Interesting Problem...

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  #1  
Old 04-16-07, 05:45 PM
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Interesting Problem...

I went to replace a 20A breaker with a 15A breaker in the main panel. When I turned the power back on, only one of the two breakers in the garage panel had power. All the other lights, etc., in the house were working OK. Hmmm, what's going on here?

I then checked and noticed that I was only getting 120V across the dual pole breakers that normally show 240V. The only explanation I could come up with for this is that we temporarily lost power from one of the 120V feeds due to high winds.

The garage subpanel is fed 240V from the main panel via two hot wires. One of these hot wires goes to one breaker and the other hot wire goes to the other breaker. That's why I lost power to one breaker and nothing else. Is this setup normal for subpanels?

An hour later I measured 240V across the dual pole breakers in the main panel and everything was OK. But the scary thing is that I wouldn't have known that I lost because everything else operating on 120V appeared normal. During the outage, what would have happened if I tried to turn on the A/C, for example, which is designed for 240V but would have only seen 120V?
 
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  #2  
Old 04-16-07, 06:01 PM
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Location: Central New York State
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Call your power company NOW. Actually, call them when you first noticed this, but it's too late for that, so call them NOW.

You have a serious problem and you are risking damaging ALL your 240 volt equipment. Until they come out turn off ALL your 240 volt breakers. Do not turn them on until the problem is found and corrected.

The power company will come out tonight and check the incoming service. If it is their problem they will fix the problem. If it is your problem they may gfix it anyway, but they will at least tell you it is your problem and possibly tell you exactly what it is.
 
  #3  
Old 04-16-07, 08:16 PM
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The only 240V equipment I have is an electric wall room heater and the A/C. I don't ever use the wall heater, and it never got above 40 degrees yesterday so I didn't need to use the A/C. At least I didn't have any damage to the 240V equipment - but I'll make sure to call the power company to make sure there isn't a loose wire or something like that.
 
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