Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Subject: Crazy Electrical Problem

Name: Denise

Question: Hi, I'm not doing this myself so don't worry, but even my electrician is baffled.

1. When we turn off the main breaker, we still have electricity throughout the whole apartment. 2. When he tested the outlets and the indoor panel, he could not get 220 anywhere. Everything was 110 even though it should be 220, he said.

3. When we turn on the dryer, the bathroom lights dim to almost darkness.

4. When we turn on the oven, same thing happens.

5. We had the elec. co. come over to check the main panel but we didn't see them come and they reported that everything was ok on their end. We're not sure what they looked at but it seems as if it would be hard to miss a breaker that was OFF but still sending electricity to the apartment.

6. Even with the main breaker off, AND ALL of the panel breakers off some things the kitchen light stays on.

7. We called the elec. co. back and told them the problem AGAIN, and they said they would send their "special guy" back here to check it out but he was out of town until next week. My electrician is going insane. Have any suggestions in the meantime?


Answer: Hi Denise,I hate to say this but you might want to try another electrician. This could be a crazy problem but I doubt it is. If one of my electricians came to me with this story I would send a different guy out because I would be thinking the first guy had a mental block and could not see what should be an obvious problem. Not being there my guess is that you have a bad neutral in your service equipment. You electric company normally only test the lines coming into you home and it is the job of your electrician to test the breakers. Second guess is your apartment is not broken up properly from your neighbors' apartment. Here in Philadelphia this happens all the time. We do at least three or four job in the University City [19104, 19139] section of town where big home were made into apartment for Penn students but the power was never split correctly.


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