Electrical Wiring in the Home/Burned out master breakers


We have owned a 1990 townhome for nearly 12 years with no issues but have recently started to have intermittent power issues. There is one panel in our garage, the other is outside in an enclosure within a larger panel shared by the other units in our building.

One leg apparently loses power and somehow skips our inside panel (nothing trips) and frys half the master breaker-it never trips the master breaker. The leg that stays on serves the larger appliances, refrigerator, washer/dryer, and stove. Two electricians have since come to our place and cannot find what would fry two master breakers. When it happened again, it was in the morning when we barely use any power.

Our inside panel was thoroughly tested with no issues. No one else in our building is having any problems. Originally speculated that the original badly arcing master breaker might have damaged the busbar, but the electricians told me that was not the case. If it was for the master, it would have impacted other units.

We have done absolutely no additions to our townhome nor added any extra appliances i.e. another freezer. The power company had placed a voltage meter, and said that there was nothing wrong with the power flowing into the meter. We are a loss on what to do. From what I understand, the power flows into the meter, flows through my
the master breaker, splits to two into the panel in the garage. The wiring although I was told was done oddly (the lights are on the same circuit as some of outlets) inside the space had served us with no issues until now.

Lights and receptacles on same circuit is normal and legal unless it is an appliance circuit.
Whoever told you otherwise is wrong.
Inside panel is ok?
Where is "split" you talk about?
Where is breaker going bad?
Send pictures of equipment related to your power from meter in.
Send photo of failed breaker.

Define / explain "master" breaker, as this is not a common electrical identifier.

Alternately, email me at robert@wilberelectrical.com or call 610 299-0452 9 am to 8 pm EST.
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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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