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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Thanks fellas...yall have given me a lot of ideas to start working on.

I may have a few led bulbs, I'll check into all that also.
 

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How old is this panel? If this is a MWBC (Multi Wire Branch Circuit) it would require handle ties for any wiring sharing a neutral. That was a requirement for panels installed after the 2008 NEC was adopted. In fact, after the 08' code change they are required to place the breakers together in the panel (opposite poles). The requirement for MWBC's was not as restrictive in prior code revisions and they could have placed them anywhere. You'd likely have a mess in the panel when they split the 14/3 or 12/3 for breakers 5 and 12. Also dangerous for anyone working that doesn't clear both breakers and the neutral becomes a current carrying conductor. This can also be a neutral overload issue if someone wired it and didn't know what they were doing (wired both conductors to the same pole in the panel for instance as the neutral will now be tasked with carrying 2X the current).

Be careful! Electricity looks simple sometimes but can burn your house down and put your family in danger, and worse yet KILL YOU. When uncertain lean on a reputable, licensed, electrician.
 

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Can't improve on what MajorTom said

Wibb is correct as well.

Circuits sharing a neutral is as old as electric in homes/buildings and perfectly legal, if it's done correctly, as Wibb described. 3 circuits on one neutral is common and normal in three phase systems. Only requirement is for the circuits to be on opposite legs, A and B in single phase systems and A,B,C in three phase systems and, its drawn that way on engineered drawings. The circuits being on opposite legs balance the neutral load. If a real electrician did the wiring, that's the way it will be done. If not...who the Sam Hill knows without looking.

Not sure about the '08 code but prior to that the only time handle ties were required was if both circuits were on one device, such as one receptacle under the sink serving two circuits. One for the dishwasher and one for the garbage disposal. Again, if a real electrician did the wiring the multi wire circuits will be grouped together in the panel...and always were when I did it, the 43 years I was an electrician.
 
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
@sharps4590 @MAJORTOM and anyone else who have tried to help.

So I have got into every junction box, changed every switch and fixed a couple outlets that had a open ground.

Thought I might have it fixed. But a little bit ago, I plugged in the treadmill, and it started up, then the power went out. This time 3 circuits went out.

So took the panel off the breaker box, and used my multimeter to check for voltage. I did not have voltage on the breakers for those circuits. I had the meter on AC, put the red lead on the screw for the breaker, and the black on the bus bar that the grounds and neutrals are mounted.

After a minute of checking them, my power came back on. Any more ideas?
 

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@sharps4590 @MAJORTOM and anyone else who have tried to help.

So I have got into every junction box, changed every switch and fixed a couple outlets that had a open ground.

Thought I might have it fixed. But a little bit ago, I plugged in the treadmill, and it started up, then the power went out. This time 3 circuits went out.

So took the panel off the breaker box, and used my multimeter to check for voltage. I did not have voltage on the breakers for those circuits. I had the meter on AC, put the red lead on the screw for the breaker, and the black on the bus bar that the grounds and neutrals are mounted.

After a minute of checking them, my power came back on. Any more ideas?
If you had 120v on the supply bar and not on breaker screw to neutral and ground sounds like need to replace breakers. Also nee to look at where breaker clips on bar for arcing damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
Let me give yall another twist.

I was just out in my shop, it has it's own power, own breaker box. Power went out to one of the circuits in it. I ran in the house, and the circuits that have been going out, are out also.

So would it be something at my service entrance at the pole?
 

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Let me give yall another twist.

I was just out in my shop, it has it's own power, own breaker box. Power went out to one of the circuits in it. I ran in the house, and the circuits that have been going out, are out also.

So would it be something at my service entrance at the pole?
That's strange... If it was an issue at the service entrance, I'd expect you to have everything on one leg out, not just two circuits... Unless you only have four circuits in the house (which doesn't seem to be the case).
 

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Is it the same leg at the shop and on all breakers or are they staggered? It seems weird as 5 and 12 would be different legs of the 240 service.

Are you on your own transformer? Do you have a meter base with a main breaker for all or both services? I have seen this when the meter base has damage/corrosion/arcing. Had a very similar thing happen to me at my own residence where the lugs were loose and arced. Expansion and contraction cause heating and cause a lot of damage and even fires.


You could always pull your meter and have a look. Best case you can pull the meter base cover, worst you'd need to remove the meter. No utility likes it when you pull their meter, but I'd nearly promise that they will be out in 15 minutes or less if you pull it. If they give you crap, blame it on safety. Most new meters will send a service out call back to the dispatcher and they are usually required to respond quick. If you remove it, kill the main breaker and be sure the meter isn't showing load for your own safety.
 

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You could always pull your meter and have a look. Best case you can pull the meter base cover, worst you'd need to remove the meter. No utility likes it when you pull their meter, but I'd nearly promise that they will be out in 15 minutes or less if you pull it. If they give you crap, blame it on safety. Most new meters will send a service out call back to the dispatcher and they are usually required to respond quick. If you remove it, kill the main breaker and be sure the meter isn't showing load for your own safety.
Couple years ago, we were without power due to ice. I killed the breaker at the meter base & the panel & powered up the house on a generator. REC came by & seen we had lights on. They asked me next time, just pull the meter for safety sake. Haven't had to yet, but for sure will next time.
 

