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# Mysterious Electrical Problem - HELP!

#1
09-11-05, 05:57 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lubbock
Posts: 106
Mysterious Electrical Problem - HELP!

Please help me look smart and competent to my wife! The other day the electricity suddenly went out one about 20% of the outlets in our house. I've never had a problem like this before - sockets in the same room as some of those that went out still work. I checked the circuit breakers and they're all fine. Just to be safe, I reset them all and that still didn't help.

My dad said it might be a fuse but it is my understanding that if you have a circuit breaker, that subsitutes for a fuse box - i.e., I'm assuming I don't have a fuse box.

If it matters, I was running on our treadmill when this all happened.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks.

#2
09-11-05, 06:52 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,219
There are three 'high probability' causes, and lots of other possibilities.

1) You have a tripped circuit breaker. While you have already checked this, some circuit breakers look on when they have tripped. The only way to reset them is to flip them off and then on.

2) You have a tripped GFCI. This is the sort of receptacle that has the test and reset buttons on the front; it can feed other receptacles. You should look for a tripped receptacle somewhere.

3) A splice in this circuit failed. If you are familiar with basic electrical testing, then you can trace the circuit and figure repair this; otherwise you will need to call an electrician.

If possible, you should _map_ out the various circuits in your home. This means drawing a diagram of your home, marking every appliance/receptacle/light/etc. and then figuring out which circuit breaker controls it. If you find that all of a particular circuit it out, then this points to the breaker for that circuit. If you find that _half_ of a circuit is out, then this points to a bad splice.

Circuits do not necessary follow reason in the way they are run through a house; one room can have parts of several difference circuits, and one circuit could extend through the entire house.

-Jon

#3
09-11-05, 08:39 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lubbock
Posts: 106
Thanks so much - I'll check out those things.

#4
09-12-05, 09:16 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,287
Like Winnie said, look for the elusive GFCI. Could be in another room, the basement or garage. When you have some free time, do the map of all outlets, fixtures and appliances, including furnace. It will make your life sooo much easier in the future.

#5
09-12-05, 05:23 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lubbock
Posts: 106
Yeah! It was the GFCI or whatever it's called. Just had to reset it! Thanks again!

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