PLEASE NOTE: UPDATED CIRCUIT NUMBERING FROM 12 & 14 to 14 & 16
I would greatly appreciate your help with trying to diagnose a problem that appears to be an open neutral. In my kitchen I have three circuits (C). They are numbers 14, 16, and 32 in my panel. C32 is a single GFCI circuit that powers only my microwave. When I use the microwave the voltage on C16 drops several volts from 120 to around 116. If I use another high current appliance (electric kettle) on C16 the V drops to 114-112. Add something else and it's dropped below 110V. I've pulled the receptacles and checked the connections and also used the little plug in tester and it shows they are all wired correctly.
Each of these three circuits also run through a manually switched Reliance generator panel. Today the power went out and I started the generator and switched the Reliance panel to the generator. I checked the voltage on C16 and it was 122V. I then turned on the microwave and the voltage on C16 started rising to 130V. In place of the microwave I then let the Well Pump (240V) kick on. After it started the voltage on C16 remained at 122V (running on the generator).
The last thing I tried this evening (back on house power) was to run the microwave on C14. In this case the voltage on C16 rose a little from 120V to 122V. Given that the two breakers are adjacent to one another I'm guessing they are on opposite legs in the panel.
I did check every connection on the neutral bar, ground bar, and every breaker, as well as the main neutral wire (multi-stranded aluminum) in the panel.
The other issue of concern is that my electric bill is about double that of my neighbors. I do have 3 teenagers and electric hot water so that could be part of the problem. :)
A friend who pointed me to the neutral problem told me that I may have recourse with the power company if the neutral problem is on their side. We have been through several microwaves, etc. My outside feed is from a pole not underground.
I apologize for the long winded description but I'm hoping it shed some light as to where the problem may be.
My question is this:
How can I determine if the problem is on circuit side of the panel or the meter side? If I can determine it's on the meter side, I was advised to call an electrician to check the meter connections before calling the utility company as I don't know how apt they would be to take responsibility if it is on their side.
Here is a photograph of the circuit breaker panel:
Photo of Panel Label:
I have checked all the connections for the transfer switch and I have added a tie bar to switch both legs of a MWBC between B-G on the transfer switch which are circuits 6 and 8 in the panel. Otherwise everything is exactly as specified.