no electricity upstairs....need help fast


  #1  
Old 12-05-03, 07:21 PM
chadwick197825
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no electricity upstairs....need help fast

i recently bought a older house (built in 1934). So after moving in I decided to replace all the outlets and change the light switches to quiter ones. Well, the light switch that leads to the upstairs is a 3-way and i conected the wires in the correct places on the switch. So, befor i attached it to the wall i turned the power back on to see if it worked...which it did. So i decided to attach the switch to the wall...in the process....touched the box in the wall and now no longer have electricity upstairs. On my circut breaker in the basement....there is nothing tripped....and the circut that i shut off when connecting the switch seemed to run all the outlets and light switches in the house...so now when the breaker is turned on--the only power that i have is in the basement and main floor. I need to find the feed that is feeding the upstairs and try to go from there....does anyone have any ideas on how i go about finding out where my fault is or how i might locate the wire that may have been shorted or broken when i shorted the switch??? I need a lot of help on this because i don't know much about electricity...


Thanks,
Chad
 
  #2  
Old 12-05-03, 09:01 PM
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O.K. first try to reset the breaker again(I know you already did it but humor me).Next we need more info how were the old devices wired. Were the wires terminated on screws or were they pushed into the back of the devices? Do you have any electrical test equipment i.e. (voltmeter, receptacle tester) if not how have you determined there is no power at each device? Answer these questions and post back. You will need at least a receptacle tester to make this more than just a guessing game.
 
  #3  
Old 12-05-03, 09:35 PM
hotarc
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^^When you reset it, flip it all the way to "OFF" then back to "ON". Some breakers have a "tripped" position that is not quite off and they need to be fully switched off and then on before they will work again.
 
  #4  
Old 12-05-03, 09:53 PM
chadwick197825
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i have push o matics

i have push o matics on my breakers....the breaker it is on is a 30 amp and the wires were screwed on....the screw is what touched the box and shorted it out....the testers that i have are....a basci ac dc volt tester ( on that plugs into outlets and a light shows on the amount of volts in that outlet), a voltage detector, and also a fluke T2 continuity tester (which is my buddies that i don't know how to use)
 
  #5  
Old 12-05-03, 10:08 PM
hotarc
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You've got a 30 amp breaker feeding switches and lights? That is not good. What size are the wires feeding these switches and lights. 20 amps is the maximum breaker size for lights and outlets. 30 amp is normally used for clothes dryers. Are you sure the 30 amp breaker is controlling these lights upstairs?
 
  #6  
Old 12-05-03, 10:28 PM
chadwick197825
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positive on the 30 amp

no question on the 30 amp....that breaker runs all my outlets and lights in the house...so that is why it makes it tough to determine where the problem is....
 
  #7  
Old 12-05-03, 11:10 PM
J
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That 30-amp breaker is an omen. It's a sign that you have an electrical system that is insane. I suggest you have a professional evaluation. You obviously have at least one very unsafe condition, and you may have others.
 
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Old 12-06-03, 07:15 AM
R
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Well you learned 2 things here.

Never work with the power on. You could have killed yourself doing what you did.

And you learned that your house electrical system needs to be reworked. I am guessing nthat instead of wiring the house properly, someone simply installed a 30 amp breaker replacing the previous 15 amp breaker.

From the sounds of your post, you need an electrician to at least evaluate your situation and make recommendations. This not something you want to wait on or not do. This is dangerous, and you need to correct the situation ASAP. It is a fire waiting to happen.
 
  #9  
Old 12-06-03, 10:29 AM
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A thought. If a 30 amp breaker is feeding most of the lights and receptalces in the house maybe you have a small sub-panel somewhere you don't know about. If there is and it's original it's probably fuses.

Then again we're talking 1934. They did wire most of the houses on one circuit!
 
  #10  
Old 12-06-03, 04:52 PM
chadwick197825
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Fixed the Problem

Well everyone....i feeli like an idiot!!! I was freaking out about this last night....thinking that it is going to cost me thousands to fix my problem....

Well here it is.....I do have a sub panel on the way down to the basement that i knew about. Well after i shorted the switch on the box....i checked all the fuses...none were blown....So a friend of mine came last night and let me borrow some of his tools that i had mentioned earlier. So this morning....another friend came over to help me. We spent about 5 hours hashing out different possibilities that might have caused my problem.... so we finally decided to go in to the attic to the light fixture and see what it looked like up there....sure enough...that is where it was feed from the basement.....we checked every wire that was leading out from the socket to see if it had continuity...which they all did. Now we were really stumped...so we looked at the sub panel once more...we took each out and checked to see if each socket was getting a current from my main electircal panel...all were....so stumped again.... so then we decided to examine each fuse for the sub panel...all looked physically fine so we decided to test the continunity on each fuse....sure enough....one was not passing the test...so we replaced the fuse...and wa la.......the upstairs was fixed.....we had a really big laugh about this one....thank goodness i didn;t call an electrician to come and change my fuse...it would have cost me a mint!!!!

Thanks for all your help...
Chad
 
  #11  
Old 12-06-03, 05:08 PM
J
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Speedy, you nailed it. You're a genius!
 
  #12  
Old 12-06-03, 05:17 PM
texsparky
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Thumbs up

John,
I was thinking the same thing about Speedy, but you type faster.
Great thinking Speedy!! :
 
  #13  
Old 12-06-03, 05:31 PM
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Whoa.....easy guys!
 
 

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