Anonymous asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 1 decade ago

House Electrical Problem?

7 yr old home. Recently discovered sporadic circuits out in house. Several (10) receptacles out, GFCI receptacles (5) out--no power to outlets, upstairs bath lighting/receptacles all out, all garage power out, basement lighting & smoke alarms not working, no breakers are tripped. Tried resetting all GFCI test buttons--no change. Tested for voltage at "in-op" outlets--no power coming in. Can turn on dryer or range (any 220v device) & power is restored to all circuits but only at 1/2 power (lighting is real dim, not enough power to energize the garage opener, etc...). I found one GFCI outlet that has power to it but will not trip if the test button is pressed. I replaced this outlet with same type & wired correctly to no avail. I'ved pulled all the receptacles that are non functioning for wiring inspection & can see no defects. Removed the service panel & checked the circuits in question & have power going to breaker. Have any other suggestions I could rule out? Any help would be great!

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    check to see if you have any junction boxes in the attic or crawl space with a bunch of wires to it .. if so check for incoming and out going power. if that doesnt work a n electrician can trace the cables with a circuit finder or you can buy one for around 100.00 at your local elec. supplier.

  • 4 years ago

    Sounds like your service isn't adiquite, you should be able to have a tech from your electric company come over and evuluate your service. Never play with your service if you don't now what your doing. Post note to below posts, you HAVE NO problem with you transformer, this is an interior problem, the transformer in your street IF it was malfunctioning would 100% trip the long pole breaker on the transformer, AND also all your neighbors would have issues, this is a interior problem, a undersized electrical panel, or your house has aluminium wiring, (older houses has it, but contractors didn't know had to go 1 Ga. higher with al. than copper), another words, if a cuicuit called for a 10 Ga copper, had to use 8 Ga aluminum as the equivilate, check these all out, i am sure this will give you your solution.

  • 1 decade ago

    USA There are several possible situations that come to mind. Check for all the following: First, check the voltage on each leg at the top (line side) of the meter base to. You should have 115 to 125 volts on each leg. Check all power connections to make sure they are clean and tight. Check all neutral connections to make sure they are clean and tight. This includes the connections inside the meter base and at the main circuit breaker panel mains and branches. The connections inside the meter base should have an anti-oxidant grease applied to the conductors.

    Check the ground conductor to the water pipe and ground rod, making sure it is not broken. There should be a ground conductor from the main panel to the water pipe and ground rod; there should be no ground conductors to the water pipe from any other panel or boxes.

    Check all connections in junction boxes in the attic and basement to make sure the connections are all clean and tight.

    Check the stabs on the rear of the main breaker. They might have corroded. If they are corroded, use a very fine emery cloth to remove the corrosion; do not use sandpaper, it is too rough and will remove too much material. Apply anti-oxidant grease to the cleaned stabs.

    Check if a split bus panel, that might have a defective breaker.

  • Jim W
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    From your description, you need a qualified electrician who can check for a problem in your panel. It sounds like you may have a "split buss" panel and the breaker feeding the lower buss has one open leg. This is an internal failure in the circuit breaker, and is not readily visible.

    the other possible cause is a loose bus bolt in the panel, rare but it does happen. You are certainly working with only 1/2 of the panel getting power from the main feeds. Hope this helps.

    Source(s): 50+ years doing electrical work and trouble shooting electrical problems.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Very Interesting. I gather that you checked both legs of power coming into your main power panel and found 110 on each and 220 when checking across both. If this is not the case, one leg of your power from the power company is an OPEN. If 220 is available, you probably have an OPEN on the neutral from the power company. You get some circuits because the grounding rod takes over. Call the power company!

  • 1 decade ago

    You have lost one of the incoming legs of your service. I would call an electrician and then you may have to call the utility company depending on where you lost the voltage.

    Do this fairly quick, in case there is a loose wire that might be shorting out somewhere.

    good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    sounds like you have a bad main breaker or a loose lug on the meter call the power co.

  • DICK R
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    it is telling me that your braker box is not ground like it should. make sure the ground on the main lag is trighten, and the box is gound. test to see if you, have 110 on each line . if not one line to the street is open. and that is a fuse at the ploe. the elec. copany have to fix it because it there and they do the work to the meter for nothing .put from the meter that your to do.

  • jim1
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    sounds like a bad connection of the nuetral wire at the pole

  • 1 decade ago

    You possibly have lost one leg coming in your breaker panel.

    My advice would be to get a good Electrician to check this problem and make necessary repairs.

    Also you may have lost neutral. this can be very dangerous.

    and destroy appliances in your house .I would get it fixed


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