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Home Improvement--General/Electrical home improvements/upgrades?


Hi Steve
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(original)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 electrical upgrade? Cheers, bud.


Without knowing more about the particulars of your house electrical system, I would recommend calling a qualified electrician to test the circuit.  If a breaker will not stay on, there is a short somewhere in the circuit, or the breaker is faulty.  Diagnosing these issues is not something an untrained homeowner should handle.  Once the actual cause is determined, then you can start to look at which upgrades may be necessary.  

A circuit breaker should work in the cold, but extreme cold can cause other things to happen, such as causing a wire to come loose if it was not tightened adequately to begin with, or the cold could be causing condensation to occur in an electrical box.  

Please have a pro look at it, then use what you learn to decide on what really needs to be fixed or upgraded.

Best of luck,
Steve Major

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Steve Major (Owner - Major Design Group)


I can answer any questions regarding the design and execution of home improvement and remodeling. This includes trade-specific questions (how-to) in all major building trades: framing, foundations, site prep, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, water treatment, interior finishing, trim & cabinetwork, exterior finishing, roofing, siding. PLEASE indicate your state or region, so I can provide the best possible answer. PLEASE provide photos whenever possible.


30 years experience in home improvement design and construction, all hands-on, including the construction of dozens of single-family homes and hundreds of remodeling projects in the northeastern US.

Author: "Architectural Woodwork - Details for Construction" published by Van Nostrand Reinhold (now Wiley).

BS -- Cornell University

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