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Couple years ago, we were without power due to ice. I killed the breaker at the meter base & the panel & powered up the house on a generator. REC came by & seen we had lights on. They asked me next time, just pull the meter for safety sake. Haven't had to yet, but for sure will next time.
Ralls County down here came out all chicken breasted. I told them to get over it or see themselves to the gate. I'm not about burning the house down with my family inside. They were very helpful after that and re-termed the bad lugs temporarily to get us through until Monday when they replaced THEIR can that hadn't been maintained properly for ages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Is it the same leg at the shop and on all breakers or are they staggered? It seems weird as 5 and 12 would be different legs of the 240 service.

Are you on your own transformer? Do you have a meter base with a main breaker for all or both services? I have seen this when the meter base has damage/corrosion/arcing. Had a very similar thing happen to me at my own residence where the lugs were loose and arced. Expansion and contraction cause heating and cause a lot of damage and even fires.


You could always pull your meter and have a look. Best case you can pull the meter base cover, worst you'd need to remove the meter. No utility likes it when you pull their meter, but I'd nearly promise that they will be out in 15 minutes or less if you pull it. If they give you crap, blame it on safety. Most new meters will send a service out call back to the dispatcher and they are usually required to respond quick. If you remove it, kill the main breaker and be sure the meter isn't showing load for your own safety.
I'm not really sure about the same leg.

On my pole, I have my meter with the normal disconnect on it. Then I have a smaller panel below it, on the side, which I'm guessing is the panel for the shop.

I took off the cover below the meter. 2 big black cables, guessing one for the shop, and one for the house.

I'm not going to chance sticking my fingers around that, I'll just see if I can get a electrician to come out. They were backed up, but maybe I can persuade them to come sooner.
 

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I'm not really sure about the same leg.

On my pole, I have my meter with the normal disconnect on it. Then I have a smaller panel below it, on the side, which I'm guessing is the panel for the shop.

I took off the cover below the meter. 2 big black cables, guessing one for the shop, and one for the house.

I'm not going to chance sticking my fingers around that, I'll just see if I can get a electrician to come out. They were backed up, but maybe I can persuade them to come sooner.
I'd have to see some photos or a better explanation to provide more help.

If it was only a few circuits without voltage, I'd be checking breakers and bus bar in the panels (arcing, corrosion, broken breaker lugs or expanded spring lugs). One other thing to check, if it happens again, is each pole (leg) of the main bus bar for voltage. You should be able to do it at each breaker where the red or black are connected and keep track of which ones do and don't. Post of some pics of your panel, might help to see what you're working with.
 

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We had a loose meter one time, KPL Kansas Power and Light came up, looked at it, broke the seal and shoved it back in, they came back a few days later and replaced it...
 

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Dude, you're over your head, it's time to actually call in a professional electrician who knows how to troubleshoot.

You've got some professionals here trying to give you advice, but it's impossible for them to troubleshoot for you from afar based on the lack of information you can give them based on your limited knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Dude, you're over your head, it's time to actually call in a professional electrician who knows how to troubleshoot.

You've got some professionals here trying to give you advice, but it's impossible for them to troubleshoot for you from afar based on the lack of information you can give them based on your limited knowledge.
100% agree. I called them at first, but everyone was backed up, so I was just trying stuff in the meantime.

I'm calling the electrician this morning to see if they can swing by.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
UPDATE!!! Its fixed

Called the electrician, and luckily he was working a call not far away so he came by. After telling him what was going on, he was pretty sure it was at the pole. He checked everything, tightened some stuff up, then looked up and found the problem.

Coming out of the transformer, there is 3 lines coming down to my meter. About 2 ft from the transformer there are crimps. One was burnt out. Called the power co op, they came out a few mins later, cut the old one out, confirmed it was bad, and put a new one back.

Should be good to go now. Thanks alot for yalls help. I learned alot.
 

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UPDATE!!! Its fixed

Called the electrician, and luckily he was working a call not far away so he came by. After telling him what was going on, he was pretty sure it was at the pole. He checked everything, tightened some stuff up, then looked up and found the problem.

Coming out of the transformer, there is 3 lines coming down to my meter. About 2 ft from the transformer there are crimps. One was burnt out. Called the power co op, they came out a few mins later, cut the old one out, confirmed it was bad, and put a new one back.

Should be good to go now. Thanks alot for yalls help. I learned alot.
Makes sense. Must have been one of your hot legs coming in intermittently arcing due to heating similar to the meter scenario.

If it had been your neutral, your lights will typically get very bright on half the circuits and dim on the others (with old incandescent lighting). It would probably just smoke LED's and CFL's. Glad he got you squared away with a couple of new PG clamps at the drop.
 

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I always sleep a lot easier knowing the gremlins are gone. Its a frustrating feeling I know.
 
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We once lost one leg of the feed. Talk about a nightmare to diagnose as a non-electrician.
Call the power co. first, argue later is my MO now.
So glad you got it figgered out.
 

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Glad you got it sorted out! Problems like that are a pain to diagnose, especially long distance! Sounds like your electrician was on the ball!
 
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