am having an issue with a sub panel in my kitchen. I am reading 240 volts across the red and black coming from the main panel, in the panel I am reading 120 from each conductor to ground on all circuits. But on all of my double pole breakers I am reading 120 to ground but only 10 volts between line 1 and line 2... So it appears I am not getting 240 volts in the panel. The breakers don't need to be moved as everything used to work fine...

More weird info - The stove lights come on but no heat... the light in the kitchen and the outside lights only seem to work with the stove element on... Time for a new panel? help! Thanks!

  • 1
    What make and model are both panels involved? Is the feeder breaker reading 240V between poles? – ThreePhaseEel Sep 13 '17 at 0:55
  • 1
    Do you have a main breaker on the sub panel and how many 2 pole breakers do you have in the sub panel? Could you attach a picture of the panel? – Retired Master Electrician Sep 13 '17 at 12:06

If you have 240 at the main lugs of the sub and do not have 240v at the breakers the main breaker could be bad. I have had a main breaker fail on 1 hammer (the contacts inside the breaker) on more than 1 occasion. In some cases with all the load breakers turned off cycle the main 10 times on and off This can temporarily clean the contact and make it useful until the bkr or panel can be replaced. If this is a lug only (no main on the sub) your buss on one of the legs may have fried since you said all the 240v breakers ,,, I have had this happen with FPE stab lock but it can happen with all brands of panels but I have only had buss failures on FPE and any problems with FPE stab lock needs replacement of the panel in my opinion, I won't do any work on them except to replace them.

  • Hi there, thanks for the responses! It was the main breaker, popped a new one and it's all good! – scott Sep 14 '17 at 21:35
  • 1
    Scott we like thanks but up voting tells the community your problem is solved and gives credit to the answer you up vote. You just click on the up arrow no cost to you. – Ed Beal Sep 14 '17 at 23:35

Nothing wrong with your panel, probably.

You lost a hot leg somewhere.

When you turn the stove on, you nearly short the legs, with a very low resistance load. This brings the other side back.

You have a tiny anount of leakage between the two hots, probably in the stove, that's why you read 120 on both.

  • OP has 240 at point of connection to the panel but not at all the 240 breakers, has to be a main or the buss feeding them. – Ed Beal Sep 13 '17 at 19:57

Yeah, you lost a leg. This happened to me once. The thermostat was dimming the kitchen light.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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