Home Repair (alt.home.repair) For all homeowners and DIYers with many experienced tradesmen. Solve your toughest home fix-it problems.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
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
  #4   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
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   Report Post  
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   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14,845
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   Report Post  
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   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,563
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   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,563
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   Report Post  
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


  #11   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 6, 11:04 pm, Terry wrote:
On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 19:24:46 -0700 (PDT), wrote:
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


The tester you are using is a pretty good choice for what you are
doing.

Basement lights not GFI required
3 power outlets in the living room not GFI required
1st floor bath - GFI outlet
1st floor bath - fan not GFI required
1st floor bath - light not GFI required
Front & Back outdoor a/c outlets
Garage door motor not GFI required
Alarm system in garage not GFI required and
should not be


Terry,

Thank you for the follow up. I don't have GFI outlets on the exterior
a/c outlets. The home was built in 1982, so it's not exactly new, but
this circuit -was- working as of just a few hours ago. Leading up to
the circuit failure, the only thing I did was to switch off a couple
breakers to the first floor, because I was pulling off a ceiling
fixture in a coat closet, so I could paint around it safely. Later on,
after I switched the breakers back on, it started being problematic.
The funny thing is, the light fixture that I unscrewed (not fully
removed), still functions properly, and isn't on the same circuit as
the one I'm having trouble with. Due to the numerous devices on the
problem circuit, I'm guessing that I have a bad wire somewhere. Is it
possible that a loose wire on a lightswitch could cause this whole
problem, or would I still see some outlets working?

Thanks,

Trevor
  #12   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 663
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

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.


  #13   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 663
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 19:24:46 -0700 (PDT), wrote:

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


The tester you are using is a pretty good choice for what you are
doing.

Basement lights not GFI required
3 power outlets in the living room not GFI required
1st floor bath - GFI outlet
1st floor bath - fan not GFI required
1st floor bath - light not GFI required
Front & Back outdoor a/c outlets
Garage door motor not GFI required
Alarm system in garage not GFI required and
should not be
  #15   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 663
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting


On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 20:16:19 -0700 (PDT), wrote:

On Apr 6, 11:04 pm, Terry wrote:
On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 19:24:46 -0700 (PDT), wrote:
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


The tester you are using is a pretty good choice for what you are
doing.

Basement lights not GFI required
3 power outlets in the living room not GFI required
1st floor bath - GFI outlet
1st floor bath - fan not GFI required
1st floor bath - light not GFI required
Front & Back outdoor a/c outlets
Garage door motor not GFI required
Alarm system in garage not GFI required and
should not be


Terry,

Thank you for the follow up. I don't have GFI outlets on the exterior
a/c outlets. The home was built in 1982, so it's not exactly new, but
this circuit -was- working as of just a few hours ago. Leading up to
the circuit failure, the only thing I did was to switch off a couple
breakers to the first floor, because I was pulling off a ceiling
fixture in a coat closet, so I could paint around it safely. Later on,
after I switched the breakers back on, it started being problematic.
The funny thing is, the light fixture that I unscrewed (not fully
removed), still functions properly, and isn't on the same circuit as
the one I'm having trouble with. Due to the numerous devices on the
problem circuit, I'm guessing that I have a bad wire somewhere. Is it
possible that a loose wire on a lightswitch could cause this whole
problem, or would I still see some outlets working?

Thanks,

Trevor


I think the next step is to find the first box. If you don' think
everything has been GFI protected then try to figure out which box is
the one coming from the panel. It should be the one closest to the
panel.

If you can see from the attic, you may be alble to look and see which
is the first device from the panel.



  #16   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
mm mm is offline
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7,824
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 19:24:46 -0700 (PDT), wrote:


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,


It's *pretty* accurate? Don't you think things would go faster if it
were 100% accurate. Like most meters are?

What does it use, a neon light? That's no way to test things.

For example, how do you know if the output of the circuit breaker is
hot (has 110 volts with respect to ground) or not? Did you check
that? Earlier you posted as if it were hot. How do you know? How
were you able to distinuish that circuit breaker from the ones on
either side of it? No neon light or other non-contact device is that
accurate. (Well maybe not none, but none that you or I can afford to
buy)

I don't think you know if the circuit breaker is working or not.

