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half of breaker box is not working no tripped breakers and no shorts being found

half of breaker box is not working no tripped breakers and no shorts being found

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Old 08-23-18, 01:29 AM
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Exclamation half of breaker box is not working no tripped breakers and no shorts being found

I have a strange question for anyone who thinks they can help me. now I am no stranger to residential electrical as I have been doing it as a side job for 6 years. but this is the first time I have been this stumped on something sense I went to school !!!!!!!!!!!!!! now here is the story of what is going on here. I got an emergency call for power being out i headed over to find some stuff was still on and I went to the breaker box to check the breakers. I tested the breakers at the screw terminals for power to see witch ones worked and then realized half a phase was out on the panel. then checked the incoming lines for power and they both had power so i realized the main breaker appeared to be fried. so I went to lowes to get a new one but go figure they do not sell the mains separate. anyways I was lucky enough to find the exact same panel with the part I needed. so instead I took it out and put the new main inside the current box (after pulling the meter outside of course). once I put the new one in before plugging the meter back in I tested the panel for shorts where I shouldn't find shorts. (mainly looking for shorts between phases) I did find one short for one of the lines connecting to a breaker. and then unscrewed the wire from the breaker completely isolating the circuit from the panel. then I rechecked the whole panel for more shorts and couldn't find any so I figured I was clear for reconnecting power and diagnosing the circuit later. whelp would you guess that now after ALL OF THAT TESTING AND CHECKING the brand new mains breaker was now shot in the exact same fashion with one more thing fried? can you guess what it is?.........
GREAT NOW HALF THE PHASE COMING FROM THE POLE IS SHOT............................ anyways I put the priority rooms on the working half so they can be semi comfortable till I can figure this out. I was working till 12am so they were tired of me there anyways. I told them how weird of a problem this is and that i will try my hardest to resolve this. sense I have NEVER seen an issue quite like this I would love to learn whats causing this for future troubleshooting. if anyone can help me I sure could use it.

PS I asked if they got any new electronics lately and they said no.
 
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Old 08-23-18, 02:14 AM
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That would be one leg out..... not a phase.
If you had a short.... you'd have breakers tripping or sparks flying. You have an open.

How did you check for power ?
You need to check for 240vAC at the main breaker. It needs to be checked across the two incoming wires. If you can confirm 240v...... then the main breaker is not making contact on the bus bar. That would be a rare problem.

If you don't measure the 240vAC then you've lost it between there and the power company. It could be a problem in the meter or in the drop from the street. In that case you'd call the power company's emergency service line to have the service checked out.
 
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Old 08-23-18, 05:53 AM
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My house has the power line buried from the pole 300 yards away to the house. About 2 years after construction I lost one leg of power. The power company came out within hours and placed a temporary "transformer" at the house to create two legs until they could locate, dig and repair the broken line a few days later. It's rare but it can happen.
 
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Old 08-23-18, 06:04 AM
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Hi, with new main in place do you have 240 volts across the line side of the breaker? What do you mean by fried? What are you testing with?
Geo
 
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Old 08-23-18, 01:47 PM
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When i say short i mean my meter is beeping when i do a continuity test between whatever im checking .Be a wire to make sure its connected or in this case i mean between the 2 legs of the box. I realize my technical speak isnt the best so i appoligize if i mix something up. but when it comes down to it. Ive been told by other electricians ive worked with that i do pretty good work. Just mix up terms is all sorry anyways i tested both legs coming into the panel with a light bulb the first couple times because a friend was borrowing my meter but later went back to get it when i realized i really couldnt get around it. Any ways i got full light on both legs and on all breakers but one 30 amp 220 breaker where half was dim. I replaced that halfway working breaker. And no dim half anymore. Thats Not all of the issue unfortunatly. Both legs tested 110 each when i got back with my meter. Or at least they did untill something fried the new main breaker and then fried something on the pole. Anyways there is some news to go with this. This morning ipl (our power company) came alot earlier than expected and fixed the fried part on they're end and now the house has both legs on again as of 8am. Anyways for testing purposes i made a bridge past the dead half of the main breaker to check for any shorts in the system (thinking power would be on still) this was before i realized it did something on the pole of course. Anyways i forgot to remove my bridge and now they have power on both legs and nothing is shot. There are 2 breakers i left turned off by accident last night to. (Very tired as you can tell not my best moment) and by dumb luck it seems between those 2 breakers the fault im looking for is on one of them because everything else works now. Stove, ac, pool pump, dryer. EVERYTHING but a hallway and a bed room. Im beginning to wonder if possibly the 2 circiuts are intersecting somewhere in the wall????? Possibly both exposed and only connecting the 2 hot wires running in the seperate circuits .Its my only guess from my own knowledge. As strange as that sounds anyways.
 
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Old 08-23-18, 01:50 PM
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Also to both of you other 2. The sevice entrance is over head and im using a multimeter of forgotten brand
 
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Old 08-23-18, 02:10 PM
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You cannot check each service leg to ground. You MUST check for 240vAC between the two service legs.

You appear to have a single live 120v service leg. Since you have items/loads that connect the two legs together..... you WILL measure 120vAC from either leg to ground. You are measuring the same live leg on both sides.

If you turn off all the breakers..... you will find that only one incoming leg will show power.
 
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Old 08-23-18, 03:19 PM
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Technically im testing the common wire (my meter) to neutral bus and other to a live leg for eaach of them seperatly. But ground does the same thing when using a meter to. But not important at the moment. If you are saying that i should be seeing 240 on the meter from one of the wires alone. Then either your in another country or dont know what your talking about. XD im gonna bet there is simply miscommunication to be honest. I get 110 not 120 but actual volatage pulled from meter at one leg is 110. Adding together from both would equal 220 .But you should never see 220 from one of the legs?????? I really thats not what your saying?
 
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Old 08-23-18, 05:15 PM
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No. He is saying that you need to measure between the two ungrounded conductors (the two hot wires connected to the main breaker) of your service. You should get 240 volts between them.

The reason is if you have a 240 volt appliance load connected to the service you will read 120 volts on both because voltage is going through that appliance. (Voltage, not current)

Side note: Voltage is nominal and will vary. 110 volts is "120 volts" nominal. Standard voltage is 120/240 in a house.

PS I asked if they got any new electronics lately and they said no.
Ask them if they installed any new receptacles. I had a call once with a similar issue and it turned out the installed new receptacles in the kitchen without separating the tab between the brass screws. Their kitchen was split wired with 2 - 20 amp circuits which was common at that time.
 
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Old 08-23-18, 05:19 PM
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If you are saying that i should be seeing 240 on the meter from one of the wires alone. Then either your in another country or dont know what your talking about.
I specifically said between the two service wires. That's 2 wires...... not 1.
 
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