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Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 7th 08, 02:26 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 10
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

Hello guys,

I've got a dead circuit in my house. I tested the output of the
breaker, and it's fine. I have also done some research, which
indicates that a tripped GFI outlet could cause the problem, however,
I removed the GFI that's on the dead circuit, and there is no power
going to the GFI even. None of the lines, on that circuit, that I've
located in my house are hot.

Does anyone have some additional troubleshooting ideas?

Thanks,

Trevor
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  #4  
Old April 7th 08, 03:06 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 71
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

This seems oblivious but if you haven't done this start he

1) With the breaker on, identify all dead outlet and switches. Check
every outlet, switch, appliance, junction box and light.

2) Turn breaker off, identify all dead outlet and switches. Check
ever outlet, switch, appliance, junction box and light.

3) Any device that is dead in step two and is live in step 1 needs to
be checked for problems.

4) If all the devices in step 3 check out then you either missed an
device or junction box or you have a wiring problem between two boxes
and it might be time to call a pro.

n Apr 6, 8:26*pm, wrote:
Hello guys,

I've got a dead circuit in my house. I tested the output of the
breaker, and it's fine. I have also done some research, which
indicates that a tripped GFI outlet could cause the problem, however,
I removed the GFI that's on the dead circuit, and there is no power
going to the GFI even. None of the lines, on that circuit, that I've
located in my house are hot.

Does anyone have some additional troubleshooting ideas?

Thanks,

Trevor


  #5  
Old April 7th 08, 03:46 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 6, 8:06 pm, wrote:
This seems oblivious but if you haven't done this start he

1) With the breaker on, identify all dead outlet and switches. Check
every outlet, switch, appliance, junction box and light.

2) Turn breaker off, identify all dead outlet and switches. Check
ever outlet, switch, appliance, junction box and light.

3) Any device that is dead in step two and is live in step 1 needs to
be checked for problems.

4) If all the devices in step 3 check out then you either missed an
device or junction box or you have a wiring problem between two boxes
and it might be time to call a pro.

n Apr 6, 8:26 pm, wrote:

Hello guys,


I've got a dead circuit in my house. I tested the output of the
breaker, and it's fine. I have also done some research, which
indicates that a tripped GFI outlet could cause the problem, however,
I removed the GFI that's on the dead circuit, and there is no power
going to the GFI even. None of the lines, on that circuit, that I've
located in my house are hot.


Does anyone have some additional troubleshooting ideas?


Thanks,


Trevor


That sounds like some good advice. I haven't, as of yet, been able to
find any live outlets on this circuit. This circuit actually affects a
large number of things, including:

Basement lights
3 power outlets in the living room
1st floor bath - GFI outlet
1st floor bath - fan
1st floor bath - light
Front & Back outdoor a/c outlets
Garage door motor
Alarm system in garage

I still haven't checked a couple light switches though, so I'll have
to see about those.

Thanks,

Trevor
  #6  
Old April 7th 08, 04:14 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 8,284
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 6, 8:26*pm, wrote:
Hello guys,

I've got a dead circuit in my house. I tested the output of the
breaker, and it's fine. I have also done some research, which
indicates that a tripped GFI outlet could cause the problem, however,
I removed the GFI that's on the dead circuit, and there is no power
going to the GFI even. None of the lines, on that circuit, that I've
located in my house are hot.

Does anyone have some additional troubleshooting ideas?

Thanks,

Trevor


Can you follow the wires out of the panel to the first junction box or
fixture?

If the breaker is indeed good (you didn't say how you determined that)
and the very first fixture is dead, then you've pretty much narrowed
down the general location of the problem.

There may be a junction box in between the panel and the first fixture
with an open conection.
  #7  
Old April 7th 08, 04:24 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 6, 10:16 pm, Terry wrote:
On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 18:46:24 -0700 (PDT), wrote:
On Apr 6, 8:06 pm, wrote:
This seems oblivious but if you haven't done this start he


1) With the breaker on, identify all dead outlet and switches. Check
every outlet, switch, appliance, junction box and light.


