Bedroom Wiring

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  #1  
Old 10-11-05, 08:47 AM
GRDBUM
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Bedroom Wiring

I have a small (or big) problem in my master bedroom.. A few days ago the wife plugged her hair dryer into an outlet. after a short time the dryer quit and all outlets in the room quit working. Now with a 3 prong tester i get the lights that tell me i have the ground and hot wires reversed. I have not changed anything yet because i do not know to start. this test happens in every receptacled in the room.
Any suggestions???
 
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  #2  
Old 10-11-05, 09:01 AM
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This is an extremely common problem. About two thirds of the time, it's caused by a vacuum cleaner and the other third of the time it's a hair dryer.

The hot/ground reverse indication is a false reading for an open neutral. At one of the receptacles on this circuit, either one of the dead ones or one of the still live ones, a white wire in a backstab connection (wire poked into a hole on the back of the receptacle) has failed. It may still be stuck in the hole, but it's loose.

Shut off the breaker. Open up every box on the circuit (start with the receptacle that was used for the hair dryer, then to other dead receptacles on the circuit, then move on to nearby live receptacles, and examine other boxes last). Remove every white wire from a backstab hole (there is a release slot next to the hole), and reterminate the wire to the silver screw next to the hole (only one wire per screw please). You can turn on the breaker and test after each receptacle and stop when the problem has gone away.

There is a smaller chance that the failure is internal to a GFCI receptacle on the circuit. So if you get done with the above and it still isn't fixed, replace the GFCI receptacle.
 
  #3  
Old 10-11-05, 09:01 AM
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You have an open neutral. The most likely culprit is a failed back stab connection. Your task now id to find and fix the failed connection. With the power off and one receptacle at a time, open the receptacle. Move any back stabbed connections to screw terminals. Make sure that all screw connections are tight. Make sure that all wire nut connections are sound and secure. After each receptacle is checked and if necessary repaired, make your power on tests again.

The problem will be at the last working receptacle or the first non-working one. If there are lights on the circuit the problem could be there as well, although that is less likely. Determining the order in which the circuit runs (the receptacle order) may not be trivial, so you may have to check all the receptacles and/or lights on the circuit.
 
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Old 10-11-05, 09:22 AM
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All Receptacles In The Room Are Wired To The Screws And It Looks Like All Wiring Is In Good Order( Wire Nuts Tight, No Wires Touching).. Still I Get The Same Thing. Should I Replace Receptacles To Be Sure (.46 A Pc)
 
  #5  
Old 10-11-05, 09:25 AM
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All Receptacles In The Room ...
Don't confine yourself to this one room. And after you're done with all the receptacles on the circuit (not just in the room), move on the light switches, fixtures, and finally the panel. Be sure you find everything on the circuit. Some things on the circuit may be on the other side of the house.

Replacing the receptacles is a long shot, with the exception of GFCIs.
 
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Old 10-11-05, 05:46 PM
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I have check every box and switch on the circuit and still have this problem. No GFCI anywhere to replace. All wiring was removed and re-attached. I think i am way in over my head now...... Should i call an electrician yet or am i missing something

Thanks for all the help so far
 
  #7  
Old 10-11-05, 05:55 PM
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Yes, it does sound like time to call in help. But my guess is that you missed a box or the bad connection is in the panel.
 
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Old 10-11-05, 06:21 PM
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so i should maybe replace the breaker in the box??????? i will try that and if it does not work i will call in a electrician to figure this out

Thanks Again
 
  #9  
Old 10-11-05, 06:27 PM
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It is not the breaker, you have power. You lost the neutral somewhere.

1) Don't confine yourself to only bad receptacles. It could be the last working one on the same circuit.
2) I have seen very many neutrals go bad in the panel. If you are comfortable inside the panel open it up and check all the neutral connections to the buss bar.
 
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Old 10-11-05, 07:00 PM
GRDBUM
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All of the receptacles on this circuit have power. But nnone of them have true power (my 3 prong tester says hot& ground reversed on every outlet on the circuit). I have no lights that go out when i flip the breaker...just wall outlets.
So i should check even correctly working outlets everywhere else in the house or in just a general area around the problem?

Sorry about the questions but i am dumb when it comes to electtrical work

Thanks
 
  #11  
Old 10-11-05, 07:14 PM
Pat G
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Keep looking. Don't bother checking outlets that don't lose power when you turn off the one breaker, unless the wire comming off that breaker is part of a 14/3 cable (black, red, white and ground). If it is part of a 14/3 cable---check all the neutral connections in all the devices that are connected to the other hot too. Should usually be no more than about 20 devices you need to look at. Search and DESTROY!
 
  #12  
Old 10-12-05, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by GRDBUM
my 3 prong tester says hot& ground reversed on every outlet on the circuit
Hot/Ground reversed is a common reading for open neutral on the plugin outlet testers. Keep looking for the failed connection; it's there somewhere. The failed connection could be at the last working receptacle on the circuit too not just the ones that don't work. In fact, the failed connection will be at either the last working receptacle or the first non-working one.
 
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Old 10-12-05, 02:38 PM
GRDBUM
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So Now Let Me Get This Straight..... If I Check Only The Outlets And Anything Else That Has No Power On The Circuit When I Turn The Breaker Off I Should Find The Culprit Or In This Case The Wire??
 
  #14  
Old 10-12-05, 02:42 PM
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Check everything on the circuit. Everything. That's everything that goes dead when you shut off the breaker. That includes more than just what is dead on the circuit with the breaker on. It also includes things working perfectly fine. And "everything" includes switches, receptacles, junction boxes, light fixtures, smoke detectors, and the connections in the main panel.

But from your earlier posts, I thought you said that you already did all of the above.
 
  #15  
Old 10-12-05, 02:43 PM
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You must check every location on the circuit where a connection is made. That means the main panel, every receptacle, every switch box, every light, whatever.

Every means all of them. The ones that are working and the ones that aren't working. Right now you know what doesn't work. If you don't know what does work (then shame on you because you should) then turn off the breaker and figure out what doesn't have power and check those locations.

The problem could be at ANY location on the circuit, even one where the light or receptacle works just fine.
 
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