Determining Cause of Power Loss in House

I went to bed at night turning out all the power in my master bedroom, lights, etc. I woke the following morning to have no power in my master bedroom, in the master bathroom, and in the front bathroom which connects to my bathroom in the master.

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I was told that something had to have happened, however the only thing that happened between my having power in my not having power is a utility company was running a cable up next to my house and had a machine that was thumping and vibrating sending the cable up under the ground.

I have searched for the problem, and had an electrician out searching for it until I ran out of money for him to search, so I just had him drop a line across from one bedroom over to get power to my master bedroom.

What I want to know is, is it possible that this vibration shook something loose in my house such as a wire? I feel fully that the cause of my outage is due to their construction of next to my home.

By Carol L.

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April 17, 20150 found this helpful

I am sorry that the electrician could not find the issue. I would consider another electrician when funds become available.

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What I am curious to know is how many circuits (breakers in your panel) are effected. If it is only one circuit, it is something in your house.

It could be that you lost a leg feeding your house. The cable feeding your house may have been damaged with the utility work. If this is the case, every other breaker in your panel would have no power. Also, you would have no 240 volt power, causing your electric range, electric clothes dryer and electric water heater to not work.

It is possible that vibration knocked something loose, but I suspect you would have had issues with your electric prior to this if that were the case.

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April 17, 20150 found this helpful

I had no issues prior to this incident, I just went to bed and had no power the next morning and that was the only thing that was going on. My guess is that they shook something loose which may have been loose in the first place but they knocked it completely out but the company is telling me that there's no way that they caused it and I believe that that's exactly what happened.

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I have had other electricians tell me that they have had to do repairs where someone was playing electric guitar and the vibrations knock the wire loose within the outlet.

It does appear to be one line my electric company checked my box as my first thing was to do was to change the breaker but the electric company came out and they checked it and says all the power to my house is fine and there's nothing wrong with any of my breakers.

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April 17, 20150 found this helpful

Electricians have a device that connects to a wire and puts a signal on that wire. They then use a device that senses the signal to track the wire through ceilings and walls. If an electrician does that in your panel to the hot wire on the breaker (or the neutral wire on the bus) and follows it, it will take them to the first device on the circuit (light, receptacle, switch...).

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They would then check to see if that device is working and continue to follow the circuit through to each device until the break is found. Without such a device it is harder.

Does turning off the breaker still kill power to anything or is everything already dead? If anything is still alive and the cable goes to a device that is dead, then your problem is at one of those two positions.

If everything is dead then the problem is either at the breaker, the neutral bus connection or at the first device on the circuit. Unless you are able to visually track the wires, it will be hard to tell what the first device on the circuit.

The bad connection could be either the hot or the neutral.

I wish I could be of more help.

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April 17, 20150 found this helpful

Thank you Bruce for trying to help. When the electrician jump the wire from the back bedroom over to the master bedroom right across the hall he came in behind the problem. So the master bedroom, the bathroom and the hall bathroom and the outlet in the back room work these are all on the east end of my home coming across to the west.

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So I've narrowed it down to somewhere between that back room and the garage, laundry room and computer room which are on the west end of the house. (This is where my breaker box is located outside the garage) The cable pushing was going on right there.

Unfortunately I still believe that the company that ran the cable shook something loose, on the west end of my home that's the end that they were working on right outside that garage. They refused to help me because they feel "they didn't do it". In the meantime I guess I'll just search for every outlet or switch open them up and see if there's a wire loose in them. I'm not sure what will happen if I find the loose wire and connect it with the wires coming from the east end of the house and running back to it (if that makes sense)?

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