lost power to multiple devices?


  #1  
Old 04-26-21, 01:09 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
lost power to multiple devices?

I hit the trigger on my circ saw in the garage plugged into a GFCI and lost power to half the devices in my house.
I reset the breakers. All breakers are on, and powered but several devices, switches, outlets do not read live.

whats strange is when i read the output off the breaker its alternating between either 118 volt or 200 volt these are all single pole breakers either 15 or 20 amp.

so slot 23 is 118volts then just above it slot 21 is 200volts then above that slot 19 is 118 volts and so on, both sides of the panel.

i have done plenty of safe basic electrical work in my house but this has me perplexed. I have called a few electricians but cant seem to get anyone over today.

any ideas?
 
  #2  
Old 04-26-21, 03:59 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,939
Received 338 Votes on 291 Posts
There is likely another GFCI on the garage circuit that has tripped. Could be outdoors, basement, bathroom.
 
  #3  
Old 04-26-21, 04:47 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I finally thought the same thing. You are correct the 1st floor powder room has a GFCI that may have been on the same breaker. i reset it. nothing.
i replaced it . nothing.

The breakers all seem to be putting out power, but at the outlets and lights nothing is hot.
how is that possible?

I also just checked my 240 volt garage heater which i had an electrician install. it has its own 30 amp 2 pole breaker. the light is on , but when i turn the unit it , sounds like its struggling to start but wont.
 
  #4  
Old 04-26-21, 05:53 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
i was getting those odd readings because i think it was on mili volt.
the blue tape breakers are not reading volts, its like that on both sides of the panel.
see photos. what could cause this.


all the way up equal on both sides one row good one row bad.
 
  #5  
Old 04-26-21, 06:38 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
ok i tested the mains. left leg is dead, 0 volts, right leg is good 114 volts.. digital meter outside is off.
makes sense why half the panel is dead.
 
  #6  
Old 04-26-21, 07:54 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 62,715
Received 1,617 Votes on 1,489 Posts
So now carefully check where the wiring comes in to the main breaker and check there.
If you have 240v at the main breaker then try resetting the main breaker by pushing it to off and then turn it back on.

If you don't have 240v at the main breaker..... you'll need to call the power company and specify emergency service.
 
  #7  
Old 04-27-21, 05:06 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I called ComEd. They sent a tech out who confirmed there is an issue with the underground cable.
he changed out something in the meter that got me all 110 circuits back up. then today they brought out a cart which is temporary but gets me 240 to run my AC ( just in time 88 today).
long term they will dig up and replace the underground cable.
wow what an experience. this was a new one for me.
 
  #8  
Old 04-28-21, 05:09 AM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,513
Received 139 Votes on 128 Posts
I am curious about this cart. Is it connected to::

1. Wires dangling down from a utility pole and hung specially for the cart?

2. Wires strung across your lawn to your house?

3. Wires coming from a small hole in your lawn he just dug?

4. All of the above?
5, Connected only to your meter (meter box)?
 
  #9  
Old 04-29-21, 06:02 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Allanj, per your request Sir. See photos. Its just a big circuit breaker right? says 150 amps on it.
This is the temp solution until they dig up the wire and replace it.


 
  #10  
Old 04-29-21, 07:31 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 62,715
Received 1,617 Votes on 1,489 Posts
Pretty neat.

It looks like it only connects to the meter.
If that is correct..... that is a 120v to 240v transformer with protective breaker.
 
  #11  
Old 04-29-21, 07:34 PM
L
Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,634
Received 110 Votes on 96 Posts
Interesting cart...
It probably is a step up transformer connected using meter socket generator inlet. That is only way I know you can get 240V from single 120V line.
 
  #12  
Old 04-30-21, 04:46 AM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,513
Received 139 Votes on 128 Posts
Why I asked --To second guess how much extra care you need to exercise to avoid an overload.

My guess is that you should not use more than one 240 volt major appliance (with electric water heater) or more than two (without electric water heater) at the same time.

You don't know when the water heater will kick on and a typical electric might pull 45 amps from the single 120 volt line feeding the cart transformer and everything else. The clothes dryer perhaps another 40-50 amps.Half the panel will be getting power from the cart,

You cannot make water heaters, ovens, air conditioners and dryers consume fewer amps by setting them to medium instead of maximum, say, to divvy up the available power in a way you prefer.

(If the transformer needs to supply X amps at 240 volts it needs twice X amps of 120 volts going into it.)

Now if you had a 200 (or higher) amp service you probably won't overload anything except perhaps trip the breaker on the cart.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 04-30-21 at 05:06 AM.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: