home electrical problem

I have a 50 year old house. I am remodeling the bath. Today, I go to plug in a small compressor into a standard outlet and then I lose power in this bath, part of the accompanying bedroom (3 walls of it) and another bedroom. The circuit breaker did not flip and to be sure, I flipped them all off and on once but power was not restored. I go out into the hall, where there is a three way switch operating an overhead light, and when I turn this switch on, the light dims then gets really really bright, and it also seems to turn on items in the 2nd bedroom that lost power. I have opened all of the outlets and made sure they are wired correctly. Did the same thing with the light switches and replaced the three way switch with a new one. Did not work. Also, looked under house to make sure no water dripping on wires, crawled in attic, nothing unusual and the walls are cool to touch as are the outlets and switches.
Any ideas of what I can do first before calling an electrician? Thank you.
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sboyd4
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sboyd4 wrote:

That "really quite bright" light bulb make me pretty sure you've got a "loose disconnection" on a neutral line somewhere.
I think you are going to need a professional.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Jeff is absolutely correct. I'm not an alarmist but you've lost a neutral and you're getting a hi voltage backfeed. Call an electrician immediately

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So do I need to call now - as in an emergency - or can I call in the morning? Thank you.
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sboyd4
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sboyd4 wrote:

If it was me, I'd open the main breaker on the house's panel and feel pretty confidant that nothing horrible would happen while I was arranging for an electrician's visit.
But YMMV, so there's no guarantee from me on that. <G>
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Check to see if a GFI outlet tripped, which would kill the rest of your outlets if they are downstream.Press the reset button.
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sboyd4 wrote:

Are there any children in the house? If so I would call NOW. Your ground line and neutral are connected. If the neutral lifted and the ground is still connected to it (which is probably the case) your safety ground has not become your neutral. This poses a serious risk of shock when touching the _outside_ of grounded appliances. Plus other creative stuff.
Usually people don't even bother to explain. I think its because the issue is serious and they want you to not be reading the forums but on the phone calling an electrician.
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Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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