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I got home last night and about half the lights and appliances were out.

The breakers were not tripped and turning them on didn't help. Some breaker circuits had electricity, and some didn't. The distribution seemed pretty random. For the breakers that did have electricity, the AFCI light was on in the breaker panel.

Unplugging almost everything also didn't help.

What might be wrong? Do I need an electrician?

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I called an electrician and it's usually a problem with the electricity provider (PG&E in our case). We called them, they sent a tech, and it was fixed the next day.

This answer also shared similar causes: https://diy.stackexchange.com/a/58744/104493

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  • Yup, you lost a leg of your service, most likely. Whoops! – ThreePhaseEel Jul 31 '19 at 1:32

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