Have you taken the cover off the circuit breaker box? If not, post
back so we can talk about safety issues before you do.

If not, how do you know if the breaker involved is broken or not, is
conducting electricity or not?

If not, how do you know which piece of romex or BX is the one that
comes from the breaker in question?

Is your breaker box in an unfinished portion of the basement, or the
attic? If so, you can identify the cable coming from the breaker in
question (How did you identify which breaker to suspect?) and follow
that cable in the ceiling etc. until it goes to or at least towards
the first outlet that it powers.

Then check that outlet, not with a non-contact something but by
plugging a known good lamp or radio in and seeing if it works. If it
doesn't, pull the outlet out and use a meter on the white and black
wires, and the screws to which they attach.

While there can be problems with digital meters, I think if you just
consider anything under 80 volts to be equivalent to zero in this
situation, your tests will give the right results. Digital meters are
sold at Home depot and maybe radio shack for 15 dollar, certainly
under 20. They have an analog meter, with a needle, in that price
range too, but it is so little (smaller than a pack of cigarettes) and
cheap, i'd tend to say, Wait until you think you need an analog meter
and you know you're going to use it for things, and then buy one that
is at least 25 (I don't know what they sell in that price range).

Are you using now a meter or just a tester?


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


  #17   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,447
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 6, 11:46*pm, 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- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


Quite a lot and a mixture of lights and outlets on that one
circuit????

Under our codes that most likely will be wired with #14AWG and require
no more than a 15 amp circuit breaker.

Sounds as though the best way to to trouble shoot that would be to
follow the voltage from the output of the circuit breaker, as the OP
has done, and then go to each outlet or fixture in turn.

Best device to use would be an electric lamp/bulb screwed into a
socket with two insulated wires sticking out; some testers will give
false readings on voltages picked up by 'induction' from adjacent
working wires.

Voltage is normally between live (mostly black; assuming North
America) and neutral (usually white). But voltage can momentarily be
tested for between live/hot and ground. In fact such a test can
identify an open neutral wire between outlets.

Sounds like there is an open connection inside one of the outlet or
light fixture boxes possibly a deteriorated duple outlet. Hopefully
not one of those with the 'push-in' wire connections!

As mentioned if the GFI is early in the run and protecting everything
else downstream of it it could be defective and therefore affect the
whole circuit.
Small "t" terry
  #18   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,563
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting


wrote in message
...
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


I'm curious as to how you have determined which breaker controls this "dead"
circuit. You can't test breakers with a proximity tester as there is too
much electrical field inside the panel, it'll always show "live". At the
very least I would switch off and back on, all circuits in the panel, to
reset them


  #19   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 7, 6:05 am, "RBM" wrote:
wrote in message

...



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


I'm curious as to how you have determined which breaker controls this "dead"
circuit. You can't test breakers with a proximity tester as there is too
much electrical field inside the panel, it'll always show "live". At the
very least I would switch off and back on, all circuits in the panel, to
reset them


I determined the dead circuit based on both the labeling on the inside
of the breaker panel, and also, before it died, I switched it back on
once, and it worked. I am using a Greenlee GT-11 proximity tester, and
to verify that the dead breaker is indeed hot, I disabled the other
breakers around it, left the one live, and tested it. Even so, the
proximity tester usually has to be pretty close to a specific wire to
verify that it's hot, but just to make sure, I did disable the other
ones near it.

1. Do you think it's worth just replacing the breaker anyway, to see
if it clears up anything? It sounds like a good idea to switch off/on
all the other breakers .... I hadn't thought of that.

---

2. Can I replace the GFI outlet in the 1st floor bathroom with a
standard outlet (which I actually have on hand), for the sake of
troubleshooting? If so, how would I go about doing that? The GFI
outlet has two hots (black), and two grounds (white), so could I
attach these the same way to a standard outlet (would I need to break
the tab, or anything?)?

---

BTW, I did remove the breaker panel to test the breakers, and also so
I could trace the bad line up to its respective conduit. Are there
some specific safety steps you wanted to provide? I'm all for them,
since I'm personally rather scared of electricity. By the way, I've
taken this opportunity to replace some old a/c outlets, and none of
the ones I've worked on so far have been hot, with the breaker on. The
only other areas I have to test for being hot are the front-outdoor
outlet, and a couple switches in the garage.

