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macuu222
Punatic

Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
3068 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2019 :  12:01:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anyone recommendations for a good reasonably priced licensed electrician to check our breaker box?

Obie
Punatic

USA
3723 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2019 :  12:42:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Call Helco,they will pull your meter and check the lugs. They will clean up the fuzz and put dielectric grease on the lugs.

This is the most common area for problems and Helco does it for free.

I just saw your post, they will usually pull the meter

Edited by - Obie on 08/08/2019 12:53:55
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macuu222
Punatic

Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
3068 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2019 :  15:05:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I meant the interior breaker box. They came and checked the entire connection from the pole to the outside box were the line goes into the meter box.
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terracore
Punatic

5854 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2019 :  16:15:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just curious as to what the problem is? We had ours swapped out by a competent non-electrician Punawebber.

ETA: Just read your other message about what the problem was. You may need an electrician that is also an exorcist.

Edited by - terracore on 08/08/2019 16:19:37
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macuu222
Punatic

Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
3068 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2019 :  17:54:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One section of the house is losing (fluctuating) power....while other sections are fine. Losing it in the living room /dining room...part of kitchen and bathroom. All downstairs rooms are fine and so is the upstairs bedroom and part of kitchen. Think its an isolated breaker problem. The house is 30 years old and it still has the original breaker box. Called Walter's electric in Hilo. They were the only one that answered my call.

Edited by - macuu222 on 08/08/2019 17:57:56
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macuu222
Punatic

Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
3068 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2019 :  21:00:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hmm... $225.00 for first hour plus parts plus 10 percent plus tax... $100.00 / hr after that...... Hmmm
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Obie
Punatic

USA
3723 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2019 :  00:43:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't think those are all on one breaker.Trip all breakers on the circuits that flickering.I bet they are all on one buss bar.
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Durian Fiend
Kamaaina

USA
527 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2019 :  04:21:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Easy test of breakers would be to pull one of the flickering ones and swap with a non flickering one. Then you'd isolate the problem to either being the individual breakers or the box.

You can do this yourself, just turn off breaker before pulling wires. :)

Breakers have a shorter life span than boxes. Box should last a lifetime, but in a tropical climate perhaps not.
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kalakoa
Motormouth

12431 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2019 :  07:34:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Stab-type breakers are really easy to replace -- even on a live panel. If you also want to clean the stabs, definitely turn off the main first.

Pull breaker. Unscrew wire. Apply contact grease to new breaker lug and stab. Attach wire to new breaker. Snap in. Open a cold beverage and wonder what the big deal was.

The single MOST IMPORTANT THING is that any replacement breaker be "listed" for the panel. Identical is best. Using an improper breaker can void your fire insurance!

For the vintage, I'm guessing Cutler-Hammer, these have a square tan handle. Some older builds have a weird sort of screw-down breaker that I'm not familiar with -- if all else fails, take the breaker out, tape off the line, and show it to the guys at Alpha. If they don't have a replacement, these guys will: https://www.baybreakers.com/part_need/

I believe every home should include some spare parts. Especially if it was built with a Federal Pacific breaker panel.

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macuu222
Punatic

Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
3068 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2019 :  10:28:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cancelled Walters Electric in Hilo and called Royal Electric in HPP. We have a Westinghouse breaker box. Arrived first thing in the morning and discovered almost instantly that the problem was 2 loose wires (he wiggled everything around and 2 wires into the breakers fell right off). He tightened everything. Everything back to normal. Took 30 minutes ....$80.00

Edited by - macuu222 on 08/09/2019 10:31:52
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Tink
Punatic

USA
1534 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2019 :  15:36:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you own a Federal Pacific or Zinsco breaker box don't bother with stocking up parts, just have it replaced. It has been proven that these panels win the "value engineering" award with their grossly undersized buss bars (what carries the "brunt" or line current in your panel), to undersized lugs on the overcurrent protector(breaker) that stab onto the buss bar.
Many breakers have "welded" themselves to the buss bar from moisture to overloading, and many insurance carriers are balking at insuring if you have one in your home.
Replace it with "Homeline", Square D, or similar panels that have the nice, bright, wide buss bar in the panel, and always use the dialectic grease on aluminum conductors (wires) where they attach to the breaker. The difference in heat ratings of copper and aluminum are very different, and applying the grease somehow keeps them from loosening over time.

Edit to correct first word, and add Zinsco.

Community begins with Aloha

Edited by - Tink on 08/14/2019 06:40:16
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macuu222
Punatic

Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
3068 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2019 :  17:45:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just wanted to make an addendum to my previous post. After the lose wires were corrected...a day later..the power fluctuations returned and half the house was having power and the other half wasn't. Called HELCO..turns out the Meter box is partially shorting out. The main breaker switch was arcing on the top side...on both sides of the box (which is why only half my house works) and needs to be replaced along with a new meter box. So $80.00 is now up to about $1000.00

Edited by - macuu222 on 08/12/2019 17:46:53
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terracore
Punatic

5854 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2019 :  17:02:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does homeowner's insurance cover?
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dan d
Punatic

USA
1063 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2019 :  18:26:05  Show Profile  Visit dan d's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The new alluminum wires znd the crappy breakers, cause 1/2 our house to fail. The
Moisture, causes a coating of white oxcidation


HPP
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macuu222
Punatic

Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
3068 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2019 :  19:39:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did check...The homeowner policy covers for "sudden and accidental" damage to the home. It seems the electrical box was an on-going (age related) problem which homeowners doesn't cover.

Edited by - macuu222 on 08/13/2019 19:40:40
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Tink
Punatic

USA
1534 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2019 :  06:38:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As I stated above, aluminum conductors, or wires need to have the dialectic grease applied on the bare aluminum before you secure it to the over current (breaker). This not only stops the corrosion, but also shields the connection from coming loose due to the heat differential of the aluminum conductor and copper fastening lug.
Somehow some licensed "electricians" miss this, as well as the inspector, and I have seen many more Code violations on "licensed" jobs here for some reason that pertain to Life/Safety. Perhaps the Building Department puts too much faith on items that they deem to be done by "professionals"?

Community begins with Aloha
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