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Old 09-28-2008, 10:30 AM   #1
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


Hello!
The other night--in the middle of the night some of our power went out in our house. My husband went down to the basement and flipped the breaker a few times and it finally stayed on. The issue lies, we haven't added anything new to the outlets or anything. AND the breakers aren't tripping. He says he's going to call an electrician tomorrow, but I wanted to know if anyone had any suggestions?
It went out once last night, and twice this morning one right after the other. I went down once and just flipped everything on the left (no clue why) and everything turned back on.
Thank you so much!!

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Old 09-28-2008, 10:56 AM   #2
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


If you're losing power and your breakers aren't tripping, something's definately wrong. The breakers are overcurrent devices designed to trip in the event of a circuit overload. For the power to go out with the breaker staying on is a major concern and should be looked at by a professional nothing short of immediately.

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Old 09-28-2008, 10:58 AM   #3
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


I do agree with JV, breakers do sometimes go bad. If it is one breaker, replacing it is a good idea. If it is more than one circuit, I think there's a bigger problem. When replacing it, be sure it is in the OFF position. I'd recommend shutting the main power off just to be safe while doing this.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:00 AM   #4
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


You say your husband "flipped" the breaker several times and then it worked, and now it has done it again? What breaker is he flipping. You say none of the breakers are tripped.
Is he is flipping the main breaker (the one that shuts down everything)?
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:30 AM   #5
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


Many breakers when they trip, don't always 'look' like they tripped. You have to turn them off fully, then back on to reset them. Just something to keep in mind.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:57 AM   #6
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


Sometimes there is a loose main wire in an electric panel, at the electric meter, or at the utility connection.

If just one "hot" wire is loose, the symptoms are that half of the things in your house will not have power. So maybe the refrigerator is running, but the kitchen light is off. Have power to one room, but the room next door has no power. Many things have power and many things do not have power.

And no circuit breakers would be tripped in this situation.

If this is the problem, the electrician or electric company may just need to tighten the main connections in your meter/main electric panels (or subpanel if you have one).

For now, might want to call your electric company and have them "retighten your lugs" on the meter and main service panels.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:31 PM   #7
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


This happened to my friend a few weeks ago. He lost some lights and a plug and could not figure out the problem. After a few hours of searching it was a bad joint on a neutral in a plug that was working fine.

There are many things that could cause this, unless you know a bit about electricty it mayy eb worth your money to hire someone.

Nest time this happens before flipping breakers take a look and see if the breaker is actually tripped, it will usually sit in the middle opposed to on or off. If no breakers are tripped you probably have a lose connection somewhere.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:29 PM   #8
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by SD515 View Post
Many breakers when they trip, don't always 'look' like they tripped. You have to turn them off fully, then back on to reset them. Just something to keep in mind.
Very, very true.
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:27 PM   #9
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


As of now we think it may be a loose wire somewhere. Since it has happened this afternoon, just touching the breaker box will turn the lights back on. I'm going to give the electric company a call first.
Thank you all so much for such quick and informative replies!
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:53 PM   #10
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The electric company won't do anything but tell you to get an electrician.
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:05 PM   #11
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by dzigboysmama View Post
... just touching the breaker box will turn the lights back on. I'm going to give the electric company a call first.....
You have a loose connection or bad breaker in there. The power company won't help you, unless the loose connection is in the meter box, which sounds doubtful in this case.
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Old 06-27-2009, 03:33 PM   #12
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


I've told a bunch of people what's going on, and they just tell me, "that can't be happening, call an electrician..."

I'm not against calling an electrician, but hey, times are tough, and I do have some professional experience repairing appliances and electronics. I'm not very familiar with home electrical stuff, and I'm confused by what's happening.

HERE'S THE PROBLEM:



Power goes out in our house. Not all of it, just some. Outlets and lamps that are on different circuits lose power, but no circuit breakers are tripped (no, flipping the breakers for those circuits to the fully "off" position and then back to "on" does not help). It's the same group of circuits, every time.



Power will later come back on, all by itself. If I unplug some stuff, or play with the GFCI's (test +/or reset), it will sometimes come back on... WHILE I am pressing those buttons. I am uncertain whether the GFCI's are part of the problem, connected, but it seems to be.

I removed the cover from the circuit breaker box and I noticed a little bit of corrosion "fuzz" on some of the terminals on the buss bar that runs up the left side of the panel. The large (finger sized) white wire connected to the top of the buss bar looks blackish grey (the metal wire is dark, not the insulation/covering), the two fat black wires going to the main breaker are very clearly copper.

The corroded/discolored wire seems like a something that would definately cause problems. If this was a vehicle, I would already be done replacing all of that.

The house is about 90 years old, but the panel and gfci's are less than 5 years old, and some of the circuits involved are about 3 years old.

I'm comfortable with replacing components like outlets and breakers, although I'm hoping I don't have to check every wire nut and terminal in the house.

If nothing else, I'm hoping that I can steer an electrian towards the problem, because I can see that this deal could quickly eat up a lot of trouble shooting time.

Thank You for your time!

Michael



Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
Sometimes there is a loose main wire in an electric panel, at the electric meter, or at the utility connection.

If just one "hot" wire is loose, the symptoms are that half of the things in your house will not have power. So maybe the refrigerator is running, but the kitchen light is off. Have power to one room, but the room next door has no power. Many things have power and many things do not have power.

And no circuit breakers would be tripped in this situation.

If this is the problem, the electrician or electric company may just need to tighten the main connections in your meter/main electric panels (or subpanel if you have one).

For now, might want to call your electric company and have them "retighten your lugs" on the meter and main service panels.
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Old 06-27-2009, 03:50 PM   #13
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


Its best to start a new thread rather then dig up an old one
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:11 PM   #14
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Some power going out not flipping breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael H View Post
Power goes out in our house. Not all of it, just some. Outlets and lamps that are on different circuits lose power, but no circuit breakers are tripped (no, flipping the breakers for those circuits to the fully "off" position and then back to "on" does not help). It's the same group of circuits, every time.

Power will later come back on, all by itself.
You should find the one or two root causes of this by tracing the circuits. It's not good to have this.

One way you can find the problem even when things seem to be working is to plug in a 10A hair dryer and look for a max. 3v drop at the outlet, depending on your wire size, distance to panel, and if the wire is copper or alum..

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