lost power in bedroom

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-05-05, 11:46 PM
Brad-fedway
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
lost power in bedroom

I lost the lights and outlet in a bedroom. I tested the light bulbs, both ok. Tested the switch, ok. I checked the breaker, it was not tripped. I shut it off to see what was on the circuit. its the living room, hall, bathroom, and troublesome bedroom. Inserted a three prong tester into outlet and the left red light and right yellow light lit up(hot and ground is reversed). I tested the outlet with a multimeter and got 153 volts. I tested the light fixture and got 29 volts. I pulled the outlet out of the wall and there are four sets of wires going to it. Three black wires go to the hot side, three white wires go to the other side and four bare wires going to the ground post and the fourth black wire was wire nutted to the fourth white wire. I checked the previous outlet in the circuit and it seems fine, the two yellow lights light up on the tester and the black wires go to the hot side and the white wires go to the other side. If the ground and hot is reversed on the outlet, I am leary about putting the bare wire on the hot side of the outlet and the black wire on the ground post. Any ideas???
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-06-05, 05:10 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Put away your digital multimeter. It is no good for determining the problem here. Those voltage values you read are phantom. They aren't really there.

Shame on you for not knowing what was on the breaker before you had this problem. This information is necessary now, and could save your life some day. After fixing this problem map out your entire electrical system so that you know without testing which breaker controls each and every receptacle, switch, light and appliance in your house.

You have an open neutral. One of your neutral wires has become disconnected. It is at the last working location or at the first non working location on the circuit. You can make educated guesses about where that might be, but guesswork will come into play since you didn't run the wires.

Check each and every location. Look for any loose connections. Specifically look at the neutral connections, but also look at the hot and grounds since you have the box open. Move any back stabbed connections to screw terminals while you are doing this, since back stabbed connections can lead to problem in the future. Check or redo each wire nutted connection. Retest after checking each location. Eventually you will find the problem.
 
  #3  
Old 10-06-05, 11:27 PM
Brad-fedway
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Actually, all the breakers are labelled, I just didn't know which bedroom was #1, #2, and #3, so I shut each one off, one at a time and when I lost power to the problem room, I noticed that the hall, bath and living room (half of it) went off. This is a rental apartment, by the way, not my own home. I was all prepared to take your advice and pull the wires out of the back and screw them to the posts, when I decided to double check the GFCI in the bathroom. I hit the test and reset buttons and the power went back on in the bedroom!! I didn't hit the buttons yesterday when I was there, because I had power (both yellow lights lit up) to that outlet and figured that it did not trip. It had only partially tripped, maybe a faulty GFCI? After reading this site for about four hours last night, I noticed a lot of people had problems solved because of the gfci.
I did replace some outlets and labelled the box a little better, but do you think I should see about putting a larger breaker on that circuit? I don't think the circuit is overloaded. I think the reason that the GFCI was tripped may be because the tenant plugged her radio in the bathroom and possibly bumped the test button on the GFCI.
Another related problem is in the kitchen. They can't use the toaster and the microwave at the same time. Do you think the breaker is worn out? What size of a breaker should be in a kitchen circuit? Thanks for the advice.
 
  #4  
Old 10-07-05, 05:33 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Originally Posted by Brad-fedway
Actually, all the breakers are labelled, I just didn't know which bedroom was #1, #2, and #3
These statements are contradictory. The breakers may be labeled, but not labeled inadequately.



Originally Posted by Brad-fedway
I did replace some outlets and labelled the box a little better, but do you think I should see about putting a larger breaker on that circuit?
Do you want a fire? No, you cannot make the breaker larger. Bad idea.


Originally Posted by Brad-fedway
I hit the test and reset buttons and the power went back on in the bedroom!! I didn't hit the buttons yesterday when I was there, because I had power (both yellow lights lit up) to that outlet and figured that it did not trip. It had only partially tripped, maybe a faulty GFCI?
This statement does not make sense. A GFCI does not partially trip.


Originally Posted by Brad-fedway
Another related problem is in the kitchen. They can't use the toaster and the microwave at the same time. Do you think the breaker is worn out? What size of a breaker should be in a kitchen circuit? Thanks for the advice.
I think that the electrical service to the kitchen is inadequate. I also think that you are in over your head. I think you should hire an electrician to evaluate the electrical service to this dwelling and make recommendations for improvements.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes