I live in a home that had a bad common lead connection, and this caused rotating blackouts throughout the house, and there were a couple of surge protectors that were overloaded - one blackened and produced a volume of smoke, in a room 15 feet from the load center.
After we had an electrician look at it, his determination was the problem was a bad common connection in the box out by the meter - the end of the cable was severely corroded, covered in green crust, and the insulation showed signs of burn damage as the cable had apparently overheated.
NOTE: I failed to state that he replaced the bus box and spliced a foot and a half of the common cable to fix that problem.
Now we have one side of the house that seems to trip the breaker on a regular basis, but it always resets and is fine until there are four or five lights or appliances (a combination of three or four rooms) on simultaneously. Shouldn't you be able to have every light in the house on and not trip off a breaker, effectively shutting down that side of the house?
This has not happened before the bad common incident, since then, it is always the same breaker that trips. Only one breaker and it never did this in the five years we've lived here before that problem. I think this is telling me two things, one - that the breaker may have been weakened by the drop-outs and surges during the bad common problem, and the wiring in this house is not correct for code. My biggest concern isn't the breaker itself, but I am wondering if this is dangerous. Am I going to wake up some night to find the place on fire? Can I just replace that one breaker and be OK, or will I have to get an electrician to rewire the house? I am really worried this will be beyond my means to repair. Help!