House-wide brownout, neutral is tight


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Old 04-21-21, 01:05 PM
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House-wide brownout, neutral is tight

I was removing a ceiling fan in a shed. Foolishly, I hadn't shut off the breaker. The shed is on a separate box. There was a spark, and I noticed the house lights flicker and go dim. The house now has 170 on one line and 70 on the other. Everything here is electric (no gas).

The neutral lines are all tight, power to the meter is correct. An electrician ensured the neutrals are tight and recommended that I replace the service entrance from the meter base to the main panel, and does not believe that the incident with the sparking wire is related to the problem in any way. The main neutral that he is saying to replace was cleaned with penatrating oil and secured tight to the meter box. Not only can I not afford to have the line replaced, I can not imagine that the event that happened at the exact instant the problem started is unrelated. Please advise.
 
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Old 04-21-21, 01:40 PM
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Cal the power company and have them verify that there is no issue at the transformer or anything including the meter. On the call say it is a safety issue to get them out quickly.
 
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Old 04-21-21, 01:48 PM
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Those voltages are indicating an open neutral. If your electrician didn't find anything inside then you need to cal the POCO asap and have them check their side of the system.
 
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Old 04-21-21, 09:45 PM
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Sorry I wasn't clear, the connections and voltage being correct to the meter was verified by a power company technician with a residential electrician present. The neutral main service was cleaned and reconnected. Some circuits seem to function well if most others are shut off at the breaker. There are no loose neutrals in the box.
 
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Old 04-22-21, 03:14 AM
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When the residential electrician was there did the electrician check the main breaker panel for voltage etc? If you are still having issues best to call back the same electrician since this person is familiar with this issue. The electrician since being there can eliminate other things during their troubleshooting that we can't know because we are not there taking readings etc and important also not being able to see with our eyes.

If you are not satisfied with the answers you are getting with this electrician then call another one. If the power company verified the connections as good and that electrician found no problem but yet you are still getting 70 on one side and 170 on the other there seems to still be an issue. How it was created is important but correcting it as soon as possible is more important.

If when shutting down some breakers some other circuits function better thn there may be an issue with the legs of service coming into your panel. When you say 70 one and 170 on the other where were those readings taken from? Hot water heater electric 240v - may be backfeeding the other leg.
 
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Old 04-22-21, 04:52 AM
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At the same time you measured 170 volts are there any other receptacles that measure around the correct 120 volts?

If you are getting 120 volts in at least a few places at the same time you are getting way off voltage in other places then the power company lines are okay.

Yes your incident with the fan could caause a problem up on the utility pole. You could have made a short circuit that draws more than 200 amps for a moment before any breaker trips, and a loose connection somewhere along the line including in a neutral path could let go.

A voltage well above 120 would rule out backfeeding a dead leg with a live leg.
 
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Old 04-22-21, 04:52 AM
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The voltage reading given are clearly indicating an open neutral. You need to check all the connections again.
 
 

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