Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


07:58PM | 12/07/04
Member Since: 12/07/04
1 lifetime posts
A week ago a roofing crew disconnecting my main neutral wire where it enters the house in order to take a ceramic insulator off the fascia. The power was not switched off 1st in my main entrance box. Some time later I smelled an electrical wire fire type smell in one of my bedrooms. After it was reconnected I noticed my washing machine was not working and neither was my garage door opener. The washer later worked. I'm thinking it had a time delay breaker. The garage door opener still does not. The little light on the doorbell type button doesn't even light up anymore. There is power to the outlet that the opener is plugged into. Is it possible that I got a surge that killed the door opener? Any other possible explanations? It is a 10 year old genie screw-drive opener. Would it have a fuse or is maybe the main circuit board fried? Any hope of fixing the unit or need I plan a trip to the home improvement store to buy another?

Thanks in advance for any help.


08:46PM | 12/07/04
Member Since: 06/23/04
161 lifetime posts
Please note that I am NOT a licensed electrician. If the neutral wire is still disconnected, don't use anything. Call an electrician, not the roofers. Roofers have no legal authorization to move, modify, disconnect, or connect any electrical equipment or service.

I may be somewhat in error here and will probably be corrected, but here goes. If you have 120/240v service and your neutral was disconnected, then all of the return current from each side of the 120v panel has only the local panel ground wire to carry all of the return current. That wire is not sized for that job. Its only function is to compensate for the voltage difference between the power company's neutral and the earth around your house. If, after such a disconnection, a lot of equipment comes on line, then that local ground wire can fail. That failure results in a 240v voltage potential across all of your 120v circuits. Anything without an internal circuit protection will then burn up due to overvoltage. Generally, equipment that was never turned on while the overvoltage occurred (even though it was plugged in) will be ok. Refrigerators, clocks, tv's (because they are in "warm-up mode even when"off"), air conditioners & heaters if the thermostat turned them on, door bells (because the transformer is always on), all lights that were on, small 9v electronic device transformers, etc will be trashed. I suggest that you hire an electrician to verify the situation before you do anything else. My parents had a similar incident caused by a fallen tree limb that cost several thousand dollars to correct.



06:59AM | 12/08/04
Member Since: 03/21/04
171 lifetime posts
for any repairs replacements as they failed to follow proper procedures for disconnecting the power. did you varify that they were insured?




03:07PM | 12/09/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
If they actually disconnected the neutral then your garage door openre may be fried. If they only removed the insulator and did not disconnect the wire then that may not be the problem.


07:59PM | 12/19/04
Member Since: 12/19/04
62 lifetime posts
James, You may have an insurance claim against the roofer. It sounds like your home may be quite old and the grounding system for the service is either nonexistant or in poor shape. It is possible that the roofer removed part of the neutral conductor that is wrapped through the insulator in order to remove the insulator to install the fascia. If your service is not grounded properly it could be that as they moved the wiring there was a poor connection in the connectors from the power company and the neutral opened up temporarily. This would cause 220 volts to flow through all operating 120 volt circuits in the home thus frying all the components you mentioned. Have an experienced electrician check the neutral connection to the home and also whether you are properly grounded. If the service was properly grounded nothing would have been damaged even though the temporary opening of the neutral would have meant a dangerous condition caused by the loose neutral. I am willing to bet that your service is old and should be addressed. At the minimum, have the power company check your connections. I am sure that the roofer did not actually open the neutral and that it was a loose connection made to open by the movement of the wiring. This is easy to tell by the fact that if they had opened the neutral they would have had to reconnect with connectors other than the tubular crimp type connections the power company uses. Sounds like they wanted to do a neat job but the condition of the wiring caused problems. They should have had the power company do the disconnect and they would have put new terminations on. Hope all turns out well.



01:48PM | 02/02/13
Neutral phase voltage is interrupted, causing severe unbalanced.

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