no power on wall

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  #1  
Old 10-28-02, 10:29 AM
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Question no power on wall

I can't figure out why one wall lost all power. I checked the breaker box and nothing was tripped. I tried to isolate the circuit but couldn't find the one that goes to it. I have three outlets on that wall that all went dead at the same time. Please HELP!!!
 
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  #2  
Old 10-28-02, 10:36 AM
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Double check the breakers.... sometimes it's hard to visually notice if the breaker switch has moved. Try turning the breaker all the way to the off position, then to the reset/on position.

Have any other outlets been affected... in other rooms? Often a single circuit covers multiple rooms. Probably an adjacent wall or ceiling.

Keep us posted!
 
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Old 10-28-02, 10:50 AM
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I've checked all breakers with no luck. There are no other problems that I have found with any other areas.
 
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Old 10-28-02, 11:11 AM
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What room are we in?

Depending on what room we are in, this is likely either a GFCI trip or a open neutral.

I suggest you spend $8 on a receptacle tester -- the kind with two amber lights and one red one -- at your local home improvement center.
 
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Old 10-28-02, 11:13 AM
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One more stupid question.... is there a GFI outlet nearby? If the GFI tripped, that will cause the other outlets in that circuit to go dead.

If the GFI is not an issue, then it's likely a problem with the wiring at one particular outlet. It is probably hard to determine where the circuit starts. You'll need to remove the wall plate covers and take a good look at the wires in each box. Do you have a bulb tester or a volt meter to help troubleshoot?
 
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Old 10-28-02, 11:44 AM
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The GFI outlet doen't even have to be nearby - look everywhere inside (and outside) the house.

A favorite location for these things to hide is behind stuff in the garage...
 
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Old 10-29-02, 09:03 AM
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I bought a receptacle tester and it is telling me the neutral is not connected. I followed it to the first outlet that is closest to the circuit breaker and checked it. The line is fine until the last two outlets. Both are giving me the same message. I replaced the first one in the line with a new outlet with no success. There are no GFI receptacles anywhere in my house that I know about. I looked outside and didn't see a thing. I have no garage, so that didn't work either.
 
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Old 10-29-02, 09:46 AM
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Soooo.... you have power at the input and output side of the first outlet. Are you measuring AC voltage on the terminal screws on the side of the outlet? If that checks ok, then see if you have voltage at the input of the next nearest outlet.

It's sometimes hard to find the first outlet in a circuit. You may assume it's the one closest to the breaker box, but during new construction, there's no logic to wire routing.

Here's what I would do (I am NOT an electrician, just a weekend hacker!) It sounds like you simply have a loose wire at an outlet or switch. Shut the breaker off. Remove all the wall outlet plates and switchplates in the room. Carefully remove the outlets from each box. Theres a screw top and bottom holding it in the box. As you pull it from the box, make sure that the wires are firmly attached to the terminal screws. Some outlets use a self-connecting slot for the wires on the back side of the outlet. Give each wire a little tug to make sure it's firmly attached.

Do the same for any wall switches in the room. I bet you'll find a loose white wire (neutral) somewhere in the room !
 
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Old 10-29-02, 09:52 AM
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If the problem is not at the first outlet that does not work, it's probably at the last outlet that does work.
 
  #10  
Old 10-29-02, 03:47 PM
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Smile

Brain Fart alert! I forgot that we had put in a new outside light over the summer that had broken the sequence of the outlets. The loose wire was in the outside light.

Thanks to everyone for all your help and advice. As you can tell I'm no electrician and you all made the job a ton easier and less frustrating.

Thanks again.
 
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