Lost power in 3 outlets


  #1  
Old 11-24-03, 12:50 PM
HumboldtBrian
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Question Lost power in 3 outlets

First, let me say that I am very much a novice with all things electrical. I just bought my first house and have been trying to upgrade some things. I have successfully installed 4 new GFCI plugs (in 3 different rooms) and have installed a dimmer switch on one set of recessed lighting in my kitchen.

My problem is, I did some work in my office yesterday and noticed that 2 receptacles had lost power sometime during the day. Also, one receptacle in the LR, on the opposite side of the wall that one of the office receptacles is has lost power.

I did no changing of receptacles in the office; I only changed the face plates.
What I DID do yesterday, was drill a hole in the wall between the office and the spare bedroom to run a phone line through the wall.
At first I thought that maybe I drilled through some wiring. However, the receptacles in the spare bedroom all still work as does the receptacle closet to where I drilled the hole.
The receptacles that lost power are on the OPPOSITE side of the room. Also, wouldn't I have shocked my self had I drilled through a wire (stupid, yes...but I drilled without turning the circuits off).

Now, I've always had fuses in my rentals, so the circuit breaker in my new home confuses me. When I shut off the circuit for the office, I lose all lights and all plugs in both the office and spare bedroom. I still have all lighting and all receptacles except for the 2 in the office and the one in the LR.
I KNOW that these WERE working as I tested all receptacles in the house with a night light before doing any work.

If this makes sense to anyone here, could you offer me any suggestions of what I should be looking into to fix this without calling an electrician?
I'm stumped. I've turned the breaker on and off a few times and nothing is helping. My second thought after thinking that I'd drilled through something was to change a fuse...BUT THERE ARE NONE!

I've attached a picture of the layout below. The yellow rectangle represents where I drilled. The green boxes are working receptacles, the red are not working.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!
 
  #2  
Old 11-24-03, 12:55 PM
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Look for any GFCI outlets. Sounds like one has tripped.
 
  #3  
Old 11-24-03, 12:56 PM
HumboldtBrian
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The GFCIs that I installed are in the bathroom across the hall and on the other side of the house, in the kitchen and in the wash room....could this still cause it?
 
  #4  
Old 11-24-03, 01:00 PM
HumboldtBrian
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Exclamation Picture?!?!

Sorry, I can't seem to get my picture to post!!
 
  #5  
Old 11-25-03, 07:45 AM
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Yes, the GFCI can be anywhere. Don't just look in the immediate vicinity ( although that's where to start), look all over until you find one that's tripped.
 
  #6  
Old 11-25-03, 08:46 AM
HumboldtBrian
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I reset every GFCI in the house....no luck. The outlets still have no power.
 
  #7  
Old 11-25-03, 09:25 AM
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Did you test the recepts with an electrical tester or did you just plug in a radio and it did not work? Some times we can see a bigger picture if you are able to use a plug-in recept tester or voltage tester to check the affected outlets. If you have access to either test the outlets and post the results if you use a voltage tester check the recept Hot to neutral hot to ground and neutral to ground and post the readings.
 
  #8  
Old 11-25-03, 11:10 AM
HumboldtBrian
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I'll have to pick up a tester. I've been considering getting one.
 
  #9  
Old 11-25-03, 12:58 PM
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they have a tester that plugs into the outlet and it has 3 lights that help to diagnose the problems (around $5)
 
  #10  
Old 11-25-03, 02:53 PM
HumboldtBrian
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I'm gonna grab one at my local Ace after work. I'll post when I know the results. Thanks to you both for the help already offered.
 
  #11  
Old 11-26-03, 08:31 AM
HumboldtBrian
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I got the tester last night:
All 3 plugs are completelydead. no lights at all.
In what probably isn't connected, but maybe it is, so....
I tested a bunch of the plugs around the house and most of them say "open ground". The oddestpart of this is the 3 GFCI plugs in the bathroom. I personally installed all 3 and connected the ground wire, but they still come up as "open ground". It makes me queston the tester I just bought.
Anyone have any comments/ideas about either issue?
THANKS!
 
  #12  
Old 11-26-03, 08:50 AM
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In order for a tester to show that a ground is not open, the ground wire must be connected to ground. Just because you connected a ground wire to the GFCI does not mean that the other end of the ground wire is properly connected to ground.
 
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Old 11-26-03, 09:48 AM
HumboldtBrian
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Ahhh..okay. Well, then.......where would the other end of the ground be? Is that something I can easily check? Could it have anything to do with the non-functioning outlets?
 
  #14  
Old 11-26-03, 10:17 AM
J
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The other end of the grounding wire is just hanging loose in the box the circuit was extended from. There isn't much you can do about it. Code technically requires you to leave the bare wire unconnected at your GFCI too (since it isn't really a grounding wire). All this is unrelated to your problems.

The results of the test are useful (the tester was worth the money). There are now four main possibilties: (1) you have another tripped GFCI that you are unaware even exists (look harder in strange places, particularly in unfinished and outdoor areas), (2) a hot wire has become disconnected, either at a non-working outlet or at a working outlet nearby (a tedious search is necessary), (3) the receptacles are controlled by a wall switch which is off, (4) You did damage a cable when drilling (you'll have to open up the wall to see).

A (very) long shot is a failed breaker. When the outlet is not working, it's impossible to be sure what breaker it is on (it may not be the one you think it is). Test all breakers with a voltmeter to be sure before replacing any.
 
  #15  
Old 11-26-03, 10:08 PM
dad2three2001
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more than likely # 2 also check all circuit breakers, turn them completly off then on. sometimes a breaker looks like it's on and it's tripped good luck
 
 

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