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will2862 02-01-2009 04:13 PM

What is it?
I have a problem that came on suddenly. Wanted to get some input before I call an electrician. When the refrigerator is plugged in or the washing machine turned on, lamps plugged in on other circuits dim dramatically. The dryer, range, and water heater do not work. However, the dryer makes a buzzing sound when I press the start button and lamps go dark. The red indicator light on the stove comes on but the stove doesn't heat up. I called the power company and they checked the current coming into the house and said it was correct. The technician suggested it might be a bad breaker or a bad leg. Anyone got any idea what this could be?

joed 02-01-2009 04:37 PM

Sounds like one of the hot legs of your service has gone open. If the POCO checked the power coming in, then the problem is either a bad main breaker or a bad connection on the breaker. If you have a fused main disconnect instead of a breaker, then it could be an open fuse.

Did they open the meter base and check it? Often the bad connection is in the meter base.

220/221 02-01-2009 04:40 PM

First thing to do is turn your main breaker off and back on.

rgsgww 02-01-2009 04:42 PM

Dont try to run the dryer or any heavy load, you could cause more damage to the bad connection/breaker. Or even the dryer itself.

Have an electrician come and check your main panel.

An easy way to see if its the main lug is by putting your hand near the main breaker and feel for heat (do not remove the cover!)

Cycle all breakers (turn them off and then on)

Yoyizit 02-01-2009 04:49 PM

If some lamps get brighter check the neutral.

will2862 02-03-2009 07:44 PM

Thanks for the input. Turns out it was a bad main breaker.

rgsgww 02-03-2009 08:04 PM


Originally Posted by will2862 (Post 224663)
Thanks for the input. Turns out it was a bad main breaker.

What brand? How old?

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