In march 2017, my neutral wire at mast was almost broken probably by load of ice and wind or a branch falling on entry wires. The electrician did secure the neutral wire to the mast, and the neutral touches the mast part on the mast and part on the ceramic isolator. When I plugged the microwave oven, it exploded with burned scent. I did check the voltage at the receptacle, and it was 240 volts between the black and white, and 240 between ground and one of the 2 wires. Also, cannot open some lights in several rooms, and the fridge is working erratically, and stops for no reason.The range is working but no timer, neither lights. The range fan lights are lightly opened, and the motor fan does not work.The kitchen lights glow very dim or not at all.I had a fan heater in my water entry, and I did remove it to no avail. I also have a sewage pump still connected. Could it be a problem in the power transformer? or a short in the windage of the sewage pump? Also the entrance wires are touching a tree, and are slightly deviated at the point of touch.I will ask an electrician, but will appreciate your thoughts and reflexions.Heater boards seem to work properly.

  • 2
    Your service neutral wire is broken.
    – Tyson
    May 7, 2017 at 14:55

3 Answers 3



Your neutral finally went kablooie. Call your utility NOW on their emergency/power outage number as this situation has already damaged appliances and could start an electrical fire. In the meantime, turn off your main breaker to prevent further damage to appliances.

  • 1
    I agree completely. This is a dangerous situation I would also turn off the main breaker and wait in the dark. May 7, 2017 at 13:20

Shut off main breaker NOW

This cannot be fixed or worked around. Letting this go one more minute will only destroy more appliances and risk a house fire.

Call the power company, report a power OUTAGE

That is exactly what this is. Your power comes in 3 wires, 2 hots with a neutral in the middle. If this was a broken "hot", there'd be no question this is an outage. The fact that the "neutral" wire broke makes it no less of an outage, as it renders your power both useless and dangerous.

ThreePhaseEel did a fine job of answering this. I wrote a redundant answer to affirm that TPE is correct, and emphasize the urgency.

  • 1
    I suspect the power company might send someone sooner if you mention your appliances are exploding, so don't just say your power is out. May 8, 2017 at 7:59

The electrician has come. He measured 80 volts in one phase and about 140 volts in the other phase. He concluded to absence of neutral. He removed the meter, and found no distortion of contacts. He walked under the power lines, from house mast to the power utility post, and found that the neutral wire was disconnected. He reported immediately the problem to the hydro power company, who came at the site Sunday, one hour after call for outage. The power linemen did change completely the neutral wire (43 years old) between post and mast house, and did redo all 3 connections at the mast. Thanks to all. Jean-Pierre Gravel, Quebec.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.