The neutral bar is burnt in the breaker box of my mobile home. The kids hooked up a small window cooler and ran it a couple months ago, by morning we woke up smelling wires burning. We traced it to the breaker box and at that point we lost all power to the mobile home. We cut off the burnt wires and reinserted them into the Neutral Bar, with power restored we went on with life.

A couple weeks ago a neutral wire came loose in the breaker box and the mobile home went to half power, so we had to unplug all large appliances (Fridge, Window AC Cooler, my oxygen machine...). As I said we found it was a loose neutral wire; we fixed it and power restored again, only this time the power only stayed on for a little over a hour and went back to half power (what I mean by half power is I can run computers and TV's but that's it).

I live on ssi disability so getting a electrician is out of the question so here I am trying to figure why the power won't come back on fully, I took the neutral bar out cleaned it up found no cracks but it is burnt badly a couple screws are melted together but no cracks I put it back in after cleaning it up and still I am at half power.

I am about to order a new neutral bar and try that come pay day but I am puzzled as to why its not coming back to full power it was working find until that wire came loose? The wire was sparking badly when I opened the power panel but as I said the bar has no cracks It's burnt melted but no cracks and I get 0 reading when I test it with the multi meter with power on!

Oh on the multi meter I get these readings: the big black ground wire and the big red wire 254, black to neutral i get 105, red to neutral 140 and I get the same reading to the ground bar 105 and 140. When measuring all the outlets I get 152 except the one in the bathroom that gives me a reading of 98 it is a GFCi outlet. As I wait for payday any input would be appreciated.

inside the panel behind the neutral bar

  • Note: The kids ran the small window ac cooler on a small extension cord!
    – carol lee
    Oct 16, 2016 at 14:14
  • Note: It's a Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok service panel and my mobile home is from the 70's
    – carol lee
    Oct 16, 2016 at 14:23
  • How tall/wide is the panel's box? Oct 16, 2016 at 14:37
  • aprox 16 high by 12 wide inches I do not know where my ruler is..
    – carol lee
    Oct 16, 2016 at 14:43
  • What do you have for home improvement/hardware stores nearby? Also, do you know which breakers feed which circuits/rooms? Oct 16, 2016 at 16:36

2 Answers 2


Replace this panel before it burns your house down!

You need a new panel not a new neutral bar, as this panel is trying to cook you, your kids, and your house as I speak. The FPE Stab-Loks are rife with trouble, and as you have seen, will attempt to burn your house down instead of doing their job. In particular, at least one of your breakers is out of calibration i.e. not tripping on a low-level overload that should have eventually tripped it, and the excess current is slow-cooking your neutral bar, and who-knows-what-else in the house. Also, that slow-cooked neutral bar isn't making good contact with at least one of the neutral wires, which is what is causing the voltage imbalance in your house, most likely.

Until then, keep your smoke detectors working and your fire escape plans practiced, as it's not a matter of if, but when this panel will ignite again...

  • 1
    I was just saying I think I will buy a new panel! Thanks for your advice, like I said I live on ssi disability and I have to wait till payday. Right now the load is light only TV's and computers running on it. every thing else is unplugged all breakers not in use are turned off. I do have that breaker off that did not trip when this happened. Thanks again
    – carol lee
    Oct 16, 2016 at 15:04

The voltage unbalance you measure is quite high, there appears be a problem with the neutral connection outside your home as well as the problems inside it. 240 volt loads may continue to work, but 120 volt loads will be damaged by overvoltage.

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