no power in half of my living room please help

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  #1  
Old 09-08-04, 11:18 PM
the_pepper_man
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no power in half of my living room please help

half of the outlets and the celing fan in the living room do not work any help would be greatly appreciated thanks

nick
 
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  #2  
Old 09-09-04, 04:22 AM
R
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You need to supply more information than that.

Is the breaker tripped? Are ALL the recepticles and other outlets on the circuit noit working, or are there some items on the circuit that do work?

Did this happen all of a sudden, or was it after some event, such as remodeling, or a storm?
 
  #3  
Old 09-09-04, 04:30 AM
the_pepper_man
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more info

there are 6 outlets total 2 work 4 do not and the celing fan does not they all stoped one night not sure if there was a storm it was a while ago no remodling just got up one morning and they did not work. none of the circuts are tripped.

nick
 
  #4  
Old 09-09-04, 06:42 AM
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Although unusual for a living room to be GFCI protected, that's the first thing I'd look for anyway.

I'd also turn off and back on all 15-amp and 20-amp breakers in your panel, even if they don't look tripped to you. Often tripped breakers don't look tripped.

If that still doesn't do it, and if you have grounded outlets, spend $8 on an outlet tester at your home center. Plug it into one of the dead receptacles. You want to know whether you have an open hot or an open neutral (sometimes reported as a hot/ground reverse). The tester will tell you in a flash, and that will reduce the number of faults you'll be looking for.

You say that there are six outlets. I assume you mean six in the room rather than six on the circuit. I also assume that you have no idea if all six of these outlets are on the same circuit or not. Is this true?
 
  #5  
Old 09-09-04, 07:57 AM
the_pepper_man
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i am not sure on the circuts we have tripped all the breakers and nothing i am not sure what any of the circuts are and its hard to tell with some of them bieng out i cant shut of till the other 2 go off because i am not sure where the dead ones go to
 
  #6  
Old 09-09-04, 08:08 AM
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So get the outlet tester. And also make a note to map out what is on what circuit after you solve this problem so you'll be ready for the next problem.
 
  #7  
Old 09-09-04, 07:10 PM
the_pepper_man
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new update

did more digging found out the problem started after there was a new panel put in they. split the wires up from the first panel and added a few more things into the second one. i also found out that the outlets with the problem are there own circut. i did this by checking the first outlet that was deae and there are two wires into the back of it and the last outlet only has one wire. so i am assuming that it is one circut. i also shut all the breakers of and turned them all back on and still nothing. so the problem has to lie between the first outlet and the panel. someone suggested maybe it was overloaded and fried the wire some where in the wall. is the any way to test the wire from the first outlet back to the panel to see if it is still good. and could the problem possibly lie in the first outlet. maybe it fried due to an overload and the others do not work because the dead outlet is leaving the circut open

thanks nick
 
  #8  
Old 09-09-04, 07:25 PM
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Your reasoning for concluding that the outlets with the problem are on their own circuit is flawed. It's still an open question.

The fact that this problem started when a new panel was installed is certainly important information. Since all the earlier comments were made without this fact, you can disregard everything that was said before. This is a whole new ball game.

The problem does not necessarily lie between the panel and the first outlet. In fact, you don't even know which outlet is the first outlet on the circuit.

Buy the outlet tester. It's only $8.
 
  #9  
Old 09-10-04, 12:46 PM
the_pepper_man
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got the tester

the tester says hot and ground reversed any help would be appricieted thanks

nick
 
  #10  
Old 09-10-04, 12:57 PM
R
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I doubt very much that the hot and ground are reversed.

You need to examine each non working outlet. You also need to know what circuit breaker these outlets are on.

If you don't what breaker these are on then your work is harder.

Turn off all the reguklar 15 and 20 amp 110 volt breakers in your panel. Then remove but do not disconnect all the recepticles that don't work. Don;t disconnect them, just pull them gently out from their boxes.

Look for a disconnected wire on them. If you find no diosconnected wire then you will need to reapply power and then determine which recepticle (if any) is getting power into it but not into the recepticle itself. You will need a two wire tester to do this. Be careful, because the wires are live.

