flickering before power outage

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  #1  
Old 11-18-06, 10:29 PM
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flickering before power outage

hey guys. Im in vancouver canada and I have a problem . I have a power outage problem that only affects half my power including my stove and dryer . the power goes out the breakers dont trip and when I turn my oven on the lights come on very dim and when i turn the oven off the lights go off, or the power comes on again .I thought it was a floating netral but there all pretty tight.when the power was out the other night i checked the breakers and there was no voltage accross these 5 breakers .Then in the morning i went to replace them and they worked,I replaced them anyways .I am wondering about corrosion in the box as it is very old .When the power goes again, I will check the lines comming in .My guess is that there is a problem with a leg outside my house, but that stove thing is really racking my brain???? .Now I've checked the lines and most of the boxes , but i feel that because of the stove thing the problem is in the pannel but how ??? Could someone please explain this to me...I also have multiple neutrals on my bus ,could this cause a problem?
 

Last edited by tin chucker; 11-18-06 at 10:53 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-19-06, 12:03 AM
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Fantom Neutral

Sounds to me like you’re still tracing a neutral problem. It could be anywhere from the transformer to your breaker panel. It could be in your meter socket outside. It could be at your main connections in your panel. When you turn on your stove, it back feeds all of your other loads through the stove or oven element. Then all of the loads are connected in series. Depending on the amperage draw, or resistance in each device, some things will have more voltage and some will have less. (your dim light). This will destroy your electronic equipment, if they get the higher voltage. Unplug your electronics. Then look for a loose, corroded or overheated connection. If your power is fed from your utility company underground, it could be a broken conductor underground. Any sharp rock could be the problem. Good luck. Roger (I've been an electrical contractor for 30 years)
 
  #3  
Old 11-19-06, 03:22 AM
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Hello,

I work taking emergency calls at a power company and what is sounds like you are describing is that you are not getting both legs of power. I have customers describe the same things and when we went out they were only getting one leg of power from us.

Steven
 
  #4  
Old 11-19-06, 05:26 AM
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check for break or nick in conductors.

I would check both conductors to see if they are properly connected and depending upon your location and rules have the power company check the conductors to your house. My neighbor built a dog pen using snow fence poles. He happened to nick one of the hot conductors and he had similar symptoms only with his his hot water heater would work but barely heated his water. Depending on where your meter is, his was on power pole and wire was run to house underground, you can see if current is flowing this will tell you if you have a break or exposed conductor. If its between the meter and the pole in our area its the power companies nickel and call and have them come out and check.
 
  #5  
Old 11-19-06, 06:48 AM
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One of your hots is dead. Call the POCO and turn off any two pole breakers. You are back feeding the dead side through the stove elements when you turn on the stove.
 
  #6  
Old 11-19-06, 07:41 AM
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IF i CALL HYDRO AND ITS NOT OUTSIDE THEY WILL CHARGE ME.THATS WHY I WILL CHECK THE LEGS COMMING INTO THE HOUSE NEXT TIME IT GOES OUT .MY QUESTION IS ,WHY IS IT ONLY AFFECTING BREAKERS 2&3 (STOVE) 4&5 (DRYER)#8(LIGHTS)#20#23 MAYBE I JUST DONT HAVE ANYTHING RUNNING ON THESE OTHER BREAKERS???
 
  #7  
Old 11-19-06, 08:31 AM
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We would also tell customers about a fee for comming out if we find something wrong on the customers end but that is because some people won't even check there breakers and we would get out there to find out one of there breakers have tripped. Usually if the customers checked there breakers there isn't any problem with us comming out to check the voltage, but not sure how they do it at the power company where you live.
 
  #8  
Old 11-19-06, 10:57 AM
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I would inspect all your connections in your main panel now. Don't wait for next time. If you don't find anyting then call the POCO and describe the problem. It could be in the meter can or one of their connections at the weatherhead or the pole. Loose connections could very easily start a fire or damage your home electronics as they arc. If it only happens on windy days it is most likely their problem.

