What should be done if all or half the power is out
A. Your first check should be is to check your with your neighbors. If their power is out the problem is most likely is a Utility Company problem. Call your Utility Company, JEA, FPL or Beaches Utility.
B. If your neighbors power is on, but your is out, the next step would be to check your main breaker, or main breakers.
Or if self help is not for you, it is always a free check for JEA or any of the other utility companies to check power to your unit. It's worth the free check, call JEA @ 665-6000.
In older homes the main breaker is located at the top of the panel inside the home. In apartments, condominiums and newer homes the main breaker is at the outside adjacent the meter, or at the meter center for multiple occupancy type units.
In some multiple occupancy units, such as apartments and condominiums, there is one main breaker outside and one inside at the panel. If you do have two main breakers you will need to check both of these.
C. To check your main breaker try to turn this main breaker, or these main breakers, off and then back on.
D. If this does not get a response, try to bump the meter with the palm of your hand. If the power comes on then, you have a bad meter jaw and this requires an electrician to repair.
E. If neither of the two above attempts provide results go to number 2 and proceed down call your Utility Company, JEA, etc; as this still may be on their side of the service. And, this is a free service provided from your utility company.
F. If the utility company (JEA, etc.) informs the power is good to your unit and the meter is okay, you will need to call for our services.
What you can do if lights and outlets do not work, a circuit is out and the breaker is tripped
It appears you have a short circuit somewhere in one of the outlets that are not working and this is the reason the breaker will not reset.
A. First, turn off all light switches. Then, try to reset the breaker. If the breaker holds, at this point turn on lights one at a time until the circuit trips again. This will allow you to determine if it is a light fixture or ceiling fan causing the problem and which one is the problem. If it is one of these, then simply leave this switch off, reset the breaker and all else will operate safely until you get this replaced.
B. If the breaker still trips with all light switches in the off position, then I would unplug all equipment, lamps, clocks, etc. from all of the outlets on the same circuit. After you have done this, then try to reset the breaker again. If the breaker holds at this point, it was one of the appliances or equipment you had plugged into the outlet.
C. At this point, I highly advise you not just start plugging things in without knowing which was causing the short. You will be in for a scare if it shorts out while you plug the damaged piece of equipment in while energized. Turn the same circuit breaker off, start plugging in one at a time and check the breaker after each plug is installed into the outlet. Repeating the process until you have determined the problem device
What you can do if you do not know which circuit breaker, or even if, a circuit breaker has tripped, but lights, outlets, appliances and/or A/C is not working.
A. Try re-setting all the circuit breakers. And, do not try to just turn the circuit breaker in the ON position or forward. Turn each circuit breaker OFF then back ON, as this is the only way a circuit breaker will reset.
What you can try next if there still is no power to lights and outlets and it appears there is no circuit breaker tripped?
At this point it most likely is a loose connection at one of the receptacle outlets. This often occurs due to stab-lock wiring into the back of the receptacle outlet, instead of taking the time to wrap the wires around the screw terminals of the receptacle.
To locate this problem, with all of the light switches in the on position, look at each outlet and then bump the outlet with the palm of your hand. Try starting from the closest outlet to the panel which is not working first, then work outward until you have checked all of the outlets.
A. First, if you can see an outlet burnt, then simply turn off the circuit breaker and replace the receptacle outlet. Though make certain to wrap the wires around the terminals rather than stab-locking.
B. If you cannot see anything suspicious, then bump the outlet anyway with an insulated handle. If there is a loose connection at one of these stab-locked receptacle outlets, when you bump the outlet you will see the lights flicker or even start working at this point. If this is the case, turn off the circuit breaker and replace the outlet you bumped to get the lights working.
If you have all of your appliances working, but some lights are bright and others are dim, you may have a lost neutral. You may even experience blown light bulbs in some areas with this condition.
This lost neutral is one of the worst electrical conditions to experience. As, with loss of one leg, or phase, there just will not be the power to operate lights, equipment, etc; and the loss of power condition usually does not do damage.
With a lost neutral though, the 120 volts on both phases that are supposed to be present can turn into 160 volts on one phase and 80 volts on the other phase. Both of these, the high and the low, voltages on your system can do extreme damage to electronic equipment especially computers and TV's.
At this point, disconnect all sensitive electronic equipment until this condition is repaired. Light bulbs are cheap compared to equipment, so don't worry about the lights. And, you will need some 120 volt items working in order to diagnose and locate the problem.
If you have JEA, or any other utility company, check this first, when they arrive to perform there check, make certain to have them check the power to your service with as much load on as possible, except for your electronic equipment. Do this, because if the load is light and balanced everything will seem normal and the condition will disappear, causing a misdiagnosis.
Washer and refrigerator motors can handle the unbalance voltage for short periods of time. So, if the condition is not present during check out with just lights, turn on the washer, as it is a good heavy 120 volt load to unbalance the system for the check out. Caution, do not attempt this with the newer computerized or digital appliances, as they too can be damaged.
This is a, sometimes, difficult condition to diagnose and locate. To be honest with you, this condition should really be checked out and repaired by a qualified electrician.
You can always call on us anytime in the process at which you feel uncomfortable in proceeding. We will take over from where ever you wish.
"Stand fast therefore in the Liberty wherewith Christ hath made us Free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."