please help no power in outlets

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  #1  
Old 11-26-05, 12:11 PM
ultramens
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please help no power in outlets

Hello, please help. I have not power in a couple outlets. I have located two GFIs in the house and they are both reset, also i have played with the curcuit breaker. can any one tell me what is wrong??? Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 11-26-05, 12:15 PM
nfarmer
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I have the same problem, Ultra. See my post, Branches off GFCI. I'm not sure where to go from here either.
 
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Old 11-26-05, 05:01 PM
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Where are these outlets in the house?

Where are they in relation to each other, also?

The best bet is to check either the first outlet of these two, closest to the panel box, to see if any of the wires are loose to the outlet. I'd actually check both as you maybe aren't sure which direction they went with the wiring. Then if you find no lose terminal screw on either of these outlets, I would go to the nearest outlet up stream that IS working and see if it has wires on all 4 terminal screws. If so, you know that this outlet feeds more outlets or possibly a light switch. Then, make sure all terminal screws are tight on the wires.

Just because the two duplex recepticles in the good outlet work doesn't mean that a load side wire is not loose. Because on duplex recepticles you have brass jumpers between the terminals can allow current to both recepticles, even though one or two of the wires is loose or even totally disconnected.

If the outlets are in living room with no ceiling light, you want to test BOTH duplex recepticles per outlet to rule out that these outlets operate one half of the duplex recepticle on a wall switch.

.................................

This is an edit. I hate to pile on, but..................

If you had one of those niffty electrical wire testers (one is caled "Live Wire" and don't cost hardly $20 or less?) in your possession that light up and beep to trace hidden live wires in walls, and you knew that in each of the 2 non-working outlets had 4 wires per outlet, you could do a wall scan about 1 foot up off the floor to see which direction the outlet wires in the wall no longer sense a wire being in the wall. That would expedite things, some. If one of the two non-working outlets were the end of the circuit, dictated by only 2 wires hooked up to the outlet terminal screws (rather than 4 wires), then obviously your problem lies in the other direction.
 
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Old 11-26-05, 08:09 PM
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It's the G.F.C.I. you haven't found yet. Look in the basement, garage, etc.
Then make an electrical map of your house. Show every outlet, hard wired appliance, and switch controlled light. Then go thru the breaker box by turning off one breaker at a time and find out what all it protects. Don't believe the writing in the box. This takes some time, but in the future it will save hours of trouble shooting.
 
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Old 11-26-05, 11:41 PM
ultramens
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Thanks for the replies, i am really new to this wiring stuff, i just brought my house last year and it was built in 1990. I dont know what to do now, i have checked everywhere around the house and even outside the house and there is only 2 GFI. I thought that it would be the GFIs that was tripped, but my friend told me that the outlets that i am having trouble with should not be connected to any GFI (cause they are not near water). what else could have gone wrong? All these outlets worked and it suddenly stopped. Thanks
 
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Old 11-27-05, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ultramens
I thought that it would be the GFIs that was tripped, but my friend told me that the outlets that i am having trouble with should not be connected to any GFI (cause they are not near water).
Your friend does not know what he or she is talking about. Being near water has little to do with GFCI requirements. Kitchen counter top, bathroom, unfinished basement, garage and outdoor receptacles require GFCI protection in the US.

A common problem for no power is an open neutral or open hot wire. Often a connection will fail at a receptacle or switch. A wire nutted connection can also fail.

What you need to determine is if there is any power going to these receptacles at all. Use a two wire tester and check for power between the hot (the smaller of the two vertical openings) and the neutral (the larger of the two vertical openings); between the hot and the ground, and just for completeness, between the neutral and ground. Better yet, use a plug in type tester and examine the LEDS to see if problems exist.

The most common reason for a failed connection is a failed back stab connection. If you have a failed connection, you will need to find and correct it.

Where in your house are these receptacles located, and what else on the circuit is not working. Please don;t tell me you don;t know what's on this circuit, as you should have determined this long ago. if you don't know this then the job of finding a failed connection will be MUCH harder.
 
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Old 11-27-05, 09:12 AM
ultramens
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thanks for the reply, the outlet are located on the wall between the two bedrooms. The entire wall (both sides) the outlets do not work. Also, the light/fan switch in both bedrooms also do not work. Do you think i have something wrong with my breaker? Am i going to have to calll an electrian cause i don't really want to touch the panel unless i know that it wont kill me!!! HAHAHA, Anyways, thanks for the help.
 
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Old 11-27-05, 10:09 AM
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What you need to determine is if there is any power going to these receptacles at all. Use a two wire tester and check for power between the hot (the smaller of the two vertical openings) and the neutral (the larger of the two vertical openings); between the hot and the ground, and just for completeness, between the neutral and ground. Better yet, use a plug in type tester and examine the LEDS to see if problems exist.
 
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Old 11-27-05, 10:23 AM
ultramens
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where do i get this two wire tester? Home depot???,
 
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Old 11-27-05, 10:43 AM
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Yes, you can get the low cost (2) wire testers often refered to as Neon Testers at any large BOX hardware store most likely in the isle they sell the meters and wirenuts and so on.

As RAC has explained...you need to first determine that you have power at the first recept. in the layout and go from their...usually ( but not always ) they will feed the closest recept to the panel...so check this out first.

Also as RAC stated...your friend is wrong in regards to the GFCI......and chances of your bedroomes being on GFCI are slim and none.....

You also can get a Non-Contact tester which you can use to make sure the current is going out on the wire from the breaker in the panel and can as someone else stated use it to test each recept in the room to possibly find the START of the circuit provided their is simply a loose connection as RAC has stated but is your easiest method to troubleshoot.
 
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Old 11-27-05, 11:27 AM
ultramens
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hello, it seems to me that the problem is from the breaker. All the outlets from that one breaker has no power. what should i do now? is there a way to just get a new breaker with out replacing the entire box? How much should this cost me if i hire an electrian to come out(dont want to get ripped off). thanks
 
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Old 11-27-05, 11:37 AM
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Well...if you get a low cost non-contract tester you can hold it to the wire coming off the breaker and it will tell you if the breaker is working. Do not assume it is the breaker just because the circut is not working...could be a loose connection in the FIRST box that circuit supplies.....

Replacing a breaker is a fairly easy DIY task but always keep in mind that electricity kills......you must be VERY aware of what you are touching in your panel and do not go venturing into areas you are not able to see.

If you wish to have an electrician do it then that is great...( we always need the work...lol ) and my guess is you would have a service call fee ( $ 55.00-75.00 per hour ) and parts...( usually 35% mark up in most cases ).

I would veture to guess to just replace a breaker you are looking at between $ 95.00 and $ 125.00 from a fair electrical contractor.

Replacing breakers are faily easy..in fact if you go to your local hardware store I am sure they would not mind showing you how to install it on a non-energized panel located at the store itself.

If you are certain it is the breaker...the non-contract detector will tell you this...you can use a normal volt meter but becomes a bit more hazzardous to you if you are not familiar with electricity....the less contact you have to make the better in a novices adventure.
 
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