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Mike, Master Electrician
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Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
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Half my house has power the other half doesnt. It looks like

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Half my house has power the other half doesnt. It looks like everything in the panel appears to be working (no breakers flipped). What could cause this?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike replied 6 years ago.
Could you give a little more detail on what is/isn't working?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Master bath/bedroom, living room lights/outlets, kitchen appliances, hallway light, upstairs bedroom light/ outlets all working.


Kitchen lights, downstairs bedroom lights/outlets, garage doors/outlets, heat/AC, another upstairs bedroom lights/outlets all NOT working.


Lights underneath house in crawl space not working. Sub panel in finished area of crawl space has no breakers flipped.


I tried cutting all the power to the panels and then restarting. All breakers held and nothing popped.


Something loose coming in to the main panel?

Expert:  Mike replied 6 years ago.
Yes, your last assumption is a very likely cause. It sounds like you have lost a "leg" from your service. I strongly recommend you have licensed electrician look into this issue as it will required working in the panel and/or main breaker and/or meter pan. These devices are very dangerous to work in, and a possible loose/broken connecton presents even more danager.

If you must look into this problem on your own, I would start at the main breaker (which should be fed directly from the meter. Aside from any visual problems (burned/melted wires) you will need a meter to check for voltage. You should see where the set of wires are coming in from the meter and then going out to the panel in your house. You can check the lugs with a volt meter, one lead on the lug and one lead on the ground. You should have 120V on each leg. Checking on both sides of the main breaker will tell you where the problem is. No voltage on a leg coming "into" the main breaker points to a problem with the utility side (meter, transformer, etc.). No voltage on the load side (side coming off the breaker going to the panel in your house) points to a problem with the breaker itself. In either case, you will almost certainly need an electrician to make the repairs here - there are parts (line side of main breaker) that power cannot be turned off to unless the meter is removed. But your problem is most likely a loose/broken leg, bad breaker, or a problem with the transformer.

*NOTE* You may also want to call your utility company first. They will usually come take a look at the meter and transformer connections FREE of charge as they are responsible for maintenance of these parts. If the problem turns out to be there, you can avoid an unnecessary service call charge for an electrician.


Edited by Mike Pettinato on 11/1/2009 at 5:50 PM EST
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