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Old 07-08-2012, 02:50 PM   #1
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Default Power voltage issue on main legs.

Working at a house where their major appliances are not working properly (not enough power). Voltages across the main breaker are 119-109. Had power company come out to check the meter. Main power was fine 120-120. With it set up in a direct connect we had 119-111 in the house. I had them put in a new meter just because. Still at 119-110 on the main legs. I figure there is a problem with the wiring between the meter and the circuit box. They also had the gas company out a few months ago and dug down to a gas leak that was caused by the main wires to their house being laid right on top of the gas lines. The meter is also about 100 feet away from the house. Should I get the gas company and power company involved? Or is there something else that I am not troubleshooting that could cause this voltage descrepancy on the main legs.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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Your feed from the meter to the house is the issue if the lines caused a gas leak then more than likely the lines took damage . Is this direct burial or in conduit?
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:46 PM   #3
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need a new panel.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:04 PM   #4
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I'd recommend a new service ran in conduit, if the panels old enough I'd suggest changing the panel as well.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:06 PM   #5
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It is direct burial. I saw pictures from the gas leak.

I checked the whole panel out and it looks good. Why would I need to replace the panel? If anything I was thinking of replacing the main breaker just because I am curious if it is affecting the voltage.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasski View Post
Working at a house where their major appliances are not working properly (not enough power). Voltages across the main breaker are 119-109. Had power company come out to check the meter. Main power was fine 120-120. With it set up in a direct connect we had 119-111 in the house. I had them put in a new meter just because. Still at 119-110 on the main legs. I figure there is a problem with the wiring between the meter and the circuit box. They also had the gas company out a few months ago and dug down to a gas leak that was caused by the main wires to their house being laid right on top of the gas lines. The meter is also about 100 feet away from the house. Should I get the gas company and power company involved? Or is there something else that I am not troubleshooting that could cause this voltage descrepancy on the main legs.
If the 110V changes w/ load it's a bad connection
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by thomasski View Post
Working at a house where their major appliances are not working properly (not enough power). Voltages across the main breaker are 119-109. Had power company come out to check the meter. Main power was fine 120-120. With it set up in a direct connect we had 119-111 in the house. I had them put in a new meter just because. Still at 119-110 on the main legs. I figure there is a problem with the wiring between the meter and the circuit box. They also had the gas company out a few months ago and dug down to a gas leak that was caused by the main wires to their house being laid right on top of the gas lines. The meter is also about 100 feet away from the house. Should I get the gas company and power company involved? Or is there something else that I am not troubleshooting that could cause this voltage descrepancy on the main legs.

there's a history i would be suspicious of Thom

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Old 07-08-2012, 06:47 PM   #8
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It is direct burial. I saw pictures from the gas leak.

I checked the whole panel out and it looks good. Why would I need to replace the panel? If anything I was thinking of replacing the main breaker just because I am curious if it is affecting the voltage.
You have an issue with the buried cable more than likely at the point where the gas leak repair was made. If you want to know for sure do a meg test on the incoming line.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:47 PM   #9
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I doubt the panel needs to be replaced. Probably have a nicked wire around the place the gas line got tore up.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:10 PM   #10
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Yeah I have been suspicious of the buried cable since they told me that. Will advise on calling gas company and power company and will work on getting a meg test done to double check.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:12 PM   #11
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would you get back to us on your findings Thom?

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Old 07-08-2012, 07:43 PM   #12
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If your an apprentice in Chicago, are you allowed to do this job on your own?
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:49 PM   #13
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If your an apprentice in Chicago, are you allowed to do this job on your own?
Of course not. This is something I am doing on the side with my boss actually doing the hard stuff. I am trying to help out a close friend so he can get his AC running again for his newborn without having to spend a ton of money.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:58 PM   #14
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Of course not. This is something I am doing on the side with my boss actually doing the hard stuff. I am trying to help out a close friend so he can get his AC running again for his newborn without having to spend a ton of money.
Ok, so your boss is there and your just helping a friend.
I just didn't want to see you get hurt or hammered for a side job.
Helping a friend out is great, as long as it doesn't jeopardize your livelihood or harm anyone.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:13 PM   #15
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Ok, so your boss is there and your just helping a friend.
I just didn't want to see you get hurt or hammered for a side job.
Helping a friend out is great, as long as it doesn't jeopardize your livelihood or harm anyone.
Trust me it won't. I am a veteran and my friend is a veteran. I just happen to have a little more skill and manpower to help him get this fixed without paying a ton. Or we can make it so the gas company pays us a ton to run new conduit.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by thomasski View Post
It is direct burial. I saw pictures from the gas leak.

I checked the whole panel out and it looks good. Why would I need to replace the panel? If anything I was thinking of replacing the main breaker just because I am curious if it is affecting the voltage.
Did you remove the main and inspect the bus?

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Old 07-08-2012, 10:47 PM   #17
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Why is the meter so far away from the G.D. House?
Is there another disconnect on the outside of the house or is the main breaker the only disconnecting means?
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:25 PM   #18
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Why is the meter so far away from the G.D. House?
Is there another disconnect on the outside of the house or is the main breaker the only disconnecting means?

The house is a townhome on a row that runs from street to alley. The home in question is the furthest away from the alley where the main line comes down to the four meters for each home in the row. Other people in the area that have the same row have had their meters brought up to code by having the meter moved to right over the section of the basement that has the circuit breaker.

The only disconnect is the main breaker and then the meter itself. There is nothing else that I am aware of unless it is underground which is highly doubtful.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:10 AM   #19
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Update on the house that has my boss and I scratching our heads. We stopped by first thing this morning. I have had them keep the a/c breaker off along with the a/c disconnect pulled, (just to be sure that the a/c motor would not burn out). With it disconnected one leg would read 119 and the other leg 0. I hooked everything back up and am getting a 118-118 reading on the legs. All the breakers are also getting 118 but the a/c still is not turning on. Before I was almost certain that there was a damaged wire and my boss is trying to get a ground scanner to see if there is a damaged wire. But now the voltages are reading ok but no a/c.

If there is something else we are missing let me know. Thinking of pulling the main breaker today and replacing it to see what happens. I dont know if much will since now all of the breakers are getting 118.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:20 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by thomasski
Update on the house that has my boss and I scratching our heads. We stopped by first thing this morning. I have had them keep the a/c breaker off along with the a/c disconnect pulled, (just to be sure that the a/c motor would not burn out). With it disconnected one leg would read 119 and the other leg 0. I hooked everything back up and am getting a 118-118 reading on the legs. All the breakers are also getting 118 but the a/c still is not turning on. Before I was almost certain that there was a damaged wire and my boss is trying to get a ground scanner to see if there is a damaged wire. But now the voltages are reading ok but no a/c.

If there is something else we are missing let me know. Thinking of pulling the main breaker today and replacing it to see what happens. I dont know if much will since now all of the breakers are getting 118.
A) read line to line before main breaker
B) read line to line after main breaker
C) read line to line on the feed side of AC disconnect while it is disconnected from AC

If all read good, ring out the AC compressor see if it's shot. If its shot, call AC shop.

D) throw AC disconnect on and read load side line to line.
E) while reading line to line on AC, turn it on, look for drop. If it drops then AC is most likely locked. Take amperage reading at same time as voltage reading when turned on.


Your troubleshooting. Do it one thing at a time. When problem returns the issue is from there onward.

Someday you will know enough about equipment to troubleshoot by 1/2ing things.
Start in the middle and check by 1/2 till problem is located.
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