We've experienced a problem with our electric a couple of times
recently. The electric goes out in most of the house, but remains on
in part of the kitchen, and on one wall in one bedroom. Turning the
main disconnect on and off doesn';t seem to affect the situation.
Electric remains off for about 30 minutes then comes back on. We have
upgraded 200 amp service with fuses in the house.
The electric company will come and check it out but only when it's off
and they haven't been able to get here while it's been off. We seem to
be the only ones reporting the problem.
The electric has been "surging(?)" for some time, meaning that lights
will pulsate or waver or dim somewhat intermittently. Also, when the
refrigerator comes on, it causes a quick flicker in other things that
Oh and I just remembered, a couple of days before losing the electric
the first time about a week ago, the power was reduced once to the
point where lights were on but very dim and there wasn't enough
electric to turn on the TV.
Anyone know what might be happening with all this? Could it be related
to the electric company's equipment or am I more likely going to end up
having to call an electrician?
I am going to guess that you don't have aluminum wiring so my guess is
your problem is with the supply to your home, not in your home, although
there is a slight chance it may be in the breaker box.
Call your electric company and tell them what is happening. Especially
the surging. Most likely it is a transformer of theirs that is about to go
all the way out.
Unless you are in a pretty rural area, your house will most likely be
sharing a utility company transformer with other houses, so it's not likely
a problem there. Most likely a bad connection, which could be where your
wires connect to the transformer, where they connect at your house, in your
meter box, or at your main disconnect. As this is a potentially serious
matter, I would get an electrician to at least determine that the problem is
not on or in your house. That information will be useful to the utility
company as well
Do you have an electric water heater?
The electric goes out in most of the house, but remains on
We seem to be the only ones reporting the problem.
lights will pulsate or waver or dim somewhat intermittently.
a couple of days before losing the electric the first time about a
week ago, the power was reduced once to the
I'd bet you have an intermittent connection at one leg of your drop. I
had the same thing happen, and the odd behavior was due in part to
feeding some circuits through the water heating element. You'll get
some voltage at the other leg, but it will be very low because of the
resistance of the heating element.
Try this: If you have an electric water heater, switch it off and see
if you're missing half of your 220 at the breaker box (or at least see
if switching off the water heater changes the behavior of your problem).
A loose connection on one leg of the power feed will cause this type of
symptom as has been noted. This condition can also cause considerable
heating at the bad connection that can lead to a fire. Likely places to
check are the connections to the main circuit breaker in the panel and
the connections in the meter socket. You might be able to tell if either
location is warmer than the surrounding area, particularly if you have
an IR thermometer. In any event this should be considered an urgent
problem and addressed quickly.
You guys nailed it. FPL came out this afternoon. Said there was a bad
connection due to a frayed wire at the house (somewhere?). Replaced
the wire between the pole and the house and all is well.... hopefully
Thanks for all the input!
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