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DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to Mr Matt

Re: Electrical issue question

If it happens again before its fixed I'll take a look at my UPS'es voltage reading during the issue.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
Do you have an electric range? If so, when the problem occurs, try to use your range. If it doesn't heat up, or doesn't heat as much as it should, then it sounds like you have a loose leg (One of the two hots you mentionned).

Either it's loose in your panel, or at the drop (As others have said).

Whatever it is, you shouldn't try to fix it yourself. You can try to narrow down the problem as I suggested above, only to avoid having the POCO come in and not find the problem because they don't know what to check. If you find out it's a loose leg, tell them to look for that.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

1 edit
Its a gas range.
I'm going to try to get the electric company to come out Saturday to see if they can find anything.

Saturday because its already Friday and I can't really be at home waiting for them.

And ya no way am I going to try fixing it myself, I know the panel isn't to code and see that as something that needs to be fixed (been meaning to do that for some time)

The most I'd do is if it were just one circuit and looked to be another failed backstab I'd replace the outlet. more than that and I'll wait on a pro.


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
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join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
You should flip all your double breakers, leave them off until tomorrow.
--
--Standard disclaimers apply.--


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
said by AVD:

You should flip all your double breakers, leave them off until tomorrow.

TX + Summer = Not gonna go without AC

there's only 2 (other than the main), AC units and laundry room (ie drier)

And we'll just not use the drier for now.

AC though I wouldn't be able to sleep, though at the same time if that 18seer 3ton unit gets damaged I'll be ticked off (just bought it last year, Outside and inside units) (I'll look up the warranty just in case)

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
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reply to Mr Matt
said by Mr Matt:

For example if the Water Heater turned on, the open phase would be connected to the working phase

Yup. See diagram above. If the OP turns on his water heater (when the heating element is on), he might notice the lights which were out will get brighter. That's exactly what happened when one of the underground hot lines went bad where I used to live.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
Gas hot water.

the only things in the house that use both legs are the AC units and the drier.

Gas stove, gas oven, gas hot water.

but there's a 3ton 18 seer unit and a 1ton split-mini.

The split-mini was most likely running when it last happened and only sign of power (in any of the dark rooms) was the flickering of the stove's clock.

the light rooms were fine.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
Well they sent someone out today to look at it.

They said everything on their side looked fine, we'll add $50 to your bill for coming out.

As the issue is intermitent I think it could still be on them though.

nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
said by DarkLogix:

Well they sent someone out today to look at it.

They said everything on their side looked fine, we'll add $50 to your bill for coming out.

As the issue is intermitent I think it could still be on them though.

So it is intermittent. They keep sending out people when it is not happening. It happens and house burns down and fault is on their side. Wonder if they would refuse your bill.
There are truly things that are intermittant so why should they bill just because it is not happening now. Doesn't prove where the fault lies just that it is not happening now.
It is not as if you said it is one circuit in the house or one light switch or a plug.
It is implying you are wasting their time with a safety issue. Did they test the circuit under load? When does this usually happen, any time of day under load no load etc.

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
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Do you have an underground drop or an aerial drop? If you have an aerial drop the clowns from the power company should have climbed the pole and wiggled the splices between your drop and the leads from the transformer. They should have also checked the connections at the weather head on your service mast. If there was a loose connection sparks would have flown out of the bad connection. If the power company gives you a hard time about the service charge contact you local public service commission and file a complaint.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
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Underground drop


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
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Basicly we called them.

They say they sent someone out but no one was home at the time and then later we called and they said nothing was wrong.

so who knows if they even really looked at it.

ivman

join:2010-08-15
Shortsville, NY
reply to DarkLogix
Your symptoms sounds almost identical to what I had on a Saturday 2 months ago. I thought I had an intermittent problem, but it turned out that every time the well pump tried to switch on I had power crossing through that and feeding the rest of the house. (Not an electrician so I do not know if that is the proper terminology). I had power but had issues with flickering and dim lights. I have a generator and with the inconsistencies, I switched over and kept things going with that

I had an electrician come out Monday. He opened the box and meter, did some tests and said 1 leg was down, call the power co. They came out and did some tests, and confirmed it. They then ran a temporary neutral over my lawn and switched the underground neutral over to replace the bad leg. They also told me I was extremely lucky that I did not totally fry my well pump. Replacing underground service is not cheap. :-(


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
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Well they said they'll upgrade the line from 125a to 200a at no cost after we upgrade the panel.

well the panel isn't to code and the new one I bought is a 200a panel.

so the line is going to be replaced, it'll just take some time.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
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Well the electrician wasn't feeling well so he didn't come over yet.

and the issue is occuring as I type.

