wiring in 2 rooms doesn't work but circuit didn't pop

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Old 03-07-04, 06:13 AM
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wiring in 2 rooms doesn't work but circuit didn't pop

I recently bought an older home. I plugged my vacum into my bedroom outlet and then turned it on, after a few minutes I turned it off then back on... but it never came on again. I noticed that my alarm clock was out and also the bathroom light, which is right next to my bedroom. I checked the circuit breaker but none of them were tripped. How do I go about finding where my problem is? Could the out let itself gone bad and broke the connection? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Michael
 
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Old 03-07-04, 06:20 AM
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If a wire comes loose and doesn't touch anything to cause a short circuit, you have an "open" circuit. The breaker won't trip because you don't have an overcurrent situation.

I would bet that something came loose at that receptacle. If you're comfortable with it, open the breaker and remove the receptacle to look for a loose wire. If you aren't sure of what you're doing, call an electrician.
 
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Old 03-07-04, 06:22 AM
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The task may be quite easy or may be more difficult. The most likely cause is a failed receptacle outlet. First you need to answer some questions.

Are there other outlets on this same circuit and do they work?

If nothing on this circuit works then the problem could be the breaker, or anywhere up to and including the first outlet.

If part of the circuit has power then the problem is somewhere between the last working outlet and the first non-working outlet, including both outlets.

Note that the term outlet includes light fixtures, receptacles, and junction boxes.

I would start with a simple tester. If your receptacles are three wire then you can use a plug in type tester. If your outlets are two wire then you will need to use a two wire tester.

The problem at the bad receptacles may be an open neutral, or an open hot. You will have to find it by removing and insopecting all the receptacles, one at a time. Look for a loose wire. Be especially wary of backstab connections. While you have the receptacles out, change any backstab connections over so that the screw terminal connections are used instead.

Good luck.
 
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Old 03-07-04, 08:39 AM
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This is a very common problem. You most likely have a failed backstab connection. Search this forum for the word "backstab" and you'll find a lot of interesting reading. Here's a good place to start.
 
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Old 03-07-04, 09:32 AM
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have you checked for a tripped GFCI receptacle in the bathroom, kitchen, garage, basement, etc. Since this is an older home, the a receptacle could have been replaced with a GFCI for protection and inadvertantly protecting every outlet downstream. It is worth a quick check.


Scott E.
 
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Old 03-07-04, 12:39 PM
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mdutzer
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Thanks

Thanks for all your help guys. I checked everything. I check all of the GFI outlets, the circuits, and I took every outlet, switch and fixture apart and checked all the wires. I got a meter and checked all the outlets, I did find some outlets that have the hot and neutral reversed. I also checked for hidden fuse boxes that may be lying around, but still no luck.
 
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Old 03-07-04, 04:16 PM
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Hot and neutral reversed????????
 
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Old 03-07-04, 06:14 PM
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I am concerned about what you have stated.

Why did you need a meter to determine that the hot and neutral were reversed. Didn't the wire colors give this away?

If you looked at every outlet then you should have a good idea how the wires are run. You should be able to determine where the problem lies. You should know which is the last outlet with power and which is the first that does not have power.
 
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Old 03-07-04, 07:21 PM
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I checked the outlets in the kitchen where the gfci outlets are and that's where I found the reversed wires. The wires on the floor where the power outage is were all ok. I think I found the source of the problem. The house at one point was broken up into apts and there was another breaker box in the basement I was able to locate it by following the wires from the meter coming into the house. There is one breaker in the panel that didn't do anything and another that shut down 2 other rooms on that floor. I'm going to replace that breaker tomorrow and see what happens.
 
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