Thanks,

Trevor
  #20   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14,845
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 7, 8:27*am, wrote:
On Apr 7, 6:05 am, "RBM" wrote:





wrote in message


...


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


I'm curious as to how you have determined which breaker controls this "dead"
circuit. You can't test breakers with a proximity tester as there is too
much electrical field inside the panel, it'll always show "live". At the
very least I would switch off and back on, all circuits in the panel, to
reset them


I determined the dead circuit based on both the labeling on the inside
of the breaker panel, and also, before it died, I switched it back on
once, and it worked. I am using a Greenlee GT-11 proximity tester, and
to verify that the dead breaker is indeed hot, I disabled the other
breakers around it, left the one live, and tested it. Even so, the
proximity tester usually has to be pretty close to a specific wire to
verify that it's hot, but just to make sure, I did disable the other
ones near it.

1. Do you think it's worth just replacing the breaker anyway, to see
if it clears up anything? It sounds like a good idea to switch off/on
all the other breakers .... I hadn't thought of that.

---

2. Can I replace the GFI outlet in the 1st floor bathroom with a
standard outlet (which I actually have on hand), for the sake of
troubleshooting? If so, how would I go about doing that? The GFI
outlet has two hots (black), and two grounds (white), so could I
attach these the same way to a standard outlet (would I need to break
the tab, or anything?)?

---

BTW, I did remove the breaker panel to test the breakers, and also so
I could trace the bad line up to its respective conduit. Are there
some specific safety steps you wanted to provide? I'm all for them,
since I'm personally rather scared of electricity. By the way, I've
taken this opportunity to replace some old a/c outlets, and none of
the ones I've worked on so far have been hot, with the breaker on. The
only other areas I have to test for being hot are the front-outdoor
outlet, and a couple switches in the garage.

Thanks,

Trevor- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


" By the way, I've taken this opportunity to replace some old a/c
outlets, and none of the ones I've worked on so far have been hot,
with the breaker on."

Please don't tell us that this means you've been replacing outlets
with the breaker on, even if the oulet read dead when you started the
work. Since you don't know what's casuing the problem, you don't know
what could make it go away.

A loose connection in a junction box could re-connect with something
as simple as someone walking across the living room floor.

Besides, it rarely makes sense to make changes to a problem situation
before you know what the problem is. This is a general statement, not
just related to electricity. Making changes while troubleshooting a
problem introduces variables that may mask the original problem or
make the tracing of steps more difficult - especially if you are going
to turn this over to someone else - like an electrician. Now you've
got to tell him everything you changed from the original setup which
just makes the whole situation more confusing



  #21   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 71
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

Trevor,

As I said before, you need to find out what is on this circuit. So
check any outlets and switches that you haven't checked yet.

A few things to check for:

1) At the circuit breaker: Test the voltage (with the breaker on)
between the hot terminal of the breaker and the neutral terminal
strip. Is there 120V or does the lamp on the tester light? If no,
replace. If yes, turn it off and verify that the power disconnects.
For safety reasons, I would make sure that only ONE hand is in contact
with the panel at a time. If you replace the breaker, turn off the
main breaker before removing the breaker. The pros probably don't but
they are use to working inside the box, you are not.


2) With the main circuit breaker off, verify that the neutral and
ground wire screws in the panel are tight.

3) If the breaker is good, then you need to check each box on the
circuit. Check for power coming into the box. If there is no power
then the problem will be 1) bad wire (unlikely if you haven't been
working around the wires) or 2) that the power never left the previous
box. Go to the the previous box and check for loose connections, loose
wire nuts, loose terminal screws. If the wires are pushed into the
back or the receptacle instead of being wrap around the screws then I
would replace the outlet and use the screw terminals instead. Back
stabbed connection can weaken over time (or so I been told). If the
wires are pushed into the back of the outlet and the outlet has power
DO NOT assume that the wires leaving the outlet have power. You will
need to check.

4) If after checking all the boxes and you still can't find the
problem then there are a few possibilities. 1) that a wire is damage
between two boxes, 2) That you missed a box, 3) That a box is hidden
in the walls (against code but it happens) or 4) ?

Good luck.

