Power randomly goes out but no tripped breakers

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  #1  
Old 08-05-15, 01:32 PM
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Power randomly goes out but no tripped breakers

For the past week or so we have part of our garage's electricity going out during the day and night. Before I leave for work in the morning it'll be off and then I'll go outside and jiggle the circuit breaker and flip it off and on a couple of times to get it working again. When I come home after work, it's usually off again.

I'm not sure how long it's staying on but my guess is that it's staying on for a while. We have a fridge hooked up and things are staying frozen.

Do I need to replace the breaker?
 
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  #2  
Old 08-05-15, 02:02 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

If by jiggling the breaker you can get power to be restored, then you might need to change the breaker. However, there is a chance that the bus where the breaker connects might be pitted or damaged. If that is the case then you could relocate the breaker, or worse case, need to change out the panel. You will need to inspect the bus by removing the breaker. (Turn off the panel)

What brand of panel is it? Hopefully not Zinsco or FPE.
 
  #3  
Old 08-05-15, 02:04 PM
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Try swapping the wire on the suspect breaker with one on another breaker of the same amp rating. if that fixes the problem then replace the beaker.
 
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Old 08-05-15, 05:53 PM
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Hopefully not Zinsco or FPE.
The symptoms sound a lot like the problems experienced with Zinsco or Sylvania branded Zinsco style circuit breakers/panels that are beginning to burn up. The OP is in California and I recall a lot of California posters having Zinsco panels. If you don't know the brand of the panel, post a picture of the panel with the door open for us to see. Zinsco panels are easily identified. This doesn't seem to be a problem normally found with FPE panels.
 
  #5  
Old 08-30-15, 02:22 PM
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I've tried replacing the breaker but that didn't make a difference.

Here's a picture of the panel

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I see there are three empty spots on the panel. Can I just move the breaker to one of those and see if makes a difference?
 
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Old 08-30-15, 02:57 PM
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Can I just move the breaker to one of those and see if makes a difference?
Yes. Also check the bus bar where it is for signs of corrosion or burning.
 
  #7  
Old 08-30-15, 06:55 PM
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That looks like an old Bryant meter/loadcenter combination with aluminum bus, but I also see some Siemens breakers. I think try to determine who the manufacturer is and then get a new breaker and install it in one of the spare spaces. If the equipment is Bryant, purchase an Eaton/Cutler-Hammer BR series circuit breaker.
 
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