2) Turn breaker off, identify all dead outlet and switches. Check
ever outlet, switch, appliance, junction box and light.


3) Any device that is dead in step two and is live in step 1 needs to
be checked for problems.


4) If all the devices in step 3 check out then you either missed an
device or junction box or you have a wiring problem between two boxes
and it might be time to call a pro.


n Apr 6, 8:26 pm, wrote:


Hello guys,


I've got a dead circuit in my house. I tested the output of the
breaker, and it's fine. I have also done some research, which
indicates that a tripped GFI outlet could cause the problem, however,
I removed the GFI that's on the dead circuit, and there is no power
going to the GFI even. None of the lines, on that circuit, that I've
located in my house are hot.


Does anyone have some additional troubleshooting ideas?


Thanks,


Trevor


That sounds like some good advice. I haven't, as of yet, been able to
find any live outlets on this circuit. This circuit actually affects a
large number of things, including:


Basement lights
3 power outlets in the living room
1st floor bath - GFI outlet
1st floor bath - fan
1st floor bath - light
Front & Back outdoor a/c outlets
Garage door motor
Alarm system in garage


I still haven't checked a couple light switches though, so I'll have
to see about those.


Thanks,


Trevor


It is a pretty safe bet that the home run goes to the GFI outlet. All
the other devices are being protected by the GFI.

If the breaker is hot and no power at the GFI, it almost has to be the
wire going to the outlet. (This is very rare)

Make sure you look closely at the breaker and the wire leaving the
breaker at the panel. It could be a loose connection on the neutral.

If you do have a loose connection on the neutral you should still show
a hot connection at the GFI box. Tell us what kind of tester you are
using.


I am using a stand-alone, contactless voltage tester. It's pretty
accurate at telling whether or not there is voltage coming out of a
wire, and I haven't been able to find any live wires on that circuit.
As someone suggested, there's a good chance that the run is bad,
although I don't know what has caused it to fail at this point. I'm
actually pretty sure that the main run isn't going to the GFI, at
least as far as I can tell, because I traced it up from the breaker
panel, and it's going the opposite direction from the bathroom.

The only odd thing I've noticed so far, is that the GFI outlet's
"test" button doesn't operate, although I'm assuming that, that's
because it doesn't have a hot line?

Thanks,

Trevor
  #8  
Old April 7th 08, 04:38 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 1,565
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting


wrote in message
...
Hello guys,

I've got a dead circuit in my house. I tested the output of the
breaker, and it's fine. I have also done some research, which
indicates that a tripped GFI outlet could cause the problem, however,
I removed the GFI that's on the dead circuit, and there is no power
going to the GFI even. None of the lines, on that circuit, that I've
located in my house are hot.

Does anyone have some additional troubleshooting ideas?

Thanks,

Trevor


First you want to determine if the hot leg is dead, or the neutral, or both.
If both legs are dead, I'd be looking for a GFCI device upstream of all the
dead stuff. If not, assuming you have determined which breaker controls the
string, and it's good, you need to find anything live on that circuit, and
check for loose, possibly back stabbed connections there. I would probably
pay most attention to outside outlets that are dead, as the hostile
environment lends itself to corrupting connections


  #9  
Old April 7th 08, 04:44 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,565
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting


wrote in message
...
On Apr 6, 10:16 pm, Terry wrote:
On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 18:46:24 -0700 (PDT), wrote:
On Apr 6, 8:06 pm, wrote:
This seems oblivious but if you haven't done this start he


1) With the breaker on, identify all dead outlet and switches. Check
every outlet, switch, appliance, junction box and light.


2) Turn breaker off, identify all dead outlet and switches. Check
ever outlet, switch, appliance, junction box and light.


3) Any device that is dead in step two and is live in step 1 needs to
be checked for problems.