Phil




  #22   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
Joe Joe is offline
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,837
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 6, 7:26*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


FWIW, here are some of the things I would do: 1) Turn main breaker
off. Exchange output of bad circuit with another breaker. Turn main
breaker on. If the fault travels the breaker is bad. Replace. 2) Turn
Main breaker off. Check and tighten all ground and neutral
connections. Turn main breaker on and check system functions. If
everything works you found the problem.
Beyond this things get more difficult. From what you have described
your system may no longer be code compliant , if it ever was. You may
find there are multiple wires under a single screw, or neutrals and
grounds on the same bus bar, This and other poor wiring practices will
need some journeyman help to set right. Good luck.

Joe
  #23   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 7, 12:54 pm, Joe wrote:
On Apr 6, 7:26 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


FWIW, here are some of the things I would do: 1) Turn main breaker
off. Exchange output of bad circuit with another breaker. Turn main
breaker on. If the fault travels the breaker is bad. Replace. 2) Turn
Main breaker off. Check and tighten all ground and neutral
connections. Turn main breaker on and check system functions. If
everything works you found the problem.
Beyond this things get more difficult. From what you have described
your system may no longer be code compliant , if it ever was. You may
find there are multiple wires under a single screw, or neutrals and
grounds on the same bus bar, This and other poor wiring practices will
need some journeyman help to set right. Good luck.

Joe


Phil and Joe,

Those are some excellent ideas. I will try them out in detail when I
get home, and post back my results. Thank you very much.

Trevor
  #26   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,563
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting


"DerbyDad03" wrote in message
...
On Apr 7, 8:27 am, wrote:
On Apr 7, 6:05 am, "RBM" wrote:





wrote in message


...


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


I'm curious as to how you have determined which breaker controls this
"dead"
circuit. You can't test breakers with a proximity tester as there is too
much electrical field inside the panel, it'll always show "live". At the
very least I would switch off and back on, all circuits in the panel, to
reset them


I determined the dead circuit based on both the labeling on the inside
of the breaker panel, and also, before it died, I switched it back on
once, and it worked. I am using a Greenlee GT-11 proximity tester, and
to verify that the dead breaker is indeed hot, I disabled the other
breakers around it, left the one live, and tested it. Even so, the
proximity tester usually has to be pretty close to a specific wire to
verify that it's hot, but just to make sure, I did disable the other
ones near it.

1. Do you think it's worth just replacing the breaker anyway, to see
if it clears up anything? It sounds like a good idea to switch off/on
all the other breakers .... I hadn't thought of that.

---

2. Can I replace the GFI outlet in the 1st floor bathroom with a
standard outlet (which I actually have on hand), for the sake of
troubleshooting? If so, how would I go about doing that? The GFI
outlet has two hots (black), and two grounds (white), so could I
attach these the same way to a standard outlet (would I need to break
the tab, or anything?)?

---

BTW, I did remove the breaker panel to test the breakers, and also so
I could trace the bad line up to its respective conduit. Are there
some specific safety steps you wanted to provide? I'm all for them,
since I'm personally rather scared of electricity. By the way, I've
taken this opportunity to replace some old a/c outlets, and none of
the ones I've worked on so far have been hot, with the breaker on. The
only other areas I have to test for being hot are the front-outdoor
outlet, and a couple switches in the garage.

Thanks,

Trevor- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


" By the way, I've taken this opportunity to replace some old a/c
outlets, and none of the ones I've worked on so far have been hot,
with the breaker on."

Please don't tell us that this means you've been replacing outlets
with the breaker on, even if the oulet read dead when you started the
work. Since you don't know what's casuing the problem, you don't know
what could make it go away.

A loose connection in a junction box could re-connect with something
as simple as someone walking across the living room floor.

Besides, it rarely makes sense to make changes to a problem situation
before you know what the problem is. This is a general statement, not
just related to electricity. Making changes while troubleshooting a
problem introduces variables that may mask the original problem or
make the tracing of steps more difficult - especially if you are going
to turn this over to someone else - like an electrician. Now you've
got to tell him everything you changed from the original setup which
just makes the whole situation more confusing

I agree completely, You have an obvious open circuit, which can just as
easily close and become energized, so caution should be taken. Also, why
potentially complicate the existing problem by making more changes? First
find and correct the problem, then move on. There are times when I have to
replace all the outlets and switches in a house, and even though I am a
"professional" and do this for a living, and have for over 35 years, I do it
room by room, killing the power then turning back on and testing. If you
take too big a bite, and something goes wrong, it just takes that much more
time to find it


  #27   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 663
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Mon, 7 Apr 2008 05:27:55 -0700 (PDT), wrote:

On Apr 7, 6:05 am, "RBM" wrote:
wrote in message

...



