Can any of you Sparkies help me?
My sister-in-law asked me to look at an electrical problem which, by her description, sounds like it might be serious enough to call a pro. (I am a handyman with good enough electrical skills to wire a new circuit or to replace/install breakers).
35-year-old condominium in Cypress, CA – so weather not a factor.
Lights flicker sometimes
TV shut off by itself a couple of times
Floor lamp with “touch anywhere” control sometimes turns itself on
Possible arcing at breaker connection to busbars?
What recommendations do you guys have?
Not saying this is the problem but same thing happened to me, went to the inside power panel and found a loose connection. Basically tightened all connections with a screw driver. Problem did go away...... Would probably do the out side panel as well.
Edited to add, I think it was a loose neutral.
Edited 6/19/2006 12:22 pm ET by Jarhead
There were lots of homes in your area that ahd aluminum wires and so there may be a loose connecting, others in the same complex would have had the same problems.
Easy things to do is to lst just wiggle the circuit breakers and see if that has any effect.
If you know how to take the panel cover off, carefully look for loose connections, the insulation may be discolored.
Look at connections where someone else worked on it, someitmes the handyman did not make a good connection, such as a new ceiling fan.
Hooking up a elctric clothes iron will overload the bad connection and put it out for good, or it may spark enough for you to hear it sizzling.
If you know how to use electrical tester you tell whether its the hot wire or nuetral wire that is loose.
Maybe start with a whole system tuneup. Start early on a Saturday morning. Turn off all power. Open all boxes. Check/replace any marginal devices. Tighten all screws and wire nuts. Fix whatever bad stuff you find. Turn it back on, and see how it works.