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Question DetailsAsked on 2/3/2017

recent rain made power flicker .now half the house won't turn on

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2 Answers


I would consider this an "emergency" situation, because it could result in a fallen live wire (assuming overhead wiring) or a potential fire situation in your house if there is a short that could arc.

What has happened almost certainly is one of the two 110/120V live wires (one "side" of the 220/240V feed) to your house (or possibly in your outside wiring leading to the breaker panel) has has a short or failed connection - which might be fully burned out, or could be in near contact and potentially dangerously arc and maybe burn through or ignite adjacent materials at any time - says if the wind comes up a bit or more rain falls. This make one "side" of uyour breaker panel dead - so roughly half the circuits in the house, and 220/240V appliances like electric range and clothes dryer and such will either not work at all or only partly work - maybe burners but not oven on range, or maybe rotation moptor but not heating element on dryer.

Assuming your main breakers are not tripped (and if one or both are I would NOT reset them without getting the fault fixed), then I would call the utility and ask them to check your system for an incoming line fault. Sometimes they can check remotely using an electronic "smart meter", sometimes would have to send a crew out.

I would NOT go touching outside boxes or meter or such - remote possibility that one could be "live", but you do not want to the the exception that breaks the rule.

Could be a fault at the transformer, in an elevated (or buried) line, at the connection to your house at the wetherhead (if oerhead lines), in the meter panel or adjacent (in some houses) main breaker or disconnect panel, or in the wiring into the house.

If the utility says the lines are good to their meter (usual responsibility termination point) then an Electrical contractor would be your Search the List category. It is possible they will identify the source of the problem even if not in their lines - and if in their opinion an imminent hazard, may pull the meter (disconnect the power) until it is fixed.

And I would try to avoid any electric use in the house that can be avoided - especially any high-demand items like range, microwave, toaster, anything with an electric motor, hair dryer, electric car charging, electric heaters or radiators, laser printers, unneeded lights (including outdoor lights), sauna, hot tub, etc.

Reefer and freezer if you have you probably want to try to keep live - if on dead circuit you might have to use a heavy duty (12ga) extension cord as short as possible to reach to a working outlet. But remember, if one wire shorted out or failed,, the other might have been damaged at that same point, so cut usage to the bare minimum - and as I said, I would consider this an "emergency" worth calling a 24-hour electrician.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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