Ok, let me start by saying that I am not an electrician... but a very avid DIY'er, with more than a little Electronics background.... And I've been 'lurking' the forums on this site, and enjoying the massive wealth of information for many many months.... Well, now I've got a problem that has me VERY much stumped, and I'm hoping that someone else has a clue at least what might be going on!
About 5 months ago, we moved into a new house, and everything is pretty much dandy except this one re-occuring problem. Infrequently, I seem to be having half a power outage! When it happens, basically half of the circuits in the house will lose power... though half will REMAIN powered. No breakers trip, no other signs of anything unusual at the panel... but everything on one side of the 220V split seems to be out. This has happened three times now.
To make things more interesting, I've proven what seems to be an odd-ball clue to the entire equation: if I power on my dryer, and actually START it cycling, IMMEDIATELY power comes back. I say 'proven', because the first time power came back after about 1/2 an hour of testing outlets and fuxtires (with a VOM) , power came back as I was testing to see if the dryer was 'functional'... though I don't believe the dryer had been 'running' while power was off. The washer had been, however.
When the same problem reoccured (probably 4-6 weeks later?), I was actually running the dryer at the time (but not the washer, I don't think), and quite a few other applicances (the wife and I were cooking because we were expecting company shortly)... THIS time, I went straight to the dryer... powered it on, started a cycle, and power IMMEDIATELY came back.
Well... this morning (about 2-3 weeks later?) it happened again, JUST as I was about to leave for work. My wife had just started a load of laundry in the washer.. (the dryer was not on). She turned on a light switch in one room, and it didn't come on for more than a split second - and I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the kitchen circuit seemed to go down as well. Sure enough, another 'Half outage'... no circuits tripped, etc.... walked directly to the dryer, powered it up, started a 'cycle', and everything immediately came back to life. Again.
3rd time duplicating this 'solution' tells me there HAS to be a clue here, and I'm just not seeing it.... Anyone out there have any thoughts??