Electrical panel problems after storm

There were several dead curcuits around the house this morning after an electrical storm. I reset all the breakers, including the main 200 amp breaker. After messing around with the breakers I noticed that whenever the AC blower comes on, the other circuits wake up and began working. When I turn the AC breaker off, the other circuits turn off too. I don't have a new breaker handy so I switched the AC breaker with a breaker from another circuit that I know was working, and it didn't help at all. The panel is a 2 years old Seimans.
Thnaks for any advice.
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You have lost one of the two hot legs coming in. The problem could be in the main breaker, but more than likely it's outside. Contact your electric utility company, and in the mean time turn off all 240 volt circuits
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Thta's what an electrician I called this morning suggested. I'm waiting for the power company to get back to me. Thanks!
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It's not so much a matter of what the problem is, but rather, where it is. Hopefully it's not a bad main breaker, which would be your responsibility. Usually these open circuits happen in more hostile environments like outdoor meter boxes, and outside overhead connections, either at the pole or house.

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Crazy story... it turned out to be an improperly seated meter cover (at least I assume that’s what the glass part is called) that must have been jostled by a strike or thunder. The previous owner built a roof over the porch and actually built it around the meter. The meter is partially embedded in the roof, so when I had my panel replaced 2 years ago, the electrician didn't reset the meter correctly due to the tight confines. The service provider (Oncor) didn't want to mess with it, telling me it was illegal, but he relented. Meanwhile I assume when I go to sell the house, the inspector might say something (even though ours did not). So now the meter cover is correctly attached, but he couldn’t get the metal strap around it so it’s just a friction fit. How hard it it to relocate a meter?
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On Sun, 3 May 2009 23:08:48 -0500, crabshell
It is not really a big deal but you may have to set a disconnect where the new location is if you are going to end up with wire inside before it gets to your current main disconnect.
It is just coordinating with the utility to get he existing drop disconnected and reconnected in a timely manner.
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crabshell wrote: (snip)

???? Having trouble picturing this- the roof interferes with the meter base itself? How high off the ground is your meter? Sounds like your Previous Owner was an even bigger idiot than mine was. Can you post a picture someplace, and put a link back here? Aerial service, or buried? And if aerial, is the conduit through the roof to the weather head trapped as well? If it is actually the end wall of an enclosed porch causing the problem, I'd be inclined to to move the wall, and add a little jog or something, assuming it is the posts on the outside corners of the porch that actually carry the weight.
Surprised your service provider let it slide, even temporarily. The electrician that replaced the panel should have insisted on a cure then- this can't be code-compliant. 'Friction fit' does not cut it for that application. Not to mention, emergency/power company personnel need to be able to find and pull the meter in a hurry, like when the house is on fire. Around here, there is usually not a main disconnect at the meter base.
-- aem sends...
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Very difficult to answer. In my area I deal with three electric utilities, and each uses their own metering equipment and have their own sets of rules. In a simple situation you could just lower the meter box and replace the service entrance cable feeding into it, provided that the rest of the existing installation meets all current codes. I'd call a local electrician, a different one than you used previously and ask
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Do you have an electric dryer? Do the same "experiment" with the dryer.
Are all the "dead" circuits on the same "leg"....all odd or all even numbered breakers? From the symptoms you describe, sounds like you've lost the neutral or its damaged / high resistance.
Most likely the problem is on the power company's side. Call the power company out & have them do a proper neutral test, not just with a voltmeter but where they pull the meter and load test each power leg and neutral.
I had a similar but must less severe situation that existed for years (like 8 years) where the living room lights would brighten when the electric dyer was run. I had Edison out a couple times & an electrician as well......all visits resulted in "no problem found, everything is ok" or "the problem must be on your side of the meter" comments.
Finally after storm & a power outage, the neutral deteriorated enough to make the problem more acute. My neighbor hounded Edison enough to where they finally found the issue, admitted it was on their side of the meter & fixed it.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

Do you have an electric dryer? Do the same "experiment" with the dryer.
Are all the "dead" circuits on the same "leg"....all odd or all even numbered breakers? From the symptoms you describe, sounds like you've lost the neutral or its damaged / high resistance.
Just as a comon sense question, how would all the dead circuits being on the same leg, indicate an open neutral? especially considering that both legs use the same neutral.
Most likely the problem is on the power company's side. Call the power company out & have them do a proper neutral test, not just with a voltmeter but where they pull the meter and load test each power leg and neutral.
I had a similar but must less severe situation that existed for years (like 8 years) where the living room lights would brighten when the electric dyer was run. I had Edison out a couple times & an electrician as well......all visits resulted in "no problem found, everything is ok" or "the problem must be on your side of the meter" comments.
Finally after storm & a power outage, the neutral deteriorated enough to make the problem more acute. My neighbor hounded Edison enough to where they finally found the issue, admitted it was on their side of the meter & fixed it.
cheers Bob
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Most likely a blown fuse or "drop" at the transformer. - disconnects one "live". Putting a heavy 240 load online allowa backfeed to the dead leg.
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wrote:

Does anyone know of a pole transformer with separate fuses for the two secondary hot legs? All I am aware of fuse the primary only.
Don Young
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a pole transformer failed one leg many years ago here. after a big storm
I had never seen a one leg out till that day so yes it can happen
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wrote:

If you really think it is the transformer, look at the pole and see who else it feeds. They usually do a couple houses per transformer. Knock on their door and see if their power is OK.
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wrote:

Virtually all 3 pase around here are secondary fused, as well as many single phase 220 "pole pigs"
Protects the transformer in case of the service conductors shorting (on the poles in a storm, or underground)
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On Mon, 04 May 2009 20:37:53 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Must be a Canadian thing. The only fuse on the regular pig here is in the primary.
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/transformer%20feeding%20a%20120-240%20bus.jpg
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/transformer.jpg
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/red_leg_transformers.jpg
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RBM-
Good point......I didn;t think that comment through carefully enough.
cheers Bob
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