So, My dad was working on a leaking sink in a bathroom and my mom yells there is a fire. Their cable box caught fire, they put the fire out without a problem and mom called the cable company. While mom was on the phone with cable people, the house lost power but only half of the house.. My uncle is pretty handy with electric stuff and couldn't figure it out. There is no way they can afford an electrician. Any ideas please? Any thoughts are welcome

  • 6
    They can afford the unnecessary luxury of a monthly cable bill but not the one-time cost of calling a professional to fix a serious problem?
    – iLikeDirt
    Apr 25, 2015 at 2:04
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    You need the help of a professional Electrician, and/or possibly your electrical service provider. There's a major problem that cannot be solved by folks on the internet.
    – Tester101
    Apr 25, 2015 at 2:24
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    @cathode, no, that's not really possible. Apr 25, 2015 at 11:36
  • 2
    What @Tester101. Plain and simple. Sorry, it's not what you want to hear, but it is completely accurate. Apr 25, 2015 at 11:37
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    @iLikeDirt Don't be sanctimonious. A monthly cable bill can be as little as $30. I know of one homeowner who recently got an estimate that he needs to spend something like $10,000 to bring his house fully up to code (effectively half of it needs to be completely rewired). That's 27 years of cable bills. The scale is a bit different. Apr 25, 2015 at 15:18

3 Answers 3


It sounds like they have a floating neutral in the power. If outside at the cable junction box take a look at the connectors. If they are burned or melted then it is a floating neutral and the power in the house looked for a ground which the cable lines are grounded with the house electric. This allowing the cable to get energized which can cause the fire

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming! Jun 14, 2019 at 21:22

This sounds like either the problems are unrelated, or have the same cause (lightning strike or other severe surge), or the short that caused the fire drew enough current to damage the house wiring. Two out of three of those suggest there's now potential for a much more serious fire. If you don't have the knowledge to isolate the problem, please hire someone who does. This is a case of "if you have to ask you shouldn't try, and even if you know what you're doing getting a pro may save your having to rip open walls for inspection. "

You can't afford not to have this done right.


It sounds like the fire and plumbing work are unrelated. You should replace the old cable box and not plug in the burned one again! If you go to your circuit breaker box, you should be able to turn on the circuits that switched off due to the fire. If the breakers trip again, you might have a more serious electrical problem.

  • they reset the breaker, the cable box is unpluged but the house is still half out of power even though no breakers are tripped.
    – Felishia
    Apr 25, 2015 at 1:21

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