Lost power to ~half house, no tripped breaker

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  #1  
Old 07-11-17, 07:36 AM
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Lost power to ~half house, no tripped breaker

Hello and thanks in advance for reading! I have an electrical conundrum for my home (1880s home with updated electrical in early 2000s from what I gather, circuit box with normal breakers).

Yesterday morning, I lost power to about half my house (luckily not to fridge or wifi!). Half the kitchen went out (including stove), all upstairs, half of downstairs bath, etc. Nothing was tripped in circuit box.

When I got home in the evening, I reset the main breaker, everything fired up for a few minutes, then I lost the same stuff as in the morning. A few minutes later, everything came back on (in that time, I haphazardly reset a GFCI outlet or two in the kitchen). Everything stayed on overnight last night.

Anyone have any thoughts on my issue. Anything that could possibly be unsafe? Will call an electrician if necessary!

Thanks!
Jeff
 
  #2  
Old 07-11-17, 08:11 AM
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To lose half the house sounds like one side of the main feed has a loose connection. It can also be a faulty main breaker.
 
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Old 07-11-17, 08:12 AM
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The pros will be along but from the sound of it you have lost (or lose connection) one side of the 240 volts powering your house. Loose is not good so either you need to troubleshoot or get a pro asap. Do you have a meter and what is your comfort level testing electrical circuits?

A loose connection can be from the incoming power or inside your panel. I'll let the pros handle the guidance.

Bud
 
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Old 07-11-17, 08:15 AM
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Call the emergency 24 hr. service number (not customer service) of your electric company and tell them you have a bad leg. With luck the problem is on their side and the fix will be free.
 
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Old 07-11-17, 08:18 AM
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Ok, will call an electrician ASAP. Is there any safety concerns leaving everything on, or should I shut down the half that appears to be loose?

Thanks!
Jeff
 
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Old 07-11-17, 08:22 AM
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ray2047 - not a bad thought, will try that (calling Xcel) first!
 
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Old 07-11-17, 08:22 AM
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No not an electrician. Call the electric company emergency number first. Why pay to have an electrician do the same thing if it is on the electric company side.
Is there any safety concerns
Yes, all 240 volt breakers should be turned off.
 
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Old 07-11-17, 08:24 AM
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I agree, you are losing one of the hot legs of your connection. It could be loose, but that wouldn't necessarily explain why it magically started working immediately when you reset the main breaker after returning home last night. You're sure everything was dead right before that, and started working right after that? I suppose one of your lugs could be loose and the action of you resetting the breaker caused it to make contact. That's iffy.

Will call an electrician if necessary!
I would call the power company first. Primarily because they're free, and the electrician is not. Be sure to tell them it's intermittent. They might even be nice and look in your main panel for you. Or they might just test at the meter and run.

There's nothing terribly dangerous with this situation, unlike a lost neutral. I'd still unplug any sensitive electronics on the affected circuits.

Aside from waiting for the next time that it happens and seeing if resetting the main breaker immediately fixes it, which will only give you more clues but not fix it, there's little else you can do yourself. Unless you live out in the country and have an accessible disconnect on the pole or something.
 
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Old 07-11-17, 08:47 AM
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Electric company called & hopefully they'll find the issue!
 
  #10  
Old 07-11-17, 08:52 AM
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core - when I was troubleshooting last night I don't recall the exact sequence but half the house went out in the a.m., off all day, and intermittent for about an hour last night after I reset the main, and on all night last night and fine this morning. Per ray2047 & your suggestion, I called the power company and supposedly they'll check it out within the next 1.5 hours. Will update once they assess.

FYI in the last 2-3 weeks, I did replace a switched light fixture that is on half the house affected with the outage.

Thanks much!
 
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Old 07-11-17, 09:30 AM
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Update - the tech needed a special tool so need to come back around 5pm...said they won't touch anything after the meter.
 
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Old 07-26-17, 08:36 AM
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Update - My main breaker was slightly fried. Replaced last night and so far, so good.

Thanks all for your input.
 
 

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