4) If all the devices in step 3 check out then you either missed an
device or junction box or you have a wiring problem between two boxes
and it might be time to call a pro.


n Apr 6, 8:26 pm, wrote:


Hello guys,


I've got a dead circuit in my house. I tested the output of the
breaker, and it's fine. I have also done some research, which
indicates that a tripped GFI outlet could cause the problem,
however,
I removed the GFI that's on the dead circuit, and there is no power
going to the GFI even. None of the lines, on that circuit, that I've
located in my house are hot.


Does anyone have some additional troubleshooting ideas?


Thanks,


Trevor


That sounds like some good advice. I haven't, as of yet, been able to
find any live outlets on this circuit. This circuit actually affects a
large number of things, including:


Basement lights
3 power outlets in the living room
1st floor bath - GFI outlet
1st floor bath - fan
1st floor bath - light
Front & Back outdoor a/c outlets
Garage door motor
Alarm system in garage


I still haven't checked a couple light switches though, so I'll have
to see about those.


Thanks,


Trevor


It is a pretty safe bet that the home run goes to the GFI outlet. All
the other devices are being protected by the GFI.

If the breaker is hot and no power at the GFI, it almost has to be the
wire going to the outlet. (This is very rare)

Make sure you look closely at the breaker and the wire leaving the
breaker at the panel. It could be a loose connection on the neutral.

If you do have a loose connection on the neutral you should still show
a hot connection at the GFI box. Tell us what kind of tester you are
using.


I am using a stand-alone, contactless voltage tester. It's pretty
accurate at telling whether or not there is voltage coming out of a
wire, and I haven't been able to find any live wires on that circuit.
As someone suggested, there's a good chance that the run is bad,
although I don't know what has caused it to fail at this point. I'm
actually pretty sure that the main run isn't going to the GFI, at
least as far as I can tell, because I traced it up from the breaker
panel, and it's going the opposite direction from the bathroom.

The only odd thing I've noticed so far, is that the GFI outlet's
"test" button doesn't operate, although I'm assuming that, that's
because it doesn't have a hot line?

Thanks,

Trevor


Unless the house was built in the last five or six years, there would be no
reason to believe the bathroom outlet would be fed directly, and even if it
were, it wouldn't likely be protecting all the stuff you've mentioned.


  #10  
Old April 7th 08, 05:13 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 6, 9:38 pm, "RBM" wrote:
wrote in message

...

Hello guys,


I've got a dead circuit in my house. I tested the output of the
breaker, and it's fine. I have also done some research, which
indicates that a tripped GFI outlet could cause the problem, however,
I removed the GFI that's on the dead circuit, and there is no power
going to the GFI even. None of the lines, on that circuit, that I've
located in my house are hot.


Does anyone have some additional troubleshooting ideas?


Thanks,


Trevor


First you want to determine if the hot leg is dead, or the neutral, or both.
If both legs are dead, I'd be looking for a GFCI device upstream of all the
dead stuff. If not, assuming you have determined which breaker controls the
string, and it's good, you need to find anything live on that circuit, and
check for loose, possibly back stabbed connections there. I would probably
pay most attention to outside outlets that are dead, as the hostile
environment lends itself to corrupting connections


Actually, it's funny you mention that. I only recently discovered the
front, outdoor a/c outlet, but I actually did replace the a/c outlet
in the back of my house. I only recently moved here, so I hadn't
noticed the one out front previously. The wires on the back one indeed
looked worn by the elements, however, there was no power there either.
I was surprised, because, from what I can tell, that outlet would be
the first one in the circuit that I'm having problems with, at least,
the conduit traces very near to it, and the next outlets are somewhat
farther away.

I still need to check the a/c outlet in the front of the house, but as
I mentioned, I'm pretty sure that, that isn't the first one in the
chain, because of where the conduit goes.

I'm thinking that I might just have an electrician come out and look
at it, even though I'm sure it's going to cost me an arm and a leg.
Having my garage door stuck open is kind of a problem.

Thanks,

Trevor
 




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