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Electrical Wiring in the Home/mobile home circut piwer loss/drain/cross


QUESTION: The lights on my kitchen circuit, began dimming when anything was plugged into the outlets on that circuit. I assumed a bad switch for outlet, and replaced them. But to no improvement. I figured there was a broken wire or a short somewhere instead... but this is where it gets weird, if my water heater breaker is turned off, or completely removed, my kitchen loses power. I traced the line from the breaker to the water heater and there are no splices or deviations, it is a straight shot from the breaker to the heater. Though with the heater does not seem to be receiving power. I have replaced both breakers for my water heater and kitchens circuit. And again no improvement. I have tried changing the positions of the Breakers, but again no improvement. What would cause a circuit breaker that is not a part of my kitchen circuit to affect it so drastically? Also it only affects my kitchen circuit the rest of my home remains unaffected.
It has me pretty stumped and frustrated, any insight would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: Please explain meaning of "though with the heater does not seem to be rrceiving power. "
Does the wster heater work?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The water heater is nearly new, and was functioning normally up to the time the problem began. Now it does not work. I have removed the access panels on it and there is no corrosion or burn marks. No hot water, with no obvious reason.

ANSWER: Sorry. Forgot to ask. 120 or 240 water heater?
Try to reset main?
Split bus panel?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: 240v water heater, resetting the main does not seem to improve the situation, it is a sub-panel (mobile home with the main disconnect breaker in the meter box outside) It has a 100amp "Main" in the breaker box as well though.

From what you are describing:
There is incoming utility service to a meter and an external disconnect.
From the internal disconnect there is a single feed to a circuit breaker panel with a main breaker that disconnects the entire load for the trailer.
In this panel there are multiple breakers for several circuits, many of which work properly.
There are only two problem circuits.
The water heater, 240 volts, does not work at all.
The kitchen circuit fluctuates and does not work if the water heater circuit is turned off.
The symptoms suggest an open neutral but the 240 failure suggests complete or partial loss of one ungrounded [hot] conductor.
If, as you state, there is no common point in these circuits outside the circuit breaker panel, then the problem must lie in the breaker panel or before it.
[continued after disclaimer]
Robert Wilber
Licensed Philadelphia Electrician
Philadelphia License # 3516 - 16765
Electricity is dangerous!
You can be injured or killed!
Improper installations can cause fire, injury and death!
Shouldn't you call a qualified electrician?
Are you qualified to do this work?
National Electrical Code definition, NFPA 70 2008 Article 100: Qualified Person. "One who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved."
Electricity is fire in a box!
Always check with the local “Authority Having Jurisdiction” for an official interpretation before making installation decisions.
In Philadelphia, it is unlawful for anyone except an individual licensed by the City of Philadelphia to install electrical equipment and wiring.
Homeowners are not allowed to install wiring.
The owner of any property wherein any such installation is discovered shall be issued a violation by the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
The limited exceptions include replacing devices and fixtures at existing outlets.
Contact the Department of Licenses and Inspections for more information.
You are more likely to be killed by 120 volts than any other voltage [120 volts creates the PERFECT fatal current through the human body's electrical resistance!]
This information is provided for the use of parties as they see fit!
I am not responsible for the application of this information by, or actions of, any party, including those lacking sufficient skill or knowledge to perform these steps safely and any hazard created is the SOLE responsibility of the user.
I cannot determine if you are qualified to safely work on energized equipment.
What you describe leads me to believe that you are neglecting to observe and convey a critical item of information about the situation.
My next step would be to take voltage readings and disassemble the equipment for inspection.
Send me photos of the entire installation and I will attempt to guide you further.
Advise me of tools in your possession and qualifications for energized contact.
Continued pursuit of this issue constitutes acknowledgement of the warnings provided and provision of the following personal safety waiver.
Personal Safety Waiver
I hereby request advice and direction in the resolution of an electrical wiring problem and acknowledge notification of the potential personal and property hazards created by my actions, including risk of injury or death by electrocution, arc flash and fire. I hereby represent that I have sufficient knowledge and skill to perform electrical work in accordance with normal trade safety standards and possess suitable tools and adequate Personal Protective Equipment to perform the tasks proposed to be undertaken, including but not limited to direct contact with energized equipment.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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