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I had a circuit breaker trip in my house. After resetting it, I now only have 3 of the 6 outlets on the circuit working. My tester shows there is power present, but nothing will work when plugged in.

You may have a loose neutral connection on one of the outlets, which could be preventing the other ones from working properly. Try turning off the circuit breaker and tightening all the connections at each receptacle location – this may solve your problem.

I have a 100 amp service and just recently lost power to half of my circuits in the house. None of the individual circuit breakers were tripped, but when I turn off the main breaker and then turn it back on I have power again for a day or so, then the same thing happens again. Do I have a bad main breaker?

Yes, it sounds like you do have a bad main. We see this quite often with 100 amp panels; especially Murray or Arrow-Hart models that are more than 25 years old.
To make sure, next time you experience the problem, you can use a circuit tester to see if there is power on both incoming wires to the circuit breaker. If there is, and if there is power only on every other position on the bus bar, then it is the breaker. If you see the problem on the wires leading into the breaker, the problem is somewhere before the main circuit breaker panel.

If I install a lock-out device on a circuit breaker while it’s in the ON position, will it still trip in the event of an overload?

Yes. The mechanism within a circuit breaker will still trip even if the handle is locked in the ON position. The purpose of the lockout device is to prevent manual operation of the breaker only.

I have a Murray circuit breaker panel E-26095. I can’t locate the main switch to turn off the power so that I can replace a 30 amp breaker. Any advice?

Some older breaker panels may not contain a main breaker; rather, there are up to six breakers on the top part of the panel that together would turn off all power to your home.
Another possibility is that you may have a main disconnect on the outside of your house near the meter. This type of setup would not require a main breaker on the inside panel.

I have a problem with a 15 amp circuit breaker making crackling noises and frequently tripping when I use my microwave. Can I replace this with a 20 amp breaker to get rid of the problem?

You should never replace a breaker with a higher rated one, as this can lead to a fire.

The crackling may be due to loose connections in the panel. If it hasn't gone on for too long, you may be able to take care of the problem simply by tightening ALL wire connections in the panel. If the problem is advanced, you may need to start replacing components. A visual inspection will tell for sure.

Wurtsboro Electric Service, Inc.

Licensed electricians serving Orange county, Sullivan county, and Ulster county in New York
(845) 888-8000 

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