Power drain

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-27-05, 09:00 AM
joebabiker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Question Power drain

Recently whenever I turn on the disposer, gas dryer, or dishwasher the power dips such that my DirectTV tuner loses signal and the lights dim for a moment. Also when the toaster is in operation and I use the microwave oven the elements in the toaster dim conciderably. Each appliance is on a separate breaker. What could be going on???
thanks in advance
joe
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-27-05, 12:13 PM
txdiyguy's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 249
Could be poor electrical connections at either:

on the line side of your electrical panel
on the load side of your meter
on the line side of the meter
at the point where the line side wires to the meter connect to the utility (if overhead service)
at the utility's connections from the service drop to the secondary or transformer (in a handhole or pedestal if underground or on the pole)

Could be an undersized utility transformer

Could be that you are a long way from the utility transformer (meaning a lot of voltage drop in utilitiy's secondary and service)
 
  #3  
Old 01-27-05, 12:30 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Start with a call to the power company. Ask them to check their connections. It's a free and common service.
 
  #4  
Old 02-05-05, 04:30 PM
joebabiker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Regarding Power Drain


The power company came out to inspect my power problem and said that all was okay on their side but that the main breaker was arcing when he tested it. I have changed the 15 and 20 amp breakers before but the main has wires attached to it. So my next questions are how difficult is it to change the main? What safety precautions must be taken?

thanks
joe
 
  #5  
Old 02-05-05, 06:11 PM
ElDerfo
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Hey, Joe.

It's fairly simple, but inconvenient. Assuming that the main breaker in your panel also serves as the service disconnect, you need to remove the power going into your panel. That means:

1. Obtain a replacement main breaker from the manufacturer of your panel.

2. Call the power company and make arrangements for them to come out and temporarily disconnect your service so that you can replace the main breaker.

-OR--

Go outside and yank the meter out of the box. This, of course, means breaking the utilty company's seal on the meter box, but it is far more convenient.

3. Replace the main breaker.

4. Have the power company turn the power back on (or plug the meter back into the box).

Good luck

- Fred
 
  #6  
Old 02-05-05, 06:32 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Joe, I think replacing the main breaker is best left to a professional, and I don't give that advice very often.
 
  #7  
Old 02-05-05, 06:38 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455
Originally Posted by ElDerfo

Go outside and yank the meter out of the box. This, of course, means breaking the utilty company's seal on the meter box, but it is far more convenient.

3. Replace the main breaker.
This IS NOT advice that should be given out on a DIY site....EVER!!!!!!!

Far more convenient but highly illegal, especially for a DIY homeowner. Even licensed electrical contractors usually have to be on an approved list to pull a meter. And it is not nearly as simple as "yank the meter out".
 
  #8  
Old 02-06-05, 01:32 PM
ElDerfo
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
You are both absolutely right. Please forgive me for being so careless. It isn't advice that I should have given out so casually.

Having said that, why couldn't a DIYer replace a main breaker when the service has been de-energized by the utility? There's not much to it.

Fred
 
  #9  
Old 02-06-05, 03:05 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Yes, a homeowner could replace the main breaker. But there are risks that the homeowner should consider.
(1) the screws must be proper torqued to make a proper connection, so the homeowner should have the skills and tools to do this.
(2) if anything goes wrong with the power company coordination or the installation, the house could be without power for longer than you might want.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes