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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have called a few electricians around and the earliest anybody can come is a few weeks, so i am just trying to see if i can figure out anything in the meantime.

House was built in 1981. Lately we have been having some issues where power will go out to different circuits, but does not trip a breaker.

Power does come back on after a bit.

Majority of the time it does it, no heavy load is on. (Dryer, range, etc)

I thought at first it was just 1 circuit, and started checking all the outlets and switches for loose connections. Nothing I have found other than being backstabbed, so I have been replacing outlets as I go and put the wire around the screws instead.

I had a couple breakers that felt loose, so I replaced them. No burn marks, but the bus bar did have a little brown or orange tint to it. I tightened every screw in the breaker box, nothing seemed excessively loose, but a few took a few turns of the screwdriver.

Its multiple circuits so that leads me to it has to be at the common place, the breaker box, but again, I am no electrician.

The breaker box is a 200 amp Square D box.

Any ideas on what to look for?

Thanks
 

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Can you identify which multiple circuits? Is it random circuits or is it every other row (ie: 1 & 2 are good, 3 & 4 are out, 5 & 6 are good, etc)?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can you identify which multiple circuits? Is it random circuits or is it every other row (ie: 1 & 2 are good, 3 & 4 are out, 5 & 6 are good, etc)?
It is #5 on the left side and #12 on the right side. The #5 sits one breaker higher than the 12.

Power does come back after a bit.
 

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what is plugged into these outlets?

do you have something plugged in that automaticaly comes on ?

No gfci outlets on these 2 breakers?
 

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I seem to remember you posting about this trouble a while back, unless it was someone else.
It might help if you link that post so people are making the same suggestions again.
I'm no help on electrical stuff (or most any stuff)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
what is plugged into these outlets?

do you have something plugged in that automaticaly comes on ?

No gfci outlets on these 2 breakers?
In the outlets the only thing plug in is a freezer and our internet modem. The other circuit that goes out with it, has our dining room light, living room ceiling fan/light and porch light.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I seem to remember you posting about this trouble a while back, unless it was someone else.
It might help if you link that post so people are making the same suggestions again.
I'm no help on electrical stuff (or most any stuff)
Must have been someone else, but I might have to search and see what was said. Thanks
 

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In the outlets the only thing plug in is a freezer and our internet modem. The other circuit that goes out with it, has our dining room light, living room ceiling fan/light and porch light.
any of those lights LED's? They have been known to cause issues when the electronic circuitry goes bad in one of them and it will effect everything down the line. Been there before.
 

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It is #5 on the left side and #12 on the right side. The #5 sits one breaker higher than the 12.

Power does come back after a bit.
If its only two circuits, which sound like they should be on opposite legs, then its not one possibility I was thinking of (losing a leg).

As stickinmofish suggested, perhaps they share a neutral somewhere, such as maybe at the buss bar and the screw is loose?
 

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Like mentioned above, I suspect a common neutral.
When it starts, do the lights get dim or bright all of a sudden before going out?
When it occurs check voltage at the breaker. Also check at a failed outlet checking power to neutral, also power to ground and you should be able to read continuity between neutral and ground assuming a neutral/ground bond at the meter or main.

With incandescent lighting, the bulbs becoming very bright or dim is a sign of a bad/lost neutral. I doubt LED would exhibit the behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Like mentioned above, I suspect a common neutral.
When it starts, do the lights get dim or bright all of a sudden before going out?
When it occurs check voltage at the breaker. Also check at a failed outlet checking power to neutral, also power to ground and you should be able to read continuity between neutral and ground assuming a neutral/ground bond at the meter or main.

With incandescent lighting, the bulbs becoming very bright or dim is a sign of a bad/lost neutral. I doubt LED would exhibit the behavior.
I wouldnt say they get dim...but they do start to flicker a few times before it goes completely out. At first it will be 1 or 2 flicks, then it will do it a few more times rapidly, then just shut off.
 

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This is what I see so far in all the posts here. You say that both circuits go out at the same time? if so this could definitely be a lost neutral. First go to your breaker box and look at the wires on circuits #5 and #12. One should have a black wire connected and the other should have a red wire connected. If so this is a three wire cable that would share a neutral. If not you have something miswired in your system. Get you a GFCI tester. You can get them at any hardware store or the blue or orange store for @ $20.00. When the power goes out take the GFCI tester and put it in an outlet that's out. It will tell you what's wrong. IE open neutral, neutral and ground reversed, hot and neutral reversed etc. They are handy to have when chasing down a problem like this. If it shows an open neutral Then shut off both breakers and positively identify everything that is on those circuits. You can use The GFCI tester or a radio or small table lamp to check your outlets. Turn on and off all the lights to make sure you have identified everything on the circuit. Then open every outlet, switch and light fixture and check all the connections. Make sure all wires are in their wire nuts and that they are tight. Side wire all your devices while you are in them. Chances are you will find a loose wire in one of the boxes. You also mentioned that you have found outlets backwired (backstabbed). I can't tell you how many problems this has caused me in the past on service calls. This is one of the worst things that people do. It's a very weak connection that can burn your house down and I have found instances where it damn near did! So going thru and side wiring all your outlets is a good thing! Just make sure the hook is turned in the direction that the screw tightens. In some cities it is required to (pigtail) all your outlets. This is where you take the two cables (or more) and twist the wires together and take another set of wires (black, white) at least 6" long and twist them in with the others of the same color and put a wire nut on them-tight so you only have one set of wires going to the device (outlet). This prevents using the device as a junction and if the device is ever damaged it maintains the circuits integrity.
 

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This is what I see so far in all the posts here. You say that both circuits go out at the same time? if so this could definitely be a lost neutral. First go to your breaker box and look at the wires on circuits #5 and #12. One should have a black wire connected and the other should have a red wire connected. If so this is a three wire cable that would share a neutral. If not you have something miswired in your system. Get you a GFCI tester. You can get them at any hardware store or the blue or orange store for @ $20.00. When the power goes out take the GFCI tester and put it in an outlet that's out. It will tell you what's wrong. IE open neutral, neutral and ground reversed, hot and neutral reversed etc. They are handy to have when chasing down a problem like this. If it shows an open neutral Then shut off both breakers and positively identify everything that is on those circuits. You can use The GFCI tester or a radio or small table lamp to check your outlets. Turn on and off all the lights to make sure you have identified everything on the circuit. Then open every outlet, switch and light fixture and check all the connections. Make sure all wires are in their wire nuts and that they are tight. Side wire all your devices while you are in them. Chances are you will find a loose wire in one of the boxes. You also mentioned that you have found outlets backwired (backstabbed). I can't tell you how many problems this has caused me in the past on service calls. This is one of the worst things that people do. It's a very weak connection that can burn your house down and I have found instances where it damn near did! So going thru and side wiring all your outlets is a good thing! Just make sure the hook is turned in the direction that the screw tightens. In some cities it is required to (pigtail) all your outlets. This is where you take the two cables (or more) and twist the wires together and take another set of wires (black, white) at least 6" long and twist them in with the others of the same color and put a wire nut on them-tight so you only have one set of wires going to the device (outlet). This prevents using the device as a junction and if the device is ever damaged it maintains the circuits integrity.
What he said with one note regarding side wiring vs backstabbing. Outlets have been know to have holes in the back that you stuff the stripped wires in and are then stuck. That's the backstabbing majortom is talking about that SUCKS. But some newer outlets have holes in the back that you poke the wire in and then crank down the screw. Those are good as they are relying on the same screw mechanism as side wiring (clamping force of the screw) vs some junk spring loaded barbs of the 'push in' type.

Side note, not sure how running two circuits in a single 12/3 was ever up to code anywhere. First time I ever encountered that was in my house... Was doing some rewiring, killed the power to the circuit (well, one circuit).... And you can probably guess what happened when I cut the wire.
 

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In the outlets the only thing plug in is a freezer and our internet modem. The other circuit that goes out with it, has our dining room light, living room ceiling fan/light and porch light.
and none of those are LED's, correct?
reason I ask is I had about the same problem and found out one of my outside LED lights was causing the issue. After it cooled down the power would come back on. I elimanted everything one at a time. At the same time some one else on here(MWT) had had the same problem with a led bulb.

Son thought he had a major electrical issue, he had led bulbs in a ceiling light, it would go out then come back on later. It was over heating in the enclosed space and shutting itself off.
I have led ligths in ceiling light and I have not had that issue, yet...
 

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and none of those are LED's, correct?
reason I ask is I had about the same problem and found out one of my outside LED lights was causing the issue. After it cooled down the power would come back on. I elimanted everything one at a time. At the same time some one else on here(MWT) had had the same problem with a led bulb.

Son thought he had a major electrical issue, he had led bulbs in a ceiling light, it would go out then come back on later. It was over heating in the enclosed space and shutting itself off.
I have led ligths in ceiling light and I have not had that issue, yet...
LED lights run way cooler than incandescent bulbs. There electronics converting AC to DC are usually the problem. First gen had 8 year warranty and I replaced about 50% under 4 years. As for first post I would check voltage coming into panel than check tightness of all connections in panel.
 
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