Faulty circuit/breaker?

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Old 01-24-17, 06:25 PM
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Faulty circuit/breaker?

I had had a light flickering a few weeks back (I live alone and tend to only have one on at a time), but I assumed it was related to the central heat kicking on. I live in a 1998 single wide mobile home, purchased about 3 years ago, and just assumed the system was not optimal.

Last week, after some of the flickering, a GFCI receptacle in my kitchen (on a different circuit than the light) made a loud buzzing, a small amount of smoke, and tripped itself. It did not trip the breaker.

The receptacle was still working after reset, but I assumed it was faulty and replaced it. That was 2 days ago. Everything is functional, but just now I am experiencing more flickering. I flipped the breaker for the kitchen off, and the flickering has stopped.

Where do I go from here? I barely use any power. Just the single LED bulb was on, and small electronics like modem, router, device chargers. So I'm definitely not overloading the system.

I don't know if this is insightful or not, but at the time of the receptacle tripping, it caused a surge large enough to fry my TV which was on a surge protector on a different circuit (the same as the flickering light).

Any suggestions on how to start troubleshooting this is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 01-25-17, 05:26 PM
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You need to check the voltage on both legs of the service. You should have 120V +- on both legs with some load on the circuits. A loose or going bad neutral can cause fluctuations in the voltage and can damage things such as TV's.
 
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Old 01-25-17, 05:37 PM
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Mobile homes are going to use the cheapest fixtures possible and most are back stabbed not around around the screws as they should be.
Flickering or or going from bright to dim?
 
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Old 01-25-17, 06:27 PM
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Sorry, I am quite the newbie here. Can you please break that down more pattenp, and tell me where exactly I would be testing? Or just refer me to a resource that will explain more?

The one receptacle I replaced was back stabbed. Of course I upgraded it. But that is only 1 of over a dozen more.
It was a flicker, but it is only intermittent.
 
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Old 01-25-17, 07:33 PM
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We are trying to see if the problem is related to one circuit or if it affects the house house. If the voltage on one leg of the panel goes up while the other leg goes down you have a neutral issue in the panel or ahead of the panel. You could also see light dimming or brightening throughout the house. If this is only one circuit the problem may be in the panel or a connection in the circuit.
 
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Old 01-26-17, 04:32 AM
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Oh okay awesome. Thank you all so much.
I literally didn't even know what a "leg" was, but this makes sense now after looking it up.
I'm in my 20s and this is my first home, so very novice but willing to learn.
I will check this out this weekend when I have time.
Much appreciated!
 
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Old 01-27-17, 02:54 PM
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I don't know if this is insightful or not, but at the time of the receptacle tripping, it caused a surge large enough to fry my TV which was on a surge protector on a different circuit (the same as the flickering light).
What makes you think it was a surge? Sounds more like really high voltage to me.
 
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Old 01-28-17, 01:09 PM
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CasualJoe - maybe I am incorrect in my assumption. At the time, the GFCI outlet that tripped was not in use (it did have a coffee maker plugged in, which was off) and the TV was off.
Normally I unplug the coffee maker, but the TV has been plugged in in the same spot for years. I only cut the power to it when I go out of town.
Nothing changed from right before to during/after the GFCI tripping. I didn't turn anything on or off, etc. I was actually reading a book in bed.
So I'm not sure what you mean by high voltage, but hopefully this clarifies what I'm talking about.
 
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Old 03-21-17, 03:05 PM
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Again, thanks for all the replies on this.

It turns out the problem was on the electric company's side. They replaced​ a component (I think they said something about pins?) and I have not had any issues since.

Now to try to get them to compensate me for the damaged TV and (!)refrigerator...
 
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Old 03-21-17, 04:42 PM
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It was more than likely a problem in the neutral supplying your meter. If it was the meter pan... you would have had to replace it.... not them.

Go to the companies website and look at the fine print. Many Poco's don't cover consequential damages like that requiring you to file an insurance claim.
 
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Old 03-21-17, 07:02 PM
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It was more than likely a problem in the neutral supplying your meter.
I agree. This could cause an abnormally high voltage on your 120 volt appliances causing them to fail and would explain why the surge protector didn't catch the problem.

Go to the companies website and look at the fine print. Many Poco's don't cover consequential damages like that requiring you to file an insurance claim.
You may not find anything on the power company website, they really don't like to advertise this. You may have to call them and ask them to compensate you for the damaged appliances and then be provided a claim form.
 
 

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