Could there be a Problem with our Main Circuit Breaker?
Why does our house have partial power, is there a problem with our panel? Electrical storms, or changing an outlet that shorts out and causes sparks can cause a number of problems with the home electrical system.
Electrical Problems Caused by Storms
Electrical Question: Why does our house have partial power, is there a problem with our electric panel or main breaker?
Mark in New Jersey asks:
- Our power has not been right after a recent storm, is there a problem with our panel? After a storm our lights go dim when appliances are used, and the main breaker switch has play in it, is there a problem with the main breaker?
- Recently after an electrical storm during which we lost power we have developed a problem of lights dimming when certain appliances are used.
- The AC, washer, gas dryer, and microwave ovens are all on different circuits.
- Could there be a problem with our main breaker?
Mike in New Jersey asks:
- I thought I had the correct breaker off. I remove an old outlet and the bare ground wire touched the hot screw on the outlet. There were lots of sparks.
- I now have partial power in my house. No breakers were tripped. I checked with a voltage meter, every other breaker works. All the breakers were shut off. I turned the main breaker outside by the meter off then on. I turned all breakers back on, still have the same problem.
Thanks for your electrical questions.
Application: House Electrical Power Problem.
Skill Level: Advanced. This electrical project is best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Positively Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring or changing out an outlet or light switch.
Notice: Repairing electrical wiring and electrical components should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
How a Storm Can Cause Dim Lights and Lost Power
Reset Electrical Power to the Home
- Weather related storms and especially electrical storms, or changing an outlet that shorts out and causes sparks can cause a number of problems with the home electrical system and components.
- The condition that you have described is usually an indication that you have lost power to part of your electrical service.
- Reset the Main Breaker
- If the power is not working normally inside the home after a storm then the overcurrent protection or the main circuit breaker may need to be reset.
- To reset the main circuit breaker switch it into the full OFF position, and then switch it back into the full ON position.
- If the electrical power is still not functioning normally then electrical inspections and tests should be performed by a licensed or certified electrician. I would have this checked as soon as possible.
More about Storm Power Problems
- Why Your Home Lost Power
How to Identify Lost Power
- Licensed Electrician Reveals the Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.
- Electrical Circuit Breakers
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
- A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
- For Best Results Consult a Certified Electrician or a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
|More articles about Electrical, Troubleshooting and Home Electrical Wiring:|
|« Previous||Next »|
|Electrical Question about Single Pole Switch Wiring||Why Does my Circuit Breaker Trip when I use the Microwave Oven?|