What caused Lost power to half of the house?

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Posted by: from Niagara Falls
2/11/2016 at 1:48:56 AM

Furnace, fridge, freezer, a couple of bedrooms and one of three bathrooms still has power. Stove, micro, master bedroom and kitchen lights have no power. Different areas of the house as well. Not just one side or the other. Checked breakers, nothing appeared to be tripped. Tried to reset the stove and microwave breakers anyway, didn't help.

What is the cause?

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Date/Time2/11/2016 at 9:21:59 AM

Hello Tanya and thank you for posting to TrustedPros.

What you are experiencing can be quite frustrating and a bit of a mystery to solve (especially from behind a computer). My first and best recommendation is to call in a licensed technician.

It could be as simple as a faulty breaker or it could be significantly more complex. I can only speculate from a distance.

To help in the troubleshooting process there are a few things you can do. First, systematically turn each breaker off and then back on. Do this for all breakers including your main 100A breaker if it is a breaker. If instead of breakers you have 100A fuses, then you really ought to call a technician in to test.

Next, turn on your dryer to see that it heats up as it should. If it does not then perhaps one of your main 100A fuses is blown (if you have fuses). If you have a 100A main breaker instead of fuses, it may be faulty.

Again, your best solution is to call a technician in to diagnose.

All the best.

Henry Kirsch

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Date/Time2/11/2016 at 9:38:20 AM

One phase is out.

If your home has a fused disconnect one fuse is blown.


Main breaker has come loose or is not functioning properly.


Do not try to fix this by yourself call an experienced electrician.

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Dave from Nemco in Cambridge
Date/Time2/11/2016 at 11:46:52 AM

You've definitely lost a phase. Not something you should be attempting to repair or diagnose. Call a licensed electrical contractor to see if it's within your home or possibly a break in your primary line.

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Date/Time2/11/2016 at 11:53:06 AM

There are two hot lines (wires), some times called live lines, (L1 and L2) coming to your house and one neutral line (N), plus the ground wire. If one of the live wire connections in the 'main boxes' of your house is loosened, or otherwise defective; this will leave you with half power. The loose connection can occur at many locations: the meter socket, the main breaker compartment, the over head connection to your utility provider, and even the utility company fuse may burn out.

There are many other occurrences, you may have accidentally turned half the circuit breakers off. I have seen this only once while they were cooking the Thanks Giving Turkey!

Over time these connections corrode and vibrate and loosen (flickering lights). If loosened the wire connections can cause heat. Heat will decrease the performance of your electrical system. This condition is less dangerous than it appears, as the heat is contained in metal enclosures. Once the wire disconnects from the connection it stops producing heat. You do, however, loose half your power.

A disconnected neutral (N), is even more problematic and can cause lights to be too bright, or too dim. This is because the unbalanced loads are shared across the 240 volt, rather than 120 volt normal power. If the light seems too bright do not use the stove, or dryer, or any other 240 volt loads. Get repair!!!

To repair these problems you may have to call both an experienced Electrician and the utility company repair service.


Scotty's Electric Service Inc.,

Edmonton, Canada

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