I have lived in this house for 12 years without any electrical issues until now. This started a couple of days ago where the power will go out for half the house and then come back on right away or not come back on till hours later. When the lights went out I immediately checked the breakers but non of them were kicked. I did see several of the breakers that where the clasp that holds the ground wire, that the clasp was extremely rusted. I did change out several of the breakers, including the ones that were heavily rusted. But the problem persists. Since breakers were never properly identified on the door of the panel box, I and my fincee used walkie talkies and as I switched each breaker off, she would move through the house identifying which breaker that one was for. What we found was that the breakers that are affected on both sides of the box. The breakers affected are towards the bottom of the rows and the upper ones are not affected. This has not only been confusing but also very frustrating.

  • 5
    Is is the same "half" of the circuits each time? Something very similar happened to me a year ago. After having the power company rule out any interruptions on one of the incoming legs, I found that the problem was a bad connection at the main breaker in my panel.
    – Doug Deden
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 19:51
  • Yes. It is the same ones affected each time. The only thing that keeps changing is the duration of each outage.
    – Kickha
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 20:29
  • 1
    Harper has some good answers with pictures explaining which circuit breaker spaces are on which leg. diy.stackexchange.com/questions/109837/… and diy.stackexchange.com/questions/110151/… come to mind. Those pictures might help you confirm that the half of the circuits you are losing are all on the same leg.
    – Doug Deden
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 21:27
  • Related: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/184016/…
    – Doug Deden
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 21:28
  • 1
    None of the breakers in the box are tandem breakers. I finally gave up and called a local electrician. They are coming out tomorrow to check the problem out.
    – Kickha
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 3:09

1 Answer 1


This is typically symptomatic of "losing a phase" and you should contact your power company to report an outage - there's very like a loose connection which is more commonly on their side of the feed than yours, (and if they can rule out theirs, you know where to have someone look if they won't look at it) and they normally respond very promptly if there's not some other major outage going on.

  • Losing a phase will mean your 240 V circuits will not work. This could damage some of the 240 V equipment. You do not mention this so I suppose it has not happened, but this is not something to ignore and hope it will stop without your having to do something. Get the power company on this ASAP. Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 20:59
  • We do not have anything that takes 240 V. We do not have a dryer and my stove is gas. And we have not brought any new apliances recently either.
    – Kickha
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 3:05

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.