I have an electrical problem in my house?

Ok So the other day my wife woke me up early in the morning because my microwave and kitchen light were flickering and making weird noises. Iwoke up turned of my main and unplugged everything inside my house. I turned the breaker back on and everything was fine. I started plugging things back in one by one and when I plugged in my freezer the flickering occurred again. My microwave will not work on its current outlet but when plugged in using an extension cord from the living room it works fine. This is the same with my fridge. My Furnace also will not kick on. My stove turns on but will not heat. My dryer spins but will not heat. My dishwasher runs but will not heat. My water heater doesnt work either. So it seems any thing that requires 220 or a 3 prong connection isn't working properly. Also when I plug my voltage meter into any plug thats effected the reading is 130.3 and that seems a bit high when it should be 110 to 120. Any help would be appreciated.

Update:

Ok this morning I have the power company coming out. Also my outlets are now reading 111.2 very weird the sudden change.

Update 2:

Some of you were right. The problem was the underground lines to my house. Thanks for all the help!

7 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
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    It sounds to me as if you may have more than one problem, that is, if everything you have said is accurate. Since you have a voltmeter, and you are not reporting zero voltage at any outlet, I do not suspect a main that is tripped or blown. You have not said if you have fuses or breakers. If nothing that is 220 works, I first would have suspected a main fuse blown or breaker partially tripped. But you said that the plug that is affected reads 130.3 volts.

    If I were checking your problem, I would first turn off the main and remove the cover to your main panel. With the main still off, I would check voltage. Your should read 120 each leg to neutral and ground, and 240 volts leg to leg (plus or minus 5%). If different, call the power company.

    If voltage is good, first turn off all secondary breakers. Then turn on the main. Voltage should still be good. Start turning on double pole breakers one at a time, checking voltage leg to leg each time. Voltage should still be 240 leg to leg (+ or - 5%).

    Since you said that nothing that requires 220 (or 240) works, I suspect a bad connection in one of the main feeder legs, either in the main panel, or anywhere else back to the transformer. If you do not find a bad connection in the main, you will have to call the power company. If you maintain a good voltage of 240 volts (+ or - 5%) at the top of the main, but nothing that requires 240 works still, then that bad connection may be hidden behind the main breaker where it connects to the buss, or inside the main breaker itself. If you get good voltage at the top of the main, but not on the buss or at the load side of a double pole breaker, them the problem will have to be in the main panel somewhere. This bad connection may not show bad until after a load is put on it. After it cools down, voltage may check good. It is when a load is put on it and it heats up that it will loose some or all voltage.

    Now to my second concern. You said that the plug or outlet reading is 130.3. That is high. It is my understanding that everywhere in the USA the standard voltage today for residential customers is 120/240 volts, plus or minus 5%. So, 120 volts plus 5% is 126 volts. It is not likely that the power company's transformer is going to supply voltage that high, although it can happen. If it truly is that high, then at the main you will have 130.3 on each leg to ground or neutral, and 260 .6 from leg to leg. If this is the case, call the power company and report high voltage. They will be able to install a transformer with taps to step down the voltage. However, I do not suspect that this is the problem. First find out what your nominal voltage is with no load. At your main, with the main breaker off, check voltage leg to leg. I would expect something between 240 and 252. (240 x 5% = 12 volts). 240 + 12 = 252. (Where I live, the power company says the power is good anywhere from 114/228 to 126/252, which is 120/240 + or - 5%). Whatever the voltage reads leg to leg, divide by two. If it is 250, half is 125. You should read nothing more than this half reading at any time during the following tests. (A rare exception to this is if a neighbors load changes and affects the tranformer's voltage during your tests). With the main on and all single pole breakers off, the voltage should remain even on each leg to neutral or ground. As you begin to turn on one single pole breaker at a time, after each time continue to check voltage on each leg to ground. You want to load up one leg only, so turn on every other breaker on the left side, and every other breaker on the right side. As one leg is being loaded, the other leg should remain unloaded. You would expect the voltage in the loaded leg to come down some, but hopefully no more than 2-4%. Watch carefully the voltage in the unloaded leg. It should stay the same. If voltage goes UP in the unloaded leg, you have a problem somewhere in the neutral/ground connections. If you are checking voltage on the source side of the problem, this climbing in voltage will not be detected. For example, if voltage climbs in one receptacle only, the neutral-connection-problem may be isolated to that one circuit only. If voltage climbs in all receptacles, AND at the main, the neutral-connection-problem could be in the main panel, or in the meter base, or at the weatherhead, or at the transformer. I have even seen where squirrels have chewed aluminum in two between the pole and the house, causing the "see-saw" effect in voltage. (When voltage in one leg goes down, voltage in the unloaded leg goes up). So, if ALL neutral connections in the main panel are GOOD, and you witness the voltage going up in the unloaded leg, call the power company.

    I hope this helps you find your problem.

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  • 1 decade ago

    you have a loose wire connection some where in the boxes turn off the power and check every box on that line even the lights

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  • 1 decade ago

    You indicated that you checked for 120v, but did you check for 240v(hot leg to hot leg at main).

    If you do not have 240v you lost a hot leg.

    If you have 240v you could be losing the common leg.

    It could be power company's responsible.

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  • Fixit
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    It sounds like the third leg may be faulty. Have a qualified electrician re-tighten the lug nuts on your main panel, as well as any sub panels you may have. I actually had to have a new panel installed one time because the spot where my third leg attached to the bar on my main panel was loose and it was starting to burn.

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  • 1 decade ago

    1) reset the main breaker by turning it off count to 20 and turn it on.

    if that dont get it, call your power company before you call a pro. Your problem may be their cause. GL!

    Source(s): Electrician since 1977
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  • 1 decade ago

    Not the answer you're looking for, but get someone experienced in there to look at your problem before your house burns down. It is estimated that over 40,000 house fires are caused by electrical problems every year in the United States.

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  • 4 years ago

    what cam 130 volts cause to wiring in my house

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