Incoming Wire Arc

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Old 05-16-09, 12:45 PM
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Incoming Wire Arc

The lights have begun to dim in my home every 5-10 minutes. While at breaker box during a dimming session I see arcing at the main incoming hot wire terminal (the one on the right).

Is there anything I can do...tighten that terminal screw? Replace it? Will I have to turn the power off from outside of the house at the meter?
 
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Old 05-16-09, 12:53 PM
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A loose main connection is not a DIY project. If in fact this is a subpanel and there is a cut off ahead of the panel you can tighten it. Best to use a torque wrench set to OEM specs. If in doubt call an electrician. A wrong guess could be deadly. Always check with a volt meter before doing any work.
 
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Old 05-16-09, 01:39 PM
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The arcing may have caused damage to the conductor. It may need to be cut back and reterminated properly. The lug may have been damaged also.

Call an electrician. This is not a DIY issue.
 
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Old 05-27-09, 10:29 AM
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Answer

Turns out it did need to be re-terminated. The connection screw was very lose and one strand of wire was not all the way in the terminal. Electrician turned off all circuit switches (including main), pulled meter off, checked panel for juice with multi meter (there was none) then cut about an eighth of an inch off the bottom then straitened the wires, peeled back some insulation and reset the incoming hot wire down into the terminal. No more blinking (dimming) lights. Cost $65
 
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Old 05-27-09, 11:19 AM
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Looks like you got a good deal. Thanks for letting us know how it worked out.
 
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Old 05-27-09, 11:22 AM
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$65!!!? You mean $165?

I can't imagine even getting an electrician to show up for $65 most places. What a deal.
 
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Old 05-27-09, 01:41 PM
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SO GLAD to read that you followed the advice to call an electrician - and it sounds like you got a good deal on the work to boot!
 
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Old 05-27-09, 08:33 PM
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Well done being observant on your electrical system!
Save your electrician's name and number, sounds like they are a keeper. Pass it on too! We electricians are hungry.
 
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