Haunted Wiring?!


Old 05-09-07, 11:57 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2
Haunted Wiring?!

My problem started when my dryer stoped having heat and ran cold.
It is on a seperate breaker with one of those big plugs.

The weird thing is that my living room has 4 plugs that have 3 different breakers. The South East(SE) living room plug has an end table lamp plugged into it. When I turn my dryer on, the living room lamp comes on! They are each on a different breaker and this never happened before for the past 8 years I've lived here.

The North plug has my tv/stereo/etc plugged into it, which a few days after the dryer incident stopped working, and the only thing that will run on it is a night light. There isn't enough juice for anything else. But there is some.

And about a year ago, the elecrical in my garage stopped working, starting with my big freezer and then light, but the basement light that's on the same breaker works till this day. The garage is unattached, with underground wiring under the back yard.

Now it's spring and I tried my central air conditioner and the fan on it won't turn. I can hear power buzzing in the unit. I installed a new digital thermostat this winter, so it may be that, but the dislay says it's turning AC on, and seems to think it's working.

The breaker panel is the new kind, but it's still going through the old lever main switch which still works to turn the whole house power on/off.
The plugs are only 2 prong (no ground) and some 3 prong but whoever installed them put then upside down

Does ANYONE have any idea what's going on? Thanks.
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Old 05-10-07, 12:01 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 995
You need to call an electrician. It is possible that you've got a loose connection or a blown fuse that has taken out one of the two hot legs coming into a panel.

He'll let you know if you need to call the exorcist.

It is also extremely likely that the new 3-prong receptacles were installed incorrectly, and often dangerously so.

There is no such thing as upside down. Ground up is very appropriate and becoming more common. Sometimes, one that is different is to show that it is switched or some other reason.

Is the garage just part of a circuit, or does it have a subpanel inside?
Old 05-10-07, 12:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tustin
Posts: 90
you haven't lost a hot leg, you have lost a neutral, that is why your light in your living room is coming on, sounds like you may have lost it where the poco comes in.
Old 05-10-07, 12:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tustin
Posts: 90
man, I really need to go to bed, I just realized that he was talking mostly of 220 appliances, I need to correct myself, it does sound like a hot now that I re-read it.
Old 05-10-07, 12:29 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2
garage has no panel

The garage does not have a another breaker panel, there is only one in the house and the that specific breaker includes the garage plugs, the garage light, and the light in the house basement. There is also another plug in the basement, but it's on its own different breaker.
Old 05-10-07, 05:32 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You need to call the power company NOW. Do not wait, call them now. You should have called them as soon as you discovered the problem.

In the mean time turn off your electrical panel and do not use any electricity If you refuse to follow those directions, then at the very least turn off the 240 volt circuit breakers.

I suspect you have lost one hot leg. When you turn on the dryer, you are feeding the missing leg through the dryer. This is NOT good.

The power company will check their side of things. They may even check your side of things. If the problem is not theirs, they will probably at least point you in the right direction.
Old 05-10-07, 04:27 PM
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Can't he take a volt meter and see if he has 220 or not at the main? Or if he has ground?..at the main?
Old 05-10-07, 07:34 PM
ray2047's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,125
He could check the main but telling a newbie of unknown skill level to test the main is dicey.

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