Power going off and on

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  #1  
Old 02-27-03, 01:38 PM
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Tom Solarz
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Electrical

about two months ago there was a portable heater being used in one of the bedrooms all of sudden the power went out in both bedrooms but never tripped the breaker, all of a sudden a couple days later we noticed the power come back on. Then a couple days ago the microwave was being used it was pluged into a outlet in the living room, knocked out the power to the living room and bathroom, but the computer was on the same circut and still worked, there again it never tripped the breaker, then later that night the power came back on. What do I need to check.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-27-03, 02:13 PM
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How old of house is this? You need to figure out if the recepts are wired in series, daisy chained together or if they come from a junction box. It is obviously a loose connection somewhere. If they are chained together, which I think may be the case I would look at the connectors, look for back stabbed ones and if they are that way move them to screws. Start with the one at the puter and then the one the micro was plugged in to, or any in between. Turn the circuit off and pull the recepts out of the box.
 
  #3  
Old 02-27-03, 02:59 PM
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I would also look for a GFCI receptacle along the path, one you may not realize someone else in the house is resetting, possibilly in a bathroom. In an older house on might have been installed anywhere on the circuit and after years of use you sort of forget it is even there.
 
  #4  
Old 03-03-03, 07:47 AM
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Tom Solarz
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Electrical

We think we might have found the problem, the breakers are federal pacific, we found on the internet that they have noted problems of not triping when overloaded, so is it possible that when it does overload it knocks the power out but the breaker looks fine so could it reset itself after a time period and that is why the power comes back on? There is also no main breaker in the box to shut off the buss board. Should we have a new service put in? This house was built in the 50's and is a slab home no basement.
 
  #5  
Old 03-03-03, 07:56 AM
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lestrician
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From my experience, anything is possible with a Federal Pacific breaker. I would suggest the new service, or at the very least, replace the old FPE breakers with westinghouse.
 
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Old 03-03-03, 08:08 AM
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Personally I don't trust the FPE panels at all. I have not heard of this happening with them where the breaker shuts down and then restarts. As lestrcian said anything thing is possible, but to me seems highly unlikely.
Usually when a breaker doesn't trip you have more problems such as fires.
Then again if this breaker is not tripping why does it need to trip? What is causing the overload in the first place? Breakers don't trip or want to trip for no reason something would have to overload the circuit to cause this.
I'd be more inclined to believe you have a connection somewhere along the path that overheats then looses looses its connection do to expansion and then when it cools down again it makes connection again. This is also common in receptacles and switches that had connection made in them by the backstab method, wires inserted into the back of the device and not held in place be the screws. I would check for one such as that.
 
  #7  
Old 03-05-03, 08:27 AM
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Sparksone42
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As you have been directed, check for a loose connection! Your problem is most likely due to a loose connection in one of the receptacle boxes.

As for that FPE panel, replace it at your earliest convenience!! If you found the information about FPE breakers failing and read it indepth, you will find that the problem is that they don't trip and would not cause the problems that you are encountering. When they don't trip they cause fires. I noticed that while they were doing the testing of these breakers they found that once a breaker had tripped and been reset, it was about five times more likely not to trip when needed the next time.

The problem with this is that you won't know about it until the fire department is dousing your home with water. By all means find a way to replace any FPE equipment in your home.

Good Luck!!
Sparksone42
 
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