one bad breaker?

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  #1  
Old 12-23-04, 06:34 PM
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one bad breaker?

I have circuit breakers and I noticed that a light on one particluar breaker was not working.....when I checked to see what else was on this breaker (2 plugs and another light), none of them were working. The breaker is still in the on position. I switched it to on and off but this does nothing. The only thing I can think of is that the breaker is bad? I have never heard of this before. Every other breaker works....please help.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-23-04, 06:38 PM
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Try turning the breaker completely off and then on. Some breakers need to be completely shut off after they trip before they can be turned on.

Where are these lights and receptacles in your house? It is possible that a GFCI is involved and that you need to reset the GFCI.
 
  #3  
Old 12-23-04, 07:09 PM
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still trying

There are no GFI's anywhere on this circuit. I have 2 GFI's on other breakers (they are working) and I have tried resetting them just to see.... but I still have the same problem. I have tried flipping the breaker to off and then on (several times now) but this does not solve the problem? I have tested the different outlets but I have not power at any of them......
 
  #4  
Old 12-23-04, 07:15 PM
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Breakers do go bad, but fairly rarely. So it pays to check out other things first.

Shut off the breaker. Check around. Are you 100% sure that two lights and two receptacles are the only things now without power?

You didn't answer Bob's only question. I'm interested in that answer too.

I suggest you spend $8 at your home center on an outlet tester, the kind that plugs into a receptacle and has three lights on it.
 
  #5  
Old 12-23-04, 07:31 PM
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answer

The lights are in the front hall entrance and the hallway that goes to our bedrooms. One plug backs onto a livingroom wall and the other is in my daughters bedroom. I will buy the receptacle tester tomorrow but what about the lights? can they be tested using this tool aswell. What should i look for with this tester?
I have no volts in any switch box or receptacle box. Everything on all other breakers are working. I have GFI's that are not on the breaker with this problem (I have reset them) but this will not matter right? Can I test in my panel box? I have not removed the cover because I wanted to wait for daylight so I could shut off the main power
 
  #6  
Old 12-23-04, 07:55 PM
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No, the outlet tester only tests receptacles. But the reason I suggest it is to differentiate between open neutral problems and open hot problems. Figuring out which one you have cuts the possible causes in half. If you have any kind of electrical test equipment, you can conduct the same tests yourself. Have you got anything?

You said that you have no volts in any box, but I'm not sure how you tested that nor what test instrument you used.

Yes, you can test the breaker with a voltmeter. Wait until you have light tomorrow.
 
  #7  
Old 12-23-04, 08:16 PM
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tester

I have a multimeter....with 2 prongs you insert into the receptacle or touch the screws for switches.....there is a needle that gives the reading. I can remove the plugs to look for an open wire. (the same for the switch boxes and check to be sure evreything is in order).....I wish I knew the source from the breaker because I would start there first. The best way to get started is here or at the box? Thanks so much for your help and quick replies.....
 
  #8  
Old 12-23-04, 08:20 PM
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Turn the breaker on. Set your multimeter to AC volts. Insert the probes into the narrow slit on the receptacle and the D-shaped grounding hole. Get any voltage? Then probe the narrow slit to the wide slit? Anything? Finally the wide slit to the D-shaped grounding hole. Anything?
 
  #9  
Old 12-23-04, 08:33 PM
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AC tester

I had the tester set to AC but I tested again and I am not getting any reading
 
  #10  
Old 12-23-04, 09:01 PM
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Okay, that sounds like an open hot. If you want to check the breaker, wait until it gets light tomorrow. Don't follow these instructions unless you feel comfortable doing so. There is significant danger here if you're not really careful. Very, very carefully remove the panel cover. Be careful not to bump a corner of the panel cover on the inside as you remove it. With the breaker on, test for voltage between the breaker screw and the grounding bar. If you don't get anything, then the breaker is probably bad. If you do get voltage, then you'll have to start searching for where the break occurs.

I don't think you ever addressed the question in my first post on this thread. Is there anything other than those two lights and two receptacles that loses power when you turn this breaker off? Or are those two lights and two receptacles the only things on this circuit? Check carefully.
 
  #11  
Old 12-24-04, 07:05 PM
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answer and solution

thanks so much for your tips and suggestions..greatly appreciated! everything is fixed. From your original question other things were losing power and as it turns out, I was wrong and there was more than 2 lights and 2 recepticles on this circuit. There was also an outside plug (this was the problem..it was old and had fried out and was not continuing the power, therefore I found an open hot). After testing the breaker and realizing this worked, I had to force myself to look for the unknown. I discovered this outside plug was part of the circuit and power was not being continued from here to the rest of the circuit. I purchased and intalled an outside GFI plug and this fixed the problem. Thanks again for you help and putting me to the source of the problem.
 
  #12  
Old 12-24-04, 07:33 PM
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Downstream outlets

If you used the load terminals to connect the rest of the circuit you are setting yourself up for later troubles. Let me suggest that an outdoor GFCI should never be used to protect indoor outlets. You see they inevitably open when you flat would not want to go outside to reset it.
--
Tom H
 
  #13  
Old 12-29-04, 09:32 AM
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not GFI

sorry, the plug new is not a GFI (my mistake), so there will not be a down stream problem associated with the GFI. The problem (original plug that) replaced was very old and the was a seperation that allowed moisture in the socket so I sealed it aswell. I would rather have the power end at this outdoor plug so when it gets warmer, I will make that change so that the remaining power inside my house cannot be interrupted by this outdoor plug. I will be renovating so I think it makes sense to make this change. thanks again.
 
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