Home is Loosing Power Several Times a Day
Is there a Problem in the Electric Breaker Box? Common problems that cause lost power to home light fixtures and outlets.
Home Electric Power Problem
Electrical Question #1 A few days ago my home started loosing power about 3 times a day, It effects the majority of the house.
- Only a few areas of the home remain lit. When we tried the light switches the lights come on very dim. When the kitchen light is turned on, my dishwasher lights blink. The burglar alarm also goes off when kitchen switch is attempted to turn lights back on. The alarm is not currently being monitored, just local alarm. When my adult daughter messed with the wiring in the alarm speaker box, disconnecting the wires, then the lights came back on. The desktop computer also goes off, which also is plugged into a kitchen outlet. There is no consistency in the power outage. I know this is a lot of information but I’m not sure if I start with an electrician or the alarm company? Does this at all sound like it possibly could be in the breaker box at all? Maybe rodents chewed the wiring? I am afraid of a possible fire occurring. Any help would be appreciated asap.
This electrical wiring question came from Ann, a Homeowner in St Paul, Minnesota.
Electrical Question #2
- My son called and said all lights were dimming only occasionally in their 1930’s house. The house has a 200-Amp main circuit breaker panel maybe 20-30 years old. When he turns ON the garbage disposer the lights went back to normal. Turn OFF disposer and the go back to dimming? Backwards from what I would think. I have rebuilt 4 houses including doing the wiring.
This electrical wiring question came from Michael, a Handyman in Cranston, Rhode Island.
Thanks for your electrical wiring questions.
Troubleshooting a Home Electrical Power Problem
Application: Lost Power to the Home Electrical System and Circuits.
Skill Level: Advanced – a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician should be consulted right away.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Ammeter and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on age of the home, the condition of the electrical system and available access to electrical components.
Precaution: Electrical troubleshooting of this level is best performed by a licensed electrical contractor who will identify the problem and make the necessary repairs.
Common Problems that Cause Home Electrical Power Problems
- Faulty Component in the Main Electrical Service
- If there is a loose connection or faulty electrical component somewhere within the electrical system this will cause problems with other lights and outlets in the home. This could be a dangerous condition that may damage electrical and electronic devices, therefore these items should be unplugged or disconnected until the problem has been repaired.
- Electrical System Inspection and Repairs
- A qualified electrician will need to inspect and test the main electrical service panel to identify the fault or condition.
- Repairs to the electrical system will need to be made with approved parts before full electrical power can be restored.
More about Troubleshooting the Electrical System
Understanding Electrical Testers
When working on home electrical wiring using voltage testers can play an important part in electrical safety. Electrical testers enable you to identify electrical circuits and help prevent the possibility of accidental electrical shock.
Using Electrical Testers
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.
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.
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.
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