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Household electrical problem

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Warlock49766, Mar 26, 2006.

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  1. Warlock49766

    Warlock49766 Guest

    After a large storm here in Michigan I began experiencing a problem in
    our barn's electrical system. Now all of the circuits were functioning
    fine up until this storm hit and I have checked everything I can
    possibly think of to try to repair the problem.

    First,... a little description of the problem. When you turn on the
    lights in the tack room the bulb does light but it's on the dim side
    (60 watt bulb). Now with that light left on in the tack room,.. if I
    turn the lights on in my shop which is the room right next door the
    bulb in the tack room gets brighter (like a 100 watt bulb in
    brightness) Both of these circuits are on different breakers in the
    box. When I go to use any of the power tools in my shop there isn't
    enough amps/volts to drive the motors. IE chop saw, compressor, bench
    grinder. The power to the main breaker box in the barn is fed by the
    main box on the utility pole where the meter is mounted. the power is
    fed through a 100 amp breaker which supplies 2 seperate circuits to the
    breaker box in the barn, each is 120v ( I replaced this breaker to make
    sure it wasn't the problem and it made no difference in my barn
    problem) Now when I check my incoming voltages at both receiving legs
    in the barn breaker box I read 105 volts on the left leg and 135 volts
    on the right one. I have physically disconnected all of the circuits in
    the barns breaker box from all of the leg connections and tried each
    one seperatly to see if there was a problem in a individual circuit.
    None of the individual circuits have any change in the symptoms I have
    related to earlier by doing this. I have checked the grounds and
    neutrals in each circuit and can't find any problems in any of the
    individual barn lines. If I leave the power on in the barn for the tack
    room light & shop light so they are lit,.. the power for the lights
    within the barn area (stalls and such) will function (florescent
    fixtures) but if I turn off either of the other 2 lights (tack room or
    shop) the barn lights will go out also and come back on if I turn the
    tack light on or the shop light on depending on which one I had shut
    off originally.

    Now remember,... EACH of these circuits are on their own circuit
    breaker and none are interconnected anywhere in the system with the
    exception of the MAIN power source to all of them. Quite frankly I AM

    Is there ANYONE out there that could high-light me as to what the
    problem could be and what could be done to fix it???

    ANY suggestions would be GREATLY apperciated !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. Jerry G.

    Jerry G. Guest

    Did you check that the ground returm is not floating?

    It may be that loads in relation the entry which is in two phases, is
    not seeing a proper neutral return.

    Did you check that the neutrals all meet to ground where they are
    suposed to?

    If you are not experienced in electrical installation service, it would
    be best to pay the cost for an experienced electrician.

    Jerry G.

  3. Ralph Mowery

    Ralph Mowery Guest

    You have an open or a very bad connection on a neutral wire in the breaker
    box or from there to where ever it goes til it gets back to the transformer
    at the power pole. Could even be the Wiring to the pole.
  4. Warlock49766

    Warlock49766 Guest

    Jerry,... Thanks for your response and YES I did check ALL of the
    Grounds and Neutrals within the box in the barn.
    "A BAD Ground" was my first thought when I saw the bright /dim lighting
    problem. All of the neutrals and grounds are in the proper positions in
    the box,.. and the connector lug screws are tight on all the terminal
    connections for the grounds, neutrals, and breakers.

    Ralph,.. now I was kinda' hoping that someone was going to suggest the
    power at the pole. The only other thing that I was thinking along that
    line of thought was a problem in the underground supply leads from the
    box on the meter pole to the mains in the box in the barn.

    I think that with your suggestion I'll call the Power Company on Monday
    and have them first check out their equipment. It's just too strange
    for everything to be working fine all this time and then after that few
    days of Cold, Snow, and Winter Storm for it to just go haywire on me.

    Many thanks to the both of you for jumping to my aid as rapidly has you
    had. It IS greatly appreciated!!
  5. Michael Ware

    Michael Ware Guest

    I partly agree. Call the power company, it could be a problem with a
    transformer that serves your property.
  6. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    call the electric company, you have a problem between the barn and the pole.
    sounds like a combination of a ground problem and connection problem
    on the pole.
  7. Warren Weber

    Warren Weber Guest

    Had same problem. Utility company found poor connection in neutral between
    pole and ahead of meter. WW
  8. Terry

    Terry Guest

    You mentioned the two voltages on Leg A and leg B, as 105 and 135 volts.
    Also used the word 'household' i.e. Residential like.

    What was the voltage between A and B? Somewhere around 230 volts?

    If so suspect the neutral or zero voltage (middle wire) of the three
    incoming service wires is open or very high resistance, somewhere between or
    at the power utility transformer!

    By the way someone here referred to Legs A and B, as 'Phases'.
    In household installations they are rarely, if ever ................. NOT

    In most normal North American (residential, small farm and other etc.)
    systems, the two legs are, as it were**, the + (plus) and - (minus) ends of
    a 230 volt SINGLE phase transformer supply which has its centre used as the

    The use of the word phase is not uncommon but is technically incorrect;
    except perhaps in the wiring parlance/practice of the industry; where
    someone might loosely say "Phase A is black wire and Phase B is red wire."
    The two legs are actully the opposite ends of the SAME phase.
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