Dimming, brightening, all circuits, anything plugged in, outlets not working, sizzling in panel

Thread Starter

Just-Askin

Joined May 5, 2024
4
Hello,

I live in an apartment and I know these "owners" and their incredibly stupid regional manager won't want to fix this electrical problem the right way.

In addition to the dimming, flickering, brightening of lights and all the appliances are the same way, my electric bill shows these huge spikes in usage here and there, even in the middle of the night when only the water heater and fridge are running. And the fios box, router and phones being charged.

When I say huge spikes in usage, I mean crazy huge - like 3 and 4 times the ordinary usage. Other times the usage is below ordinary.

The washer dryer outlet only powers the washer now. I think most circuits have at least 1 outlet that doesn't work, several circuits have several outlets not working. They spark sometimes when you unplug something. And one outlet can't have anything in use on the circuit or it gets burning hot.

Back when more outlets worked, and I could use it - the Mr. Coffee style coffee maker's warmer would click on and there would be whole house dimming. I mean really?

Now there's buzzing in the panel and sometimes it vibrates. Correction - sizzling in the panel. We're past the buzzing.

1 breaker is just loose. Like it couldn't trip if it wanted to - a 15 amp.

Place is 40 years old and very poorly maintained. I have 9 smart meters all in a row on 1 wall of my apartment.

So I'd like to know if replacing the breaker panel would be the safest way to go about this. On top of the old, broken down light fixtures and all the outlets and switches.

I mean given the dang breaker panel is flippin sizzling and sometimes vibrating, doesn't that scream it needs to be replaced?

Thank you for your input!
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,264
Welcome to AAC.

You might have a loose neutral, you certainly do have a fire hazard. If you can’t get the landlord to take action, call the fire department—but be prspared to have your power shut off until it is repaired.

If your description is accurate you are damaging your appliances and there is a real risk of fire. There is also a chance there is a connection to your panel stealing power, but, in any case, act on the fire hazard now.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,366
I suggest that first, you make sure all of your smoke detectors are working properly.
Then call your power company and complain about the service, and ask them to send somebody over because there might be a problem at the meter. When they find that the meter is OK, they may ask to inspect the fuse panel/breaker panel. Then they will see the problem.
I suggest that rather sneaky approach because then the inspection is their idea, not yours. Probably "Y" iscorrect, that it is a loose neutral connection, but it may well be more than that.
AND, have your necessities and wallet in a bag you can grab and run with when there is a fire.
 

Thread Starter

Just-Askin

Joined May 5, 2024
4
Thank you so much! It was still sizzling with all the breakers off so I have the power to the apartment shut off on the outside, staying at a hotel waiting to hear back from some good guys like ya'll to know what's what. It's rained and there is a huge, deep puddle at the meter so I don't think anyone can do anything until the puddle dries out. Rather be safe than sorry. More rain in the forecast.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,366
I still suggest calling the power company, unless you are in California. They should have folks able to investigate the problem.
Those who know what to do will not be placed in hazard by a pool of water, those who know nothing will be at hazard even if they are standing on dry glass blocks.
 
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