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Question DetailsAsked on 4/16/2018

low power in part of the house

the bathroom fan lights and micro wave seem to be running on half power or low power

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1 Answer


Almost certainly, since those are both 120V devices (assuming this is not a giant commercial microwave which uses 220/240V outlet), either those are both on the same circuit wiring (which should not be the case), or one "side" of your power has a fault. (There are two 110/120V "sides" to the incoming 220/240V feed to your house and breaker panel - if one loses contact or has a partial short you will get loss of power, intermittent power, or low voltage on the about half the circuit coming off that feed - as well as one all 220/240V devices.)

Since you are complaining about apparent "low voltage" what is likely happening, assuming the problem is not with the incoming power from the power company - which is rare - you likely have a lead which is either shorting out partly - so consuming part of the power at the short, meaning low voltage at the outlets - or is making such poor contact that a significant amount of the power is consumed in arcing and heating of the bad contact. Either way, a significant fire risk which should be look at IMMEDIATELY - even if it means paying overtime rates at least to locate and stop the problem.

If an emergency call finds the problem, up to you then whether to have the electrician, fix it immediately, or perhaps have him cut the power at the trouble point if the repair will be substantial, and come back on regular rates to do the repair another day.

Obviously, with this situation any use of power has risks - certainly using any high-power device like microwave, toaster, waffle irons, coffee pot, hair dryer, electric heaters (including water heater if electric), or any 220/240V device like electric dryer, range, air conditioner, etc increases the risk of fire because they pull more power, hence a bad connection or partial short can create more spot heating at the fault point.


Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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