Your panel has two lines feeding power to it. Only the breakers on the problem line will be affected and the breakers that feed 240 devices.
 
  #9  
Old 11-19-06, 11:59 AM
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I Noticed Something From Another Post About Multiple Neutrals On One Bus Port Is This A Problem? There All Conected Through The Bus ??i Have A Few Multiples In My Pannel .thanx For All Your Help Guys ,this Gives Me Piece Of Mind. AND I ALREADY CHECKED THE PANNEL ,LIKE I SAID IN THE FIRST POST ,WHEN THE POWER WENT OUT I HAD NO POWER ACROSS THE BREAKERS THAT WERE AFECTED ,WHICH LEADS ME TO BELIEVE THAT IT IS BEFORE THE PANNEL. WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK???EVEN WITH A FLOATING NEUTRAL AFTER THE PANNEL I WOULD STILL HAVE POWER ACROSS THE BREAKERS WOULDNT I?????
 
  #10  
Old 11-19-06, 01:03 PM
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No need to yell tc. Everyone understands this but you. Call the power company. Unplug your electronics. Turn the 240 volt breakers off. If anything isn't working correctly either unplug it or don't use it.

That's Mr Stripe to you!
 
  #11  
Old 11-19-06, 02:16 PM
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Two neutral wires under one screw is against code, however it is not your problem today. Your problem is a hot wire.
Did you inpect the main power line connection comining into the main disconnect breaker? That is where the problem is going to be.
 
  #12  
Old 11-19-06, 03:42 PM
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If you haven't already done so, call the power company now. You have a serious problem. In the mean time turn off your main breaker. Yes, I said turn off your main breaker.

You are risking ruining any and all of your electronics as well as any and all of your 140 volt appliances.
 
  #13  
Old 11-19-06, 06:10 PM
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Ive Checked The Panel ,when The Power Is On The Poco Is Not Going To Find Anything When Its Working ,this Problem Is Intermittent Everything Works 99.99999percent Of The Time ,so When It Does Happen Again I Will Test The Legs Comming In To The Pannel .this Is The Advice My Electrician Gave Me .then I Know 100% That It Is Not My Problem .and Im Not Yelling My Caps Lock Is Busted .and To Mr Inteligent,i Do Understand This ,im Just Looking For Other Input And Turn The Power Off And Call The Power People Doesnt Help Me ,thats Obvios And Has Been Done But With 200,000 People Out Of Power In My City Right Now ,it Will Be A While Before They Get Around To Me ...AS FOR RISKING ALL MY ELECTRONICS ,THIS HAS HAPPENED A FEW TIMES NOW AND THOS AFECTED BREAKERS ARE NOT IN USE JUST THE ONES WITH LIGHTS SO I CAN TELL WHEN IT HAPPENS AGAIN THANX GUYS ,YOU ARE A GOOD BUNCH!!!
 
  #14  
Old 11-20-06, 04:18 AM
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You have been given the best advice available. The fact that you haven't followed it says that you don't fully understand how dangerous your situation is. With a problem like yours, you will get priority treatment over people with no power.

Stop being foolish. Make the call now.
 
  #15  
Old 11-20-06, 05:18 AM
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The power company can in fact find the problem if the power is still on. The loose conenction will show signs of burning. They can wiggle the connections and see if they are tight.
 
  #16  
Old 11-20-06, 05:40 AM
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I've taken many calls like this at the power company. Even if its not happening at the time we will still come out and check all of our connections at the pole and to the meter.
 
  #17  
Old 11-21-06, 02:58 PM
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well the poco came out finally at 4:00 am and fixed it at the pole we were all late for work ,but its piece of mind thanx guys for all advice :0)
 
  #18  
Old 11-22-06, 09:23 AM
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Glad its all working for you

Steven
 
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