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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3720
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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After power went out from a hurricane, my house has partial

Customer Question

After power went out from a hurricane, my house has partial power. My large appliances wont work: a/c, stove, microwave, washer/dryer. My lights work but are dim and if I turn multiple lights on, some dim or turn off. I have never heard of such a thing. Power companies are overloaded, what could cause this? Some homes around me don't have power and some do
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?
Customer: Since at least Monday
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: Maybe Sunday too but I wasn't home. Storm was Sunday
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: No but I wanna know what could cause it or if there is maybe a simple solution
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) Based on the 240 volt appliances that are not working, most likely you have lost 1 of the hot phases from the local electrical utility. If you have multimeter available, a meter can easily confirm this.

2) Dimming of lights indicates an issue with the neutral wire. Most likely a loose neutral connection. My guess would be utility related.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

So would that be something the power company has to fix?

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 month ago.

1) Most likely, the problem is utility related due to the hurricane. If you have a meter available, I can walk you thru a few simple tests at the main panel to determine if the problem is on your end or at the utility. Otherwise, you will need to contact a locally licensed electrician or the local electrical utility.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

I do not have a meter

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 month ago.

1) Perhaps you can borrow a meter from a friend or a neighbor? Not sure if the Home Depot's or Lowe's are open in your area, but they all sell multimeters for around $23.00

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

Ok, well it's kinda late for that at moment. It's after 10pm

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 month ago.

Yes, I understand that.

Have you tried to contact the local electrical utility to see if they can dispatch a service technician?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

Yes I have, they are overwhelmed and apparently our problem is low priority.

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 month ago.

Yes, I'm sure they are overwhelmed with down lines and such.

If you can possibly get a multimeter tomorrow, I am more than happy to walk you thru a few simple voltage measurements. At least this will confirm if the problem is on the utility end or at your end.

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 month ago.

Are you located in Florida? If so, what city?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

Yes I am in Cape Coral

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

Is this something that could be a danger of electrical fire?

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 month ago.

OK, my wife and I were there in May. We are looking to purchase a home in Punta Gorda next spring.

I wish I could help you further, but unless you have a meter, there is nothing we can do.

I would not be concerned about a fire. But more concerned if the neutral service wire is loose at the exterior meter socket or at the overhead wires. A loose neutral can sometimes cause problems with sensitive electronics such as computers, TV's, etc.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

Ok thank you so much for your help

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 month ago.

No problem, glad to assist. Just wished I was able to help you confirm the problem.

Any chance that you can obtain a meter tomorrow? If so, we can continue as I will be logged on here tomorrow.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

I'm not sure but I will try. Thank you

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 month ago.

OK, let's keep your question open for now. Reply back back to me tomorrow and let me know how you make out.

In the meantime, please remain safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with all Floridians. Hopefully, things will get back to normal soon.

Take care for now..........Thanks...........Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 month ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.................Kevin:)