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


I'm curious as to how you have determined which breaker controls this "dead"
circuit. You can't test breakers with a proximity tester as there is too
much electrical field inside the panel, it'll always show "live". At the
very least I would switch off and back on, all circuits in the panel, to
reset them


I determined the dead circuit based on both the labeling on the inside
of the breaker panel, and also, before it died, I switched it back on
once, and it worked. I am using a Greenlee GT-11 proximity tester, and
to verify that the dead breaker is indeed hot, I disabled the other
breakers around it, left the one live, and tested it. Even so, the
proximity tester usually has to be pretty close to a specific wire to
verify that it's hot, but just to make sure, I did disable the other
ones near it.

1. Do you think it's worth just replacing the breaker anyway, to see
if it clears up anything? It sounds like a good idea to switch off/on
all the other breakers .... I hadn't thought of that.

---

2. Can I replace the GFI outlet in the 1st floor bathroom with a
standard outlet (which I actually have on hand), for the sake of
troubleshooting? If so, how would I go about doing that? The GFI
outlet has two hots (black), and two grounds (white), so could I
attach these the same way to a standard outlet (would I need to break
the tab, or anything?)?

---

BTW, I did remove the breaker panel to test the breakers, and also so
I could trace the bad line up to its respective conduit. Are there
some specific safety steps you wanted to provide? I'm all for them,
since I'm personally rather scared of electricity. By the way, I've
taken this opportunity to replace some old a/c outlets, and none of
the ones I've worked on so far have been hot, with the breaker on. The
only other areas I have to test for being hot are the front-outdoor
outlet, and a couple switches in the garage.

Thanks,

Trevor


Swap a known working breaker with the suspect one.

Changing the GFI shouldn't be necessary. Your tester will tell you if
the wires in the box are hot. You can replace the receptacle for the
test, but you need a GFI there when you are done. One the GFI there
are "line" terminals and "load" terminals. I would put a piece of
black tape on "line" piece of Romex. A piece of tape on the black and
white. If you change it to a standard receptacle all the blacks go on
one side and all the whites go on the other. The darker color screws
is for the black wires.

I think the tester you are using is a good choice. All you need to
know at this point is....is it hot.

When you are tracing the wire inside the panel make sure the white
wire is tight at the bus bar.

Maybe you will have access to the attic and will be able to visually
find the first box in the run.
  #28   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 7, 6:20 pm, Terry wrote:
On Mon, 7 Apr 2008 05:27:55 -0700 (PDT), wrote:
On Apr 7, 6:05 am, "RBM" wrote:
wrote in message


...


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


I'm curious as to how you have determined which breaker controls this "dead"
circuit. You can't test breakers with a proximity tester as there is too
much electrical field inside the panel, it'll always show "live". At the
very least I would switch off and back on, all circuits in the panel, to
reset them


I determined the dead circuit based on both the labeling on the inside
of the breaker panel, and also, before it died, I switched it back on
once, and it worked. I am using a Greenlee GT-11 proximity tester, and
to verify that the dead breaker is indeed hot, I disabled the other
breakers around it, left the one live, and tested it. Even so, the
proximity tester usually has to be pretty close to a specific wire to
verify that it's hot, but just to make sure, I did disable the other
ones near it.


1. Do you think it's worth just replacing the breaker anyway, to see
if it clears up anything? It sounds like a good idea to switch off/on
all the other breakers .... I hadn't thought of that.


---


2. Can I replace the GFI outlet in the 1st floor bathroom with a
standard outlet (which I actually have on hand), for the sake of
troubleshooting? If so, how would I go about doing that? The GFI
outlet has two hots (black), and two grounds (white), so could I
attach these the same way to a standard outlet (would I need to break
the tab, or anything?)?


