electrical panel

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Old 09-21-02, 02:35 PM
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smithdeb
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Unhappy electrical panel

Hey, guys. You have helped me before with awesome tips and I spend a lot of time surfing your site. This morning, my microwave blitzed. Well, after buying a new microwave and plugging it into the spot the other one was plugged into, it didn't work.
I got the message and checked all the receptacles on this particular wall: the two near the stove/oven nor the one that has the coffemaker on it are working. So, I go to the switch box to see if a circuit has blown. But nothing is switched to 'off.' I flipped the three breakers that I know are the receptacle switches, but nothing happened.
I don't know what to do. I logged on here, and searched around. I found a disturbing post from someone about Federal Pacific Panels ... guess what's in my house? A FP panel! Am I going to have a fire on my hands?!
A little background: my house was built in the seventies. The panel is in the dining/kitchen area. When I first moved in, all of the receptacles in the kitchen, on this particular wall, had those trip switches on it. An electrician came and replaced them all because my dishwasher wasn't running ... it was throwing the switch every time. After he replaced them with regular receptacles, I didn't have a problem ... until now. I wonder if i should've kept them on there. My son also told me today, when I was telling him the problem, that the receptacles on his back bedroom wall have not been working for some time.
Should I get the electrican back over here to redo the electrical panel? How much will this cost??
Thanks, guys! I am a single mom who struggles to repair what I can by myself.... but I am not stupid enough to tackle the toughies.
 
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Old 09-21-02, 05:26 PM
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The dead receptacles are probably protected by a GFCI outlet somewhere. The GFCI is tripped. Look all around for this outlet with a test and reset button. Push the reset. It might be in the kitchen cabinets, counter top, bathroom, for that matter just about anywhere (also outside).
 
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Old 09-21-02, 07:25 PM
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Dead Circuit:

If the electrician removed all your GFCI recpt. from the counter then he Done a no-no. And if he was willing to do that then I bet he was also willing to back stab the wires in the recpt. Might find a new electrician. It sounds as if it was possible to keep the GFCI recpt. and still keep the dishwasher from tripping them out.
You need to have the recpt. checked, and see if anything has come loose. For about 10$ you can purchase a (Wiggy) "Recpt. tester" to check for missing hot, missing neutral, and ground. Very simple to do, If you fill comfortable to fix the problem this will be a start.
Or call the electrician back and tell him to warranty his work. He should have suggested more options thou, instead of removing the GFCI's.
Not all Federal Pacific Panels burn down, So donít panic yet. The best things to look for, and this can be done very easy. Remove the cover, but be sure not to let it fall into the box as you remove it. At the top you will see one breaker that will be larger then the rest. At a safe distance, and a flashlight look at the larger wires feeding the breaker. What you are looking for is at the point where they connect to the breaker is for barker copper than normal, or the insulation looks like it is heated.
Do this all the way down the panel, Each breaker, One at a time.
Now with the back of your hand fill each breaker. might be safer to do this one with the panel cover on. (only the tops). What you are looking for now is any abnormal heat. Electricity produces heat, but what you are looking for is the warmth of a baby bottle 2 deg to hot.
Listen for pop and crackling noise, as well as use your nose for smelling anything that might be to hot, Electrical parts that are becoming hot produce a very distinctive smell, you will know it because you might have never smelt anything like it.
Anyone of these signs calls for a Professional Electrician to exam.
 
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