Electrical Wiring in the Home/Questions

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Hi Bob
Hope you and yours are well. A couple of questions please? My wife cam home from work to discover the TV in the upstairs front room not working, then discovered the receptacles built into the walls in that section of the house not working. Everything was A OK when I left about an hour earlier. The breaker for that line will not stay on. Any ideas? My only guess is its weather related-very cold here in sunny Saskatoon, Canada lately. Breaker box is on a wall that is pretty cold. House is a split level, attached garage,about 30 years old.
Anyway, I called the tech, as I also want my fluorescents in the family room replaced-I think the ballasts are shot. Since our Cuba vacay was canceled, we have a little cash for home improvements. What can you suggest as an upgrade? Cheers, bud.

Answer
Cold usually does not affect breakers. It is heat that causes them to turn off. You may have a short in the wiring, so I would not try to turn the breaker on again. Hopefully your breakers are not Federal Pacific (FPE), because they have been found to be not safe, and the whole box and breakers would need to be replaced.

There is a new generation of fluorescent lights out now, that have electronic ballasts. They use slimmer t-8 or even t-5 tubes.  They are brighter, use less electricity, and are less affected by cold. If one tube burns out it does not cause another one to go out. You can either have the fixtures replaced or retrofitted with the new ballasts.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle

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Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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