---


BTW, I did remove the breaker panel to test the breakers, and also so
I could trace the bad line up to its respective conduit. Are there
some specific safety steps you wanted to provide? I'm all for them,
since I'm personally rather scared of electricity. By the way, I've
taken this opportunity to replace some old a/c outlets, and none of
the ones I've worked on so far have been hot, with the breaker on. The
only other areas I have to test for being hot are the front-outdoor
outlet, and a couple switches in the garage.


Thanks,


Trevor


Swap a known working breaker with the suspect one.

Changing the GFI shouldn't be necessary. Your tester will tell you if
the wires in the box are hot. You can replace the receptacle for the
test, but you need a GFI there when you are done. One the GFI there
are "line" terminals and "load" terminals. I would put a piece of
black tape on "line" piece of Romex. A piece of tape on the black and
white. If you change it to a standard receptacle all the blacks go on
one side and all the whites go on the other. The darker color screws
is for the black wires.

I think the tester you are using is a good choice. All you need to
know at this point is....is it hot.

When you are tracing the wire inside the panel make sure the white
wire is tight at the bus bar.

Maybe you will have access to the attic and will be able to visually
find the first box in the run.


Alright, so I swapped two breaker lines with each other, and the
problem still prevails. I think that it must be a wiring issue
somewhere, but I still can't find the first item in the grouping. I
know that the line going out from the breaker is hot.

I tested the garage switches, and outlets, and they area all dead too.

A co-worker of mine has a son-in-law who's an electrician in my area.
I think I'm going to just have him come out and look at it. I assume
it would be safest to disable the breaker for the bad circuit at this
point?

You guys have all been very helpful. Thank you so much.

Thanks,

Trevor
  #29   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
dpb dpb is offline
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 12,595
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

wrote:
....
Alright, so I swapped two breaker lines with each other, and the
problem still prevails. I think that it must be a wiring issue
somewhere, but I still can't find the first item in the grouping. I
know that the line going out from the breaker is hot.


That's logical conclusion.

Did you do the exhaustive test of anything that is switched off by
turning off that breaker? There are only two possibilities -- nothing
on the circuit is live or one or more items are. If the former, you
have basically identified the disconnect is before or at the first; if
the latter, then you have at least a candidate for the starting point.

Looking at the location of the feed and the location of the dead
outlets, it should be relatively straightforward to figure out what is
the least linear feet of wire direction in which the run could have been
made. That would be the most probable way it was done (assuming this is
original wiring--if it's an added circuit, it would be more likely to be
the easiest access way, not necessarily the shortest.)


I tested the garage switches, and outlets, and they area all dead too.

A co-worker of mine has a son-in-law who's an electrician in my area.
I think I'm going to just have him come out and look at it. I assume
it would be safest to disable the breaker for the bad circuit at this
point?


If you're retiring from the field, I would recommend that, yes...

--
  #31   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 7, 7:39 pm, dpb wrote:
wrote:

...

Alright, so I swapped two breaker lines with each other, and the
problem still prevails. I think that it must be a wiring issue
somewhere, but I still can't find the first item in the grouping. I
know that the line going out from the breaker is hot.


That's logical conclusion.

Did you do the exhaustive test of anything that is switched off by
turning off that breaker? There are only two possibilities -- nothing
on the circuit is live or one or more items are. If the former, you
have basically identified the disconnect is before or at the first; if
the latter, then you have at least a candidate for the starting point.

Looking at the location of the feed and the location of the dead
outlets, it should be relatively straightforward to figure out what is
the least linear feet of wire direction in which the run could have been
made. That would be the most probable way it was done (assuming this is
original wiring--if it's an added circuit, it would be more likely to be
the easiest access way, not necessarily the shortest.)


Right, so ... earlier in another post, I mentioned that I traced the
wire from the breaker panel, through its conduit, and as best I can
tell, it's going up, and out to the back, outdoor receptacle. I
checked that outlet with my tester, and the wire is dead. I have
checked all other outlets, and switches, on that side/area of the
house, and have come up with nothing hot, except what's on the other,
good, 1st floor breaker.

Thanks,

Trevor
  #32   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 7, 8:49 pm, wrote:
On Apr 7, 7:39 pm, dpb wrote:



wrote:


...


Alright, so I swapped two breaker lines with each other, and the
problem still prevails. I think that it must be a wiring issue
somewhere, but I still can't find the first item in the grouping. I
know that the line going out from the breaker is hot.


