Any Idea? Help me out!


  #1  
Old 07-14-04, 07:16 PM
MillerUnlimited
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Unhappy Any Idea? Help me out!

Hi, I was wondering if anyone could help me with a problem concerning my electrical outlets. About a month ago, I flipped the light switch and the whole room's circuit went out! So I figure I should just go to the receptacle and flip it back and forth. No Luck! I don't know what to do, any ideas?
 
  #2  
Old 07-14-04, 07:38 PM
J
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First go to the circuit breaker panel and flip every 15-amp and 20-amp breaker off and back on again.

Also, please tell us which room of your house this is. It would also be useful to know the city in which you live and the year in which the house was built.

Exactly how do you flip a receptacle back and forth? Perhaps we mean different things by that word. A receptacle is that thing on the wall you plug your lamp into.
 
  #3  
Old 07-14-04, 07:58 PM
MillerUnlimited
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Sorry about the mixup

I was trying to say that i flipped the circuit breaker panel to see if that would do anything, but no luck. The outlets and light fixtures will not work. This is a room in my basement and also has a storage room. here ill try to draw something for ya...

o= light fixture
x= outlets
s= switch
________________________
I I
I Storage Room I
I I
---o-------------- -----
I x I
I o xI
Ix o I
I I
I______________ss_ ___I

Okay hopefully this looks more like a map than a football play, but heres how it goes. this circuit controls all of these spots. One light works, which is in the middle of the room, but it is controlled by a switch from the top of the stairs. House was built in St. Louis in 1958. Recently we got the circuit breaker panel replaced. Hope this helps?
 
  #4  
Old 07-14-04, 08:06 PM
MillerUnlimited
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ok the picture didnt work

basically nothing works and its frustrating
 
  #5  
Old 07-14-04, 08:12 PM
MillerUnlimited
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hope this works

[][][][][][][][][][][][][]
[][][][][][][][][][][][][]
[]o.[][][][][][][][][][][]
[][][]x.[][][][]===[][][]
[][][][][][][[][][[][][][]
[][][][][][][][][][][][][]
x.[][][][][][][][][][][]x.
[][][][][][][][][][][][][]
[][][][][][][][][][][][][]
[][][][][][]ss[][][][][][]

ok hope this one works!
the [] is just open space
the o. is a light
the x. is an outlet
the s is a switch
 
  #6  
Old 07-14-04, 09:07 PM
J
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Receptacles in unfinished areas of a basement are required by code to be GFCI protected. Do you know what a GFCI is and how to reset one?
 
  #7  
Old 07-14-04, 09:22 PM
MillerUnlimited
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yes im familiar

I have GFCI receptacles in my kitchen, but not in the basement. The room is a finished room, although not so nice looking. The only thing i know is that the receptacles are grounded and do not work. Would changing them all to GFCI help?
 
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Old 07-14-04, 09:58 PM
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Let's not even consider making any unrelated changes until we solve this problem. My guess is that you have more GFCIs than you know of. So I would encourage you to look harder, especially in hidden places behind storage that may not have moved in years. Also check distant places in your house, especially receptacles in the garage, and on the front and back porches.

The average number of times we tell people to look for a GFCI before they finally find it is four.
 
  #9  
Old 07-14-04, 10:24 PM
MillerUnlimited
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Question

alright maybe im looking for the wrong thing? it's the receptacle with the reset and test button right? with the red and black buttons? If so, I havent found any receptacles that have those. Maybe post a link to a photo of what I should be looking for. That would be really helpful. Thanks for the patience so far!
 
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Old 07-14-04, 10:40 PM
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Yep, that's what you're looking for. The buttons aren't always red and black--sometimes they're just white. And they don't always say TEST and RESET--sometimes they just say T and R.

I'm not promising that this is the problem (especially since your house was built in 1958). It's just the next logical thing to check. I also suggest you visit your local home center and spend $8 on an outlet tester, the kind that plugs in and has three lights on it. Do your receptacles have a grounding hole or not?
 
  #11  
Old 07-14-04, 10:43 PM
MillerUnlimited
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yea the outlets are grounded I went down and checked. The receptacles are grounded but not GFCI. Alright so I'll buy the tester which will tell me if there is any electricity flowing to it correct? Tell me what I should do if there is electricity and isn't. That would be great!
 
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Old 07-14-04, 11:04 PM
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It'll tell you more than that. Let us know what it reads when you plug it in.
 
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Old 07-14-04, 11:34 PM
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When reading off the 3 lights from your circuit tester to us, unless they are all off, be sure to also tell us whether the ground pin is up or down on that receptacle. Be sure to get a tester that has the lights on the edge. One of my testers has the lights only on one side and it's a pain to use it in my brother's house (and will also be on most receptacles of my future house).
 
  #14  
Old 07-19-04, 04:04 PM
MillerUnlimited
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ok i bought one tester at home depot and nothing lit up for me.
 
  #15  
Old 07-19-04, 05:24 PM
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Okay, good. So now you know that you should be looking hard for tripped GFCIs as I described before. You could have several, and they could be anywhere inside or outside your house, perhaps even all the way on the other side of the house from where you are having problems. Sometimes they are receptacles you didn't even know you had because you've had stuff stored in front of them for the last ten years.
 
  #16  
Old 07-19-04, 08:18 PM
MillerUnlimited
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Alright, i moved all the junk and found where all the receptacles, places for light bulbs, and switches are. Now what's next?
 
  #17  
Old 07-19-04, 08:26 PM
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You moved all the junk around in your entire house and garage and yard?? Did you find any GFCI receptacles?
 
 

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