I checked my UPS's input voltage and its 122v.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
So as the UPS showed the input voltage as 122v (normal) and not 240v any ideas as to the issue?

also any guesses as to the cost for the panel to be replaced?
I have the new one with all the breakers (plus a few extra to hopefully be enough to allow it to be upto code)

so I'd be looking at labor costs and maybe small parts.


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3


Is the UPS plugged into the same circuit that was dropping out before? If not, the data may not be useful at all.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
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is in one of the few that doesn't drop.

Which ya'll had indicated would jump in voltage when the others went to below voltage.


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3


Doesn't always happen that way, so you can't just go by that. Many variables involved as to what the rest of the circuits will do, depending on loading, what is on, etc.

The fact is, you need an electrician, and soon. I would get a pro out there ASAP, and not depend on your buddy to get there before the "magic smoke" finds its way out of your electrical appliances...

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
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reply to DarkLogix
Look at the schematic that Nyan Cat provided. If the UPS is plugged into an outlet connected to L1 and N the voltage will always remain at 120 Volts. If connected between L2 and N and L2 goes open the voltage will depend on the resistance of 240 Volt appliances connected between L1 and L2. Make sure that your UPS is plugged into an outlet that drops. You would find a dangerous situation if the neutral was open. In that case the voltage between L1 and N and L2 and N would vary depending on the loading between each phase and the neutral conductor.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

1 edit
I'll see if I can find a meter next time it happens if the electrician isn't here today.

One way or the other an electrician should be out today to look at it.

Also one nightlight in one of the bathrooms was on but was dim (ie on one of the effected outlets)


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
Seems the electrician company we called yesterday was booked yesterday so they should be out today.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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Baytown, TX
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BTW a question to houston area people, so what would you all say as for the quality of John Moore services?

I plan to take a before and after pic of the old and then the new panel so ya'll can judge the quality of the work.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
Well electrician finally came.

He blames the current panel but his company's policy is he can't do work on a federal brand panel.

I've already bought a new panel so we're seeing what he'll come back with as to a quote to install it (though they prefer their brand panel)

Based on the info of what happens he think the most likely cause is a faulty main breaker.

also I noticed the ground wire has come loose from the ground rod.


Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
Reviews:
·Charter
said by DarkLogix:

Well electrician finally came.

He blames the current panel but his company's policy is he can't do work on a federal brand panel.

Holy Smokes! I don't blame him personally. Those panels have a horrible reputation for their stabs and breakers failing over time. I'd asap that new panel install with this new information.

»ismypanelsafe.com/fpe_malfunction.aspx

»inspectapedia.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to DarkLogix
said by DarkLogix:

federal brand panel.

It would have been helpful if you had mentioned that earlier.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
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join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
said by Bob4:

said by DarkLogix:

federal brand panel.

It would have been helpful if you had mentioned that earlier.

Sorry I forgot and well the panel had been working fine for apparently 26+ years.

I'll see what the quote is, I do want them to use the Square D panel I bought, though with the urgent need I might relent and let them use their brand.

The meter is going to have to be moved about 6in to the right to make space.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to Killa200
said by Killa200:

said by DarkLogix:

Well electrician finally came.

He blames the current panel but his company's policy is he can't do work on a federal brand panel.

Holy Smokes! I don't blame him personally. Those panels have a horrible reputation for their stabs and breakers failing over time. I'd asap that new panel install with this new information.

»ismypanelsafe.com/fpe_malfunction.aspx

»inspectapedia.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm

I thought I told ya'll it was a POS panel that I've been meaning to get swapped for a few months now (the recent issue has stepped up the priority greatly.


stevek1949
We're not in Kansas anymore
Premium
join:2002-11-13
Virginia Beach, VA
said by DarkLogix:

Well electrician finally came.

I thought I told ya'll it was a POS panel that I've been meaning to get swapped for a few months now (the recent issue has stepped up the priority greatly.

POS is a term of endearment. But A Federal panel is name that most of us can identify with. Even me!

I have personally seen two of these things fail in a spectacular fashion. See if the electrician will trade his panel for yours. At any rate, the time to replace is now...or yesterday!


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
Well he still hasn't gotten the quote to us.

The only upside to his panel is that so long as only that company ever touches the panel they warranty it for life. (but just one AC tech touches it then its void)

While I wait on the quote I'm hoping some co-worker can recommend another electrical contractor or such. I was really not impressed with him. He did seem to know what he was doing but

1. didn't get a quote before he left.
2. very late (ok admittedly the previous person he was working with had him do more than he expected.)
3. pushing for the use of some panel that was just preferred by his supervisor.