Removed water heater and now no power at outlets


Old 07-07-14, 10:41 PM
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Removed water heater and now no power at outlets

I will be replacing the water in a house I am getting ready to rent. I had the old one removed today. The laborers called me and told me that after they disconnected the water pipes from the tank, the window fans started running very slow. When they unplugged one of fans the other fan (in a different room) and lights went out. I told them to turn off the main breaker for now until I can get out there tomorrow and look into this. Everything electrical has been working normal until the water heater removal. I should note that the water heater is gas and in no way wired to anything. I can get an electrician out there on Wednesday but am curious if anyone has any ideas on what the cause could be.
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Old 07-07-14, 10:57 PM
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It sounds like an open neutral. Call the power company's emergency number. They should come out for free.
Old 07-07-14, 11:06 PM
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Good call Justin I'd have to agree with you.

That's a pretty serious problem and could still be a hazard even with the main turned off if the power company lost the neutral at the pole. If you have a meter you can check between the water pipes. No one should work in there until the POCO or an electrician checks it out.
Old 07-08-14, 05:51 AM
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Was thinking maybe the service panel is grounded to the water pipe after the water heater. By removing the water heater there is no ground now. Still seems strange that unplugging one appliance would cause everything to lose power though.
Old 07-08-14, 08:47 AM
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Call the emergency number for the power company not customer service. A likely posibility is you have had a lost neutral, perhaps for sometime, and the ground was acting as neutral. Removing the WH broke the ground that was serving as neutral.
Old 07-08-14, 10:34 AM
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That's exactly what I thought. Went there this morning and tested everything. Could not find any issues. The neutral coming into the service panel is good. All connections were tight. Checked every receptacle. Loose ground on one and two had the polarity reversed but that was all. We have had a lot of storms this week and there have been a lot of Com Ed trucks around. No one is living in the house right now so maybe it was a Com Ed issue that was fixed.

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