For the past week, one side of my house will lose power for a few hours at a time. It extends from the living room into the far bedroom and will happen any time of the day and last for hours. But it comes back on. No breakers have flipped and I've tried switching them on and off when it happens.

What is causing this, and how do I fix it?

  • Have you traced the circuits that are affected back to the service panel?
    – Niall C.
    May 13, 2016 at 21:29
  • Do you have an electric stove? What happens if turn a burner on high when this is happening? Does it get fully hot like normal, or does it get hot but not near as hot as normal, or does it not work at all?
    – Tyson
    May 13, 2016 at 22:19
  • Does the power turn off/on instantly, or does it flicker in and out? Do you have old wiring? Do you have old-school circuit breakers, or arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs)? You definitely need to have an electrician rule out a loose or old connection somewhere that could become dangerous if the current arcs across it. Arcs in loose wiring cause a substantial proportion of electrical fires, because they can generate enormous temperatures (and indeed small plasma balls) around their spark gaps without tripping the breaker. That is why the national electric code requires AFCIs in new dwelling
    – user53920
    May 14, 2016 at 11:31

1 Answer 1


If you can find a breaker that controls all the same lights and outlets this would be helpful. If it is just 1 breaker most likely it is a bad hot connection. usually in a junction box at an outlet or light switch but it could be the hot wire that connects to the breaker, very unusual for a breaker to do this but it could be the problem also. Find the breaker and see if some areas turn off that were on when the power goes away that will help narrow down where the problem is. It could be the neutral wire also but I have less problems with these and am not sure why as they normally carry the same current. If you find 1 breaker and additional lights or outlets turn off when you turn the breaker off go to the last working outlet and check the connections there (with the power off) if those are good go to the first non working outlet and check there. If everything is the same when turning the breaker off as the power fail, you will need to remove the dead face of the breaker panel and verify the wire on the breaker is tight, follow the wire back to where it enters the box with a white wire and follow that to the neutral buss and make sure that is tight. the last thing would be to try and replace the breaker looking at the tab to make sure it has not arced and burned the tab the breaker connects to.

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