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Help!! Home electric problems!!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by newyorkin, Dec 28, 2002.

  1. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Hey yall,

    Some of you know, I took over the other apartment in my house and am combining them into one big house.

    Well, I love electric/electronics, so I've re-wired quite a bit of the house myself already. When I took over the other side, I killed that side's power and re-wired a lot of the house, then re-arranged the basement breaker box to remove and add some breakers. There's a 60a breaker in the basement panel running up to an upstairs sub-panel because the tenant didn't have access to the basement. It controls most of the second floor and the receptacles in the first floor living room. I haven't touched the sub-panel, but I moved the 60amp breaker in the basement up 2 slots to the place that was formerly occupied by the electric stove breaker.

    Now, I turn the main back on, and I'm only getting power from one breaker in the box, one of the new ones (a dual 15a single slot breaker), going to a new circuit. Nothing else works, no receptacles, no fixture lights, not the basement receptacle wired right to a breaker right there (so I can check out the circuit and make sure it's wired right and power really IS not showing up there).

    Any ideas? I rearranged the breaker panel again, but same results. I didn't move the one that was working, I'm going to try that next, to see if it works in a different spot in the panel.
     
  2. 4x4Freak

    4x4Freak 1/2 ton status

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    Do you have an electrical meter? It can make tracing the problem much easier. A cheap one usually costs around $15-20.

    It might be possible that you lost a leg. Try turning the main off and back on, maybe it just didnt set good. Other than that, without being there to see for myself, I dont have any idea. Good luck.
     
  3. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Yeah, I have a really nice Fluke digital multimeter I just fixed, it's showing 110 coming out of each breaker, but nothing at the other ends. I tried flipping the main on and off and even wiggling it a little, but nothing changed, both legs are hot, but nothings reaching the appliances. Somewhere I must've lost a ground somehow. I'm wondering if maybe in the snow, some how the grounding stake got messed up?? It should still run back to the utility ground, though, unless that's what runs to the stake when it comes out of the meter... It's also grounded to the same water pipe that my other breaker panel is, and that one's having no problems.
     
  4. driney

    driney 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    If I understand correctly, you have checked each circuit in the breaker panel and you have 110V between each breaker and the neutral bus. Do you have only one neutral/grounding bus? Some boxes seperate the neutrals and grounds. If you don't have a problem there, I would probably take one of those little voltage detectors and see if there was voltage on the hot side of the circuit. If there is, then start looking on the neutral side for a break.
     
  5. willyswanter

    willyswanter 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    As Driney said, if your showing 110v out of each breaker when checking against the neutral bus, you should be getting power at the appliances... But, you are not, and not to a whole lot of them. Your only getting one circuit to run an applicance currently correct? And all the otheres are dead? I wouldn't think that this is a break in any of the romex runs if they are all this way. Check and see where your neutrals come out of the romex and connect to the neutral bus. Are they all connected? Is that neutral bus wired to the neutral from the weatherhead/City? I would start checking in the panel first, to me that sounds like where the problem is. Also, do you have a seperate ground and neutral bus? Or are they combined?
     
  6. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Thanks for the tips, all. I figured out the problem at around 4 am, just too wiped to post it.
    I've been in the process of removing old circuits as I replace them, and some circuits, mostly ones that existed from the sub-panel just to keep the electric seperate for each apartment, I've been removing altogether (just disconnecting, physical removal is later).
    This problem I was having last night was because I disconnected one of the major feed lines to most of the fixtures/receptacles on the second floor. Apparently, there's a new (1980's) BX run from the sub panel to the basement, then back up to the attic, then back down to the second floor where it junctions with a 1920's BX run, which then back up to the attic to be distributed around the floor. There were a dozen of these wacked setups, and I had thought I traced and straitened out and removed the ones that were unnecessary and rewired more sensibly and closer to code... I guess ths one slipped through. Unfortunately, it's a run to each of the cieling fixtures on the second floor. If I disturb one to replace the wire, I'm going to end up replacing all of them (20+ lines), and that's not feasable right now... I had thought this cluster was fed by a nice stout BX run, but apparently, the wire I thought was feed was not!

    I still can't figure out why everything is right on the basement receptacle/light next to the breaker panel, but it's not giving the receptacle and light power...
     

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