Random lights and power outages

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Old 11-09-15, 08:50 AM
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Random lights and power outages

For a while our addition on our house, the lights would go dim and bright often and now they don't work along with a few recepticals. I was checking the breakers and my non touch tester shows some of the wires coming out had no power. So I had 2, 20 amp breakers side by side and 1 had power and the other one didn't so I switched the wires thinking I would see that the breaker was bad, NOT! It tripped the the main breaker on the side of the house beside the meter. So when I flipped it back on then the panel breaker tripped so I switched them back and left those off but now the lights are working? So leaving the lights on I flipped that main breaker on the house off and back on again and no lights at all. I'm think that main breaker might be the problem with all of it. Then this morning I got up and checked, lights are working again so I went to plug in a 12volt charger for my drill and all the lights went out along with that plug I used but no tripped breakers, 5 minutes later the lights just came back on by themselves and the receptical is hot again? I know the recepticals and lights are on different circuits so it almost has to be something with that main breaker. Any ideas?

Banjoman
 
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Old 11-09-15, 09:02 AM
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I was checking the breakers and my non touch tester shows some of the wires coming out had no power.
A nice toy but not for real testing. You need a analog (not digital) multimeter. A cheap $8-$15 one is fine.

Call your electric company 24-7 emergency number (not customer service) now and tell them you think you have a dropped leg. If you have any 240 breakers it is best to turn them off till the electric company comes out to check otherwise you might burn out some of your electronics.

If the electric company finds everything find on their side you need to call an electrician.
 
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Old 11-09-15, 09:18 AM
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The first thing that comes to mind is that you have a bad neutral connection. If you have any multi wire branch circuits in your home, this problem can destroy electronics on those circuits.

The problem could be between the transformer and your house, or in your electrical panel or in one or more individual circuits. This often isn't a DIY fix, so I'd recommend you call your electrician without delay.

Mod Note: But call the power company emergency number first. It is free the electrician isn't.
 
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Old 11-09-15, 03:51 PM
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Thanks guys, I'll call and let you know what they find.
 
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