That's logical conclusion.


Did you do the exhaustive test of anything that is switched off by
turning off that breaker? There are only two possibilities -- nothing
on the circuit is live or one or more items are. If the former, you
have basically identified the disconnect is before or at the first; if
the latter, then you have at least a candidate for the starting point.


Looking at the location of the feed and the location of the dead
outlets, it should be relatively straightforward to figure out what is
the least linear feet of wire direction in which the run could have been
made. That would be the most probable way it was done (assuming this is
original wiring--if it's an added circuit, it would be more likely to be
the easiest access way, not necessarily the shortest.)


Right, so ... earlier in another post, I mentioned that I traced the
wire from the breaker panel, through its conduit, and as best I can
tell, it's going up, and out to the back, outdoor receptacle. I
checked that outlet with my tester, and the wire is dead. I have
checked all other outlets, and switches, on that side/area of the
house, and have come up with nothing hot, except what's on the other,
good, 1st floor breaker.

Thanks,

Trevor


Gents,

I just discovered, with the help of a guy fixing my fire alarm this
morning, that there was indeed a broken, disconnected wire. After
restoring this wire, everything is working again.

Thanks again for all the input! You guys have been most helpful.

Trevor
  #33   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 663
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On Apr 9, 1:16*pm, wrote:
On Apr 7, 8:49 pm, wrote:





On Apr 7, 7:39 pm, dpb wrote:


wrote:


...


Alright, so I swapped two breaker lines with each other, and the
problem still prevails. I think that it must be a wiring issue
somewhere, but I still can't find the first item in the grouping. I
know that the line going out from the breaker is hot.


That's logical conclusion.


Did you do the exhaustive test of anything that is switched off by
turning off that breaker? *There are only two possibilities -- nothing
on the circuit is live or one or more items are. *If the former, you
have basically identified the disconnect is before or at the first; if
the latter, then you have at least a candidate for the starting point.


Looking at the location of the feed and the location of the dead
outlets, it should be relatively straightforward to figure out what is
the least linear feet of wire direction in which the run could have been
made. *That would be the most probable way it was done (assuming this is
original wiring--if it's an added circuit, it would be more likely to be
the easiest access way, not necessarily the shortest.)


Right, so ... earlier in another post, I mentioned that I traced the
wire from the breaker panel, through its conduit, and as best I can
tell, it's going up, and out to the back, outdoor receptacle. I
checked that outlet with my tester, and the wire is dead. I have
checked all other outlets, and switches, on that side/area of the
house, and have come up with nothing hot, except what's on the other,
good, 1st floor breaker.


Thanks,


Trevor


Gents,

I just discovered, with the help of a guy fixing my fire alarm this
morning, that there was indeed a broken, disconnected wire. After
restoring this wire, everything is working again.

Thanks again for all the input! You guys have been most helpful.

Trevor


Sounds too convient that the fire alarm guy found the "broken" wire.

Was the fire alarm on that breaker?

  #34   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,469
Default Dead Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting

On 4/9/2008 12:14 PM Terry spake thus:

On Apr 9, 1:16 pm, wrote:

I just discovered, with the help of a guy fixing my fire alarm this
morning, that there was indeed a broken, disconnected wire. After
restoring this wire, everything is working again.

Thanks again for all the input! You guys have been most helpful.


Sounds too convient that the fire alarm guy found the "broken" wire.

Was the fire alarm on that breaker?


Sometimes--just sometimes--one can assume good faith. Why not give the
guy the benefit of the doubt here?


--
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute
conversation with the average voter.

- Attributed to Winston Churchill
Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Troubleshooting Electrical Outlet [email protected] Home Repair 23 December 30th 05 05:06 AM
Part of electrical circuit dead [email protected] Home Repair 9 September 16th 05 01:40 AM
troubleshooting --- no electrical current [email protected] Home Repair 9 July 9th 05 02:36 AM
troubleshooting --- no electrical current [email protected] Home Repair 1 July 6th 05 05:41 PM
Troubleshooting a CCFL circuit! (Backlight on Compaq Presario 900) Rob Electronics Repair 3 January 30th 05 03:21 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:26 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2023 DIYbanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about DIY & home improvement"