I guess it's not simplified enough for me. Would someone please read
"Testing for Continuity" on page 127 of the 42nd Edition of "Wiring
Simplified" and tell me if that's correct. I'm not really sure that I
want to jump two incoming hot wires to an incoming neutral. I'm
thinking it would be extremely "temporary". <G>
I have narrowed my electrical problem down to an open neutral, but it
only occurs at certain times and then goes back to normal. There is no
rhythm to it, it's different times of day and for different lengths of
time. And I've checked every appliance and have even had them all
disconnected overnight to see if their coming on and going off might
have something to do with it. The only thing I have not disconnected
is the water well and I'm going to replace the regulator on that
Friday just because the current one is 5 years old.
Your open neutral can be in a splice in an overhead service, and occur
sometimes when wind blows, or if it's more localized, it could be a loose
connection in the panel or a poorly backstabbed outlet. Normal vibrations in
a house can cause it to make and break at random times
If I were them, I would have mentioned this in that paragraph, but the
section labeled "Testing For Continuity" is part of a sequence of
tests that are to be performed BEFORE power is run to the breaker box.
If you have access to the main breaker and are sure you know what you
are doing and how to test that the power is really off, you could turn
off the power and do this test. If it were me, I would probably also
lock the main breaker while I was doing the test is case someone stops
by to help with your power outage...
As some have already suggested, if you truly have an open neutral, the
most likely place is the service.
Call the power company and they will send someone out to check for
Plan to open your panel and tighten your service connections while the
power is off. You can borrow the service guys, Allen wrench if you
don't have one. A half inch is not part of a typical set.
The power company will appear fast for an open neutral.
Last year an elderly widow happened to mention to me in passing that she
had bought three refrigerators in the past year because they "burned
out." I knew her home, circa 1850, and immediately called the volunteer
fire chief since he is also an electrician and he went right over. She
had an intermittently open neutral. When the neutral opened, and if
there were other significant loads across the other phase the
refrigerator was placed across close to 240 volts. The control
circuitry (these three refrigerators were SubZero) then "burned out."
To her, money is not an issue so she was sold three replacements by a
stupid or corrupt appliance store.
Don't fool with an open neutral...they can be dangerous and very expensive.
Not ours. They are way behind schedule due to Hurricane Ike.
I found what apparently was causing the problem. I had a loose
connection in the box, neutral too, that I had somehow missed the last
time I tightened them all up. So, I locked that sucker down. After
that I decided to do a continuity check and discovered that a ground,
the bare copper wire, was not continuous (sic???) so I started with
the lights. I found where one of the connections (old house where they
just twisted them together) had come loose. I repaired that and sewed
everything up and (knocking on wood extremely vigorously) so far, so
good. No flickering lights, no powere draw downs and life seems good.
Thanks for your response.
PS: Sorry I didn't get to ya sooner but it appears my isp did
something and sent out a message that we should reset the ngs and I
just got around to doing that, so didn't see any responses to my post.
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