WHOA What the Heck Just Happened!!!

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  #1  
Old 03-22-14, 08:40 PM
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WHOA What the Heck Just Happened!!!

Half my house just went dark. I Have a 200A panel 7 years old, under almost no usage, just now about 1/3 of my circuits coming out of the panel cut off, 3 on one side and 4 on the right side. One is a 220V circuit that was not in use (dryer). I went down to the panel, none of the breakers were tripped. I flip them back and forth and they still don't shoot out any voltage on the black wire coming out the breaker (the 2/3 of breakers that do I can read voltage on).

I have never heard of this problem! I have added several 20A lines to the panel a few years ago and am no electrical slouch, but i haven't touched the panel in years and i haven't even tripped a breaker in years! I find it impossible that 7 breakers could die all at once? And the one time i've had a breaker die it should have shot out the little red panel and can't be reset. There are no storms in my area and it is 60 degrees light usage. WTF???

I really really don't want to spend all tomorrow replacing these breakers, one of the down ones is one that is only 3 years old that I added myself. And i don't even know that that is the problem. Any ideas out there?
 
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Old 03-22-14, 08:49 PM
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Do the dead circuits' breakers form a pattern for example every third row?

You may have lost a leg of your service. The problem or break might be anywhere from under the panel main breaker on up to the utility pole transformer.

Try flipping off the main breaker and flipping it back on.

Since you mentioned 1/3 of the breakers are dead rather than 1/2, I might mention that some homes (not all that common) have 3 incoming legs of power rather than 2. In this case, while the breaker terminal to neutral voltage is still the usual 110-120, the leg to leg voltage is usually about 208 instead of 230-240.
 
  #3  
Old 03-22-14, 09:01 PM
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OMG Allan, it is every other one! both left and right.

And guess what, the power company was out four days ago fiddling with my transformer on the pole in my backyard, freaked out my wife, and we lost power for a few minutes.

I can't flip the main right now, my smoke alarm and security system will let off their beeps and wake up the kids, but i can first thing in the morning.

What are the chances of something wrong with my panel versus the utility pole?
 
  #4  
Old 03-22-14, 09:07 PM
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You lost a leg of the service... the up and down associated with the power company work must have stress the final wires that were providing service and they gave. You may read low voltage on that one leg with no load, but with load you'll likely read 0 volts... Call the power company and report the outage. 99.9% sure.
-=Phyber
 
  #5  
Old 03-22-14, 09:11 PM
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You guys are the best, thanks so much!
 
  #6  
Old 03-22-14, 09:16 PM
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Call the power company 24-7 emergency number now. Tell them you have a dead leg. (Note: do not call customer service.) Turn off the main breaker now so you don't damage any equipment. If they don't show up in two or three hours call again.
 
  #7  
Old 03-23-14, 06:48 AM
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An update to finish the thread: power company came out 3 hours after call, i did not call back. The guy had a light trained on my outdoor meter and utility pole, and told me to flip the main breaker. He was already up to the meter by the time i got outside and I guess the meter sparked pretty bad.

He said all the lugnuts were loose, and the leg that was off inside he said he had to turn the screw 4 times to tighten. He blamed whomever installed the panel 7 years ago for leaving it loose, but i wasns't charged since the problem was outside

thanks again
 
  #8  
Old 03-23-14, 07:37 AM
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Excellent! Thanks for letting us know.
 
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