Strange Electrical Problems On One Side Of The House

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  #1  
Old 06-18-11, 06:19 PM
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Strange Electrical Problems On One Side Of The House

Just last month our air conditioning compressor blew out. Around the same time, our attic fan died. Also since this time, the breaker switch within the transformer on the side of our house that controls our landscaping lights keeps tripping (3x in one month).

Both the a/c compressor and attic fan are about 8 years old so they may have gone on their own. We immediately had the a/c compressor replaced. An electrician told us that the motor went on our attic fan so we are trusting him to replace the whole fan. The attic fan breaker was not tripped before it died. Someone came out to check the landscape light issue but we were told everything was fine. The breaker within the outside transformer box keeps tripping however.

What seems odd is that all of the above events occurred around the same time. Also, the outside a/c unit and transformer for the landscaping lights are both located next to each other on one side of the house. The attic fan is located toward that side as well.

Looking at the big picture, is it possible that all of these issues are symptomatic of a central electrical problem? Could all of these events be tied together or does it sound like a major case of bad luck?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 06-18-11, 06:41 PM
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AC compressors die at their own pace and are on a separate 240 volt breaker set up all to themselves. Attic fans are proned to failure from the day they are installed. They have to work in 125 degree temperatures constantly in the summer, so failure rate is very high and quick. I have never seen a breaker inside an outdoor low voltage light transformer, so I am at a loss on that. Is there a reset button that pops out? If so, do you have too many lights on the transformer?
 
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Old 06-18-11, 07:38 PM
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It sounds like a coincidence that everything failed at one time. My luck a few more things would have blown as well.
 
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Old 06-19-11, 04:33 AM
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Thanks Justin and Chandler. I feel so much better now knowing that our house isn't going to suddenly explode on us one day. Everything seemed to go at the same time during one of the hottest days on record down here in Florida recently.

Yes, there is a reset button within the outdoor low voltage light transformer that keeps popping. It just started doing this about a month ago. Must be a short or something down the line of lights. Don't think we have too many lights on the transformer because everything had been working perfectly for a few years up until recently.
 
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Old 06-19-11, 05:52 AM
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The transformer temperature could have been borderline for a while but higher ambiant temperatures could have tipped it over the line.
 
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Old 06-19-11, 06:38 AM
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An electrician told us that the motor went on our attic fan so we are trusting him to replace the whole fan. The attic fan breaker was not tripped before it died.
Is the fan an attic ventilator mounted on the roof or a whole house attic fan mounted in the ceiling of the house? Was the electrician a real electrician or a handyman? You very well may have a coincidence, but I'd feel better if the voltage at the service panel was checked. IF the fan is a roof mounted ventilator, Chandler is right, these don't last long in the environment where they operate, but IF the fan is a whole house ceiling mounted fan, the motor should last for 30 years or more.
 
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Old 06-19-11, 08:54 AM
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Joe, the electrician was sent by our home warranty company so not sure how knowledgeable he is. The fan is mounted in our attic near the roof I believe. It is sweltering up there especially in the summer months so it does work quite hard.
 
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Old 06-19-11, 10:18 AM
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Joe, the electrician was sent by our home warranty company so not sure how knowledgeable he is.
That scares the hell out of me, I have seen a few "Tradesmen" sent out by home warranty companies. I think you need to have your voltages checked at the service panel, but you may just have a coincidence.
 
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Old 06-19-11, 05:06 PM
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Oh, I could tell you some stories about some of the techs sent out by our home warranty company. I think you are right Joe. We are going to hire someone qualified to come out and check everything just to put our minds at rest.
 
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Old 06-19-11, 08:47 PM
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It will be the wisest idea to have to hire a legit electrical contractor to help you on this matter they can able assist you in quick manner to find the cuprit somecase you may have loose connection that can compound it.

So to find that curpit it will take a little time but once they know where it is then they can able fixed up real quick.

Merci,
Marc
 
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Old 06-20-11, 04:45 AM
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Thanks Marc. How does one go about locating a *legitimate* electrical contractor? Must they be licensed?
 
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Old 06-20-11, 05:58 AM
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Must they be licensed?
A masters license should be a must have in this case. You could even ask for their license number.
 
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Old 06-20-11, 05:52 PM
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Not all electricians are required to be individually licensed in all areas. Some states require licensing of all electricans, but in Missouri and some other states, only contractors are able to hold the license and all his electricians work under that license. Try calling the Building Department of your municipality or County and inquire about licensing requirements. I am sure they will be able to offer you the information you are looking for.
 
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