outlets not working, no breaker thrown

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Old 05-26-05, 01:34 PM
lease15
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outlets not working, no breaker thrown

Bedroom has three outlets not working, no breaker thrown, no GFIs installed in house. Any ideas?
 
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Old 05-26-05, 01:52 PM
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First, I state that, despite your assertion, you may still have one or more GFCIs in the house. It's amazing how many people really have one, but don't think they do because the've never seen it. Sometimes they get lost behind the canoe in the garage. In what year was the house built?

Second, I must also state that, again despite your assertion, that you may still have a tripped breaker. A visual inspection does not always reveal a tripped breaker. Sometimes you have to turn them all off and back on again to be sure.

Third, sometimes there is a wall switch nearby that controls the receptacles, and it's simply turned off.

Nevertheless, now that we've done the disclaimers, I don't really think that your problem is any of the above.

If the failure was coincident with the running of something like a vacuum cleaner (or even if it wasn't), then the failure is almost always the failure of a backstab connection (wire poked into a hole) of a neutral wire on a receptacle. The failed backstab could be in one of the three non-working receptacles, or in one of the nearby working receptacles on the same circuit. There's no magic way of finding the failure other than to remake all the wirenut and backstab connections on the circuit (using the screws instead). A bit time-consuming, but easy.

I suggest you spend $8 on an outlet tester (plugs in and has three lights), as this will help narrow down the possibiliites.
 
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Old 05-26-05, 02:24 PM
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I agree with John Nelson that this sounds like a back stab problem. Visit the post http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=215223, where I describe a method of finding the offending receptacle and I have found to be relatively easy and often effective.

Juice
 
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Old 05-27-05, 01:25 PM
lease15
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Thank you for your response. A cleaning crew was at the house, and yes, they did run a vacuum cleaner in that room. I will try your recommendation. By the way, the house was built in 1977, and I have lived there the entire time and have never found a gfi. I should have them put in.
 
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Old 05-27-05, 07:09 PM
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If your house was built in 1977, and you live in the United States, then you do have at least one GFCI somewhere. I guarantee it. Back then, a single GFCI circuit breaker in the panel was pretty common. But it would not have protected any bedroom receptacles, so it's not really pertinent to this issue.
 
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