electrical problem

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  #1  
Old 05-12-04, 09:23 PM
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Unhappy electrical problem

went to turn on microwave and it shut down. no power in 4 other wall outlets. checked the breaker switches and none were tripped. reset them anyway , and still no power. old house was probably built in 40's or 50's. what should i do?
 
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Old 05-12-04, 09:49 PM
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Start by looking for a GFCI receptacle. This is a shock protection receptacle with the 'test' and 'reset' buttons on the front. These are often retrofit into houses. They used to be quite expensive, so one GFCI receptacle would be used to feed several ordinary receptacles, sometimes in different rooms or even outside. So you may need to check your basement or garage or even outside. If you find a tripped GFCI receptacle, then reset it and see if that fixes the problem.

-Jon
 
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Old 05-12-04, 11:39 PM
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GFCI receptacle

looked high and low and cannot find a GFCI receptacle.
 
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Old 05-13-04, 05:31 AM
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Are there any outlets on this circuit that still function?

A connection has probably failed. What you need to do is to trace the circuit, find the bad connection, and fix it.

For the specific details of _how_ to do this, I recommend the book "Your Old Wiring" by Harold Shapiro. It is not that difficult to do, but there are lots of small thing to check for; more detail than can go into a single internet post.

What is your background and level of experience doing your own electrical work? If you have none, then I recommend calling a professional electrician, and then getting the book so that you can start learning what to do for the next problem.

-Jon
 
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Old 05-13-04, 07:37 AM
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drigger, exactly where are these dead receptacles? Your mention of the microwave suggests a kitchen, but I'd like to know.

BTW, I can't tell you how many times a poster here hasn't found their GFCI in the first three times they look, and only find it when we prompt them to look yet again.

I would recommend that you spend $8 at your home center on an outlet tester, one of those red or yellow things that have three lights and plug into the receptacle. It will help narrow down the possibilities.
 
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Old 05-13-04, 07:54 AM
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dead receptacles

dead receptacles are in the kitchen. i plugged a small clock in to test them.
 
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Old 05-13-04, 08:22 AM
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You'll need to invest in a voltage meter, and check whether the hot or the neutral wire is "missing". I would first check to see if the breaker is ok. Then you'll have to open all affected outlets and look for loose or disconnected wires. Backstabbed connections are the worse, and I would fix those. Start with the outlet that the microwave plugs into.
 
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