Now you know why you should know exactly what outlets are on which breaker. When you are done and your problem is solved, go thoiugh and identify what circuit breaker controls each and every recepticle, light and appliance in your house.
 
  #11  
Old 09-10-04, 01:06 PM
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Hot/ground reverse is a false indication of an open neutral. This is an exceptionally common problem, and we have dealt with it here hundreds of times. The problem is a loose connection of a white wire. Shut off the breaker and open up every box on this circuit (oh, if you only knew for sure which boxes those were). Start with the dead ones. Move any backstabbed wires (poked into little holes) to the adjacent screw. Pay special attention to the white wires, because that is where your problem is. After doing this to all the dead receptacles, then do all the nearby receptacles that are still functioning (but not of course with the breaker off). Don't limit yourself to receptacles in the same room--do nearby rooms too. If you still do not have success, then look in nearby switch boxes and light fixtures, pulling on each wire in a wire nut to make sure it is securely held.

Test every wire before you touch it. Use either a $15 voltage "tick" tester or a $2 neon circuit tester, measuring between each wire and ground and between each pair of wires.

This task is tedious and time consuming, but should not be challenging. Do good work. If you don't accurately put the wires back where they belong, or if you don't make good connections, you can make things worse.

This will work. I promise. Stick with it until the problem is gone. Good luck and be careful.
 
  #12  
Old 09-10-04, 01:15 PM
J
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You should be able to determine which breaker these receptacles are on. When you get the correct one ALL the lights will go out on your tester. Then you can determine which other receptacles are also on the circuit. The problem could be in a light fixture as well if it is on the same circuit.
 
  #13  
Old 09-10-04, 01:25 PM
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Great point, Joe.
 
  #14  
Old 09-11-04, 01:18 PM
the_pepper_man
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more help needed

i went to all outlets and switches with a voltage meter all the outlets have the wire pluged into them so i put the wire from the meter on the ground than touched the black than the white all the outlets except one made the meter move on both wires one outlet did not make the meter move on the white wire am i correct to say this is were the problem is coming from or am i reading the meter wrong

thanks nick
 
  #15  
Old 09-11-04, 03:14 PM
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You have made an inocrrect assumption. You may have found the recepticle with the problem, or you may not have.

One question first. Did you do this test with anything plugged into any of the recepticles?

You should have read no power on the white wires at all. However, if you had something plugged into one of the recepticles then you have false readings.

What you must do is to find where the ddisconnect has occured. Unplug everything from this circuit and then redo your testing.
 
  #16  
Old 09-11-04, 06:05 PM
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Sounds like you're trying to avoid the inevitable. The sooner you get started, the sooner you'll get this fixed.
 
  #17  
Old 09-13-04, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by the_pepper_man
i went to all outlets and switches with a voltage meter all the outlets have the wire pluged into them so i put the wire from the meter on the ground than touched the black than the white all the outlets except one made the meter move on both wires one outlet did not make the meter move on the white wire am i correct to say this is were the problem is coming from or am i reading the meter wrong

thanks nick
You are wrong. The one with no voltage onthe white is probably connected properly. The neutral and ground are at the same potential as they should be.
 
  #18  
Old 09-14-04, 06:15 PM
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I suspect "back-wired" receptacles.

What do you guys think?
 
  #19  
Old 09-16-04, 07:13 AM
the_pepper_man
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Thumbs down did not work

i went throught and moved every backstabed wire in every outlet in the living room and surrounding outlets outside of the living room and still no power in the living room so any new ideas i even did all switches and checked the light in the living room and all were fine so i guess it is back to square one any help would be nice

thanks nick
 
  #20  
Old 09-16-04, 07:47 AM
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Sorry about that. However, I still think our analysis was correct. The problem is likely that you haven't done enough yet (I know you hate to hear that). There may still be an outlet farther away that you overlooked, or perhaps an outlet behind some piece of heavy furniture. Check wire nuts in switch boxes too. Also, the one big box you haven't done yet is the electrical panel itself. If you don't feel comfortable working in there (since it's not possible for you to kill power to everything in the box, even with the main breaker off), get experienced help.

Another thing to think about is whether you might have driven a nail or screw into the wall somewhere that hit the cable.
 
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