiator heater. After using it for an hour, the power dimmed, and unplugging the device hasn't helped. The power company checked everything on their end, and everything is in order. This is an older home, with a fuse box that uses four 25 amp fuses. Changing these fuses hasn't helped. The electric stove won't even come on anymore. Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Jim Port 12-21-2012 09:57 PM

You may have blown one of the main fuses.

You should not have 25 amp fuses for your branch circuits for lights and receptacles. A twenty amp circuit would be the max.

frenchelectrican 12-21-2012 10:04 PM

Sound like combation of blowen main fuse and bad connection.

Second thing you should not useing the 25 amp fuse at all you are allready overloading the circuits.

The next step is you will have start to make a circuit map to see what it serve for each fuse so you will know which one to find it.

I know this is the 4+2 fuse box aka small 60 amp fuse box which I know they are common in old days but not any more due more and more circuits are being adding along the way it can overload the exsting service so this part you may want to take a look at the set up and do the upgrading the service.


austinomega 12-21-2012 10:18 PM

All great information. To the french electrician, when you say 4 + 2 fuse box, you mean four of the smaller fuses, and 2 main fuses? Sorry, i'm very new to this. And it's one of these main fuses i've blown?

frenchelectrican 12-21-2012 10:33 PM


Originally Posted by austinomega (Post 1077781)
All great information. To the french electrician, when you say 4 + 2 fuse box, you mean four of the smaller fuses, and 2 main fuses? Sorry, i'm very new to this. And it's one of these main fuses i've blown?

I will post the photo so to clear up the details.,

Note this photo the picture is rotated for some reason but it wil be on the left side where it marked " MAIN " so when you pull that out the whole house will go dark so use a good flashlight and have new 60 amp fuse cartage ready when you replace it.

Note : here the fuse look like .,

Expect to be little hard to pull out but it is typical to do that.

If other question just holler real quick.


austinomega 12-21-2012 11:24 PM

Thank you very much for the help. I will update my progress tomorrow.

AllanJ 12-22-2012 06:46 AM

A connection probably was a little loose and burned up when you plugged in the heater, drawing a lot of power. You will have to find that connection.

Keep the heater unplugged for now. Measure the voltage between each fuse and neutral with differing amounts of loads (number of lights and appliances turned on.) Are any 120 volt branch circuits (you have 4, one for each fuse) always normal?

If you get some voltages somewhat over 125 and other voltages somewhat under 110 then the loose connection is in the neutral. You need to unplug all electronic devices (including microwave ovens) from affected circuits as damage could happen.

It is possible for a bad neutral to be upstream of the panel in which case you might need the help of the electric company.

Loose connections do not rule out the plug-in blades of the black rectangular fuse holders (pull straight out) that hold the main fuses, and the fuses of the 240 volt circuit often labeled "range" (for electric stove). Discoloration of those blades would reveal a problem.

austinomega 12-22-2012 09:28 PM

Replaced the main fuse, but the problem isn't fixed. Not sure what to do from here.

frenchelectrican 12-22-2012 09:38 PM


Originally Posted by austinomega (Post 1078312)
Replaced the main fuse, but the problem isn't fixed. Not sure what to do from here.

It the time to call your POCO ( POwer COmpanine ) and tell them that you have partal power outage and they will send someone out and check the system for you from the meter to the POCO post or pedestail ( if run underground ) this call useally not charge the fees for comming out on this part.

I want you do this right away don't delay any longer than you have to so that way you can rule out the POCO side useally most case that is true once that clear up then we will go next step which we will discuss a bit is you may want to start do the troubleshooting only if you understand the produces clear but if not too confortable it will be wise to backoff and get a Electrician to come out and assit you on this matter.

Again please do call the POCO to come out and check thier side to make sure.

Then we will go from here depending on your skill level is.

I am not being " rude " but I have to think about safety where I can draw the line to where it stop at the point.


austinomega 12-22-2012 11:17 PM

I had the power company come out, everything is fine on their end. I'm not experienced in this at all, so understand that any advice you will give, I won't use personally. I've decided to call an electrician after the holidays, but financially, things are tough for me right now. Here is some updated information for you, and any advice you might give, give it as though you were directing a professional. I need to get him briefed as quickly as possible to minimize the cost.

After replacing the four fuses with lower amp ones, i also replaced the clearly blown main, and my lights remain dimmed. I noticed, upon removing the very first normal fuse, that my power was restored considerably, but i still cannot power my water pump or stove. I still have this fuse removed, for fear that the circuit is draining power somehow, and may be hazardous. For a few appliances, such as the television, i have the power running from a different circuit, and it seems adequate in powering it. I think the problem lies within this first circuit, or my old, outdated fusebox in general.

joed 12-23-2012 10:34 AM

The problem is one of your hot lines is bad. The problem could be a connection in main disconnect. Turn off the main and measure the incoming power. You should have 120 on each side to ground and 240 between them. If you do not then the POCO need to come back. Did the POCO pull the meter and check inside it? Some time they don't get it on the first call.

austinomega 12-23-2012 11:16 AM

I watched them when they came out, they seemed to check the meter, and even checked the transformer. A few more pieces of information, i've isolated what i think is the problem circuit and everything seems to be working considerably better, but i still don't have enough power to kick on the electric stove or the water pump.

zappa 12-23-2012 11:42 AM

As others have mentioned it sounds like you are missing one of your hot lines. It would be wise to get an electrician or someone knowledgable with a meter to continue troubleshooting this problem. From your description it sounds like the power company only checked to the meter and not to the fusebox and that could be where the problem is. Your stove and water pump probably runs on 240 volts and you need both hots for that. Is the water pump a well pump for your water? The dimming is most likely current flowing through a 240 volt appliance and feeding the missing hot circuit.

austinomega 12-23-2012 07:09 PM

Yes, the water pump is for a well. I figured it was along the lines of the pump and stove not getting enough power. As i mentioned, i had the power company come out, but they really didn't indicate anything was wrong. I'll drag them out again, soon. Could part of this malfunctioning hotline be located in the fusebox? When the electrician comes out, i planned on upgrading my service anyway, if i can afford it.

joed 12-23-2012 07:50 PM

Turn all the double pole breakers(stove, pump. water heater, etc.) and probably half the breakers in the panel will go dead. This is an indication one of your hot leads is out.

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