Loss of power in a curcuit

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  #1  
Old 01-27-07, 09:03 PM
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Loss of power in a curcuit

An electical wire fell at our neigbors house, arcing etc. That night the electirc company replaced the wires. when the power came back on my upstairs room and other plugs and lights where out. I have replaced almost 30 reciticles in the house. I have traced the wire from the upstairs to the Main with a wire tracer. The black and white wire shows no continuity between the main and the receptical. what do I do?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-27-07, 09:11 PM
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"upstairs room?" is this a bedroom? Its possible that an arc fault breaker was damaged during the ordeal (I've seen it before) If the bedroom (or breaker) is on an arc fault make sure all breakers are in the "on" position.some panels don't really show a "tripped" breaker so you may need to go through them all checking
each one
 
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Old 01-27-07, 09:13 PM
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You have a open in your homerun? Replace it !
 
  #4  
Old 01-27-07, 09:14 PM
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Main

It seems that all of the breakers are hot. I used a tester and each shows 120 or 220V. So I am assuming that the power is good and so it is not the breaker?
 
  #5  
Old 01-27-07, 09:17 PM
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Replace it. The wire? I traced it back to the main. Is it nuetral not connected or the hot is bad? How do I test.
 
  #6  
Old 01-27-07, 09:17 PM
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so if i understand you correctly...your neighbors house had a power line fall (I'm assuming that this power line also fed off the pole to your house?) and the power company had to cut the power to re-connect your neighbors house and when they turned the power back on you had some circuits that didn't work...is this correct?
 
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Old 01-27-07, 09:18 PM
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How old is your home? When the wires fell you may have taken a surge. Therfore breaking a weak connection.
The problem is in the last working or first non working device (sw-rec-etc.)

This is only one ckt correct? If more call the POCO back.
 
  #8  
Old 01-27-07, 09:21 PM
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Not only did this pole connect to this house the whole neighborhood was shut down and many poeple had power loss in their curcuits all over the place. Loss of computers, cuicuits. I had serveral. The house is 12 years old.
 
  #9  
Old 01-27-07, 09:23 PM
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I had one plug that was not working and I replace the one in sequnce and it is working fine. The bedroom includes the whole bedroom, lights, plugs, closet lights, the closet next bedroom, wall plugs in my bedroom, and the middle bedroom
 
  #10  
Old 01-27-07, 09:28 PM
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Could a switch cause this?
 
  #11  
Old 01-27-07, 09:32 PM
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If you had several circuits out as well as your naighbors having several circuits out you may need to call the POCO back out. Define your question "could a switch do this?" i'm not sure how you mean that, or why your asking.
 
  #12  
Old 01-27-07, 09:39 PM
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(sw-rec-etc.)The above comment used thisThis sw I assume this SW means switch.
There seems to be only one circuit involved inn my house.
POCO
Does poco mean the electric company?
We called, they said the power to our house is just fine.
And that is all they do!
I am a poor teacher who needs to figure this out. help
 
  #13  
Old 01-27-07, 09:49 PM
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the best i can offer is like some of the others here...a surge could have made a bad connection arc and thereby "breaking connection" to the rest of the ckt.
 
  #14  
Old 01-27-07, 09:55 PM
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What is the solution?
Could a wire break from such a surge?
besides recepticles What else should I check?
 
  #15  
Old 01-27-07, 10:00 PM
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The solution, if you are comfortable with it is to search out and find the broken connection. Te way you do this is by turning the broken ckt off and then tracing down the wire (basicly) remove every device from the wall and pull it out so you can visually inspect the box and wires. start closest to the panel. and work your way out. Chances are high that the affected ckt may have one or more items that still work, thats where it gets tricky...can oyu tell me exactly what does and/or doesn't work?
 
  #16  
Old 01-27-07, 10:07 PM
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There are three cables comming to one of the upstairs recepticles. I unplugged the wires and used a 508s wire finder. The signal on one wire does not show continuity and it leads down to the main. The sound goes down to the garage. At the main I put the sensor above the main and get a reading. I put it into the top and some wires have a signal but it seems to fade in the box. Should I poke a hole above the main inside the garage wall and isolate the wire. I turned off all of the power to the main but I can not isolate which wire it might be. Could it be a wire that is broken inside? Or could it be the nuetral is not connected properly? I tightened each of the botton nuetral wires, and inserted one a little deeper into the hole and tightened it. There are some above that I can not see but it seems to be for bigger wires.

s far as I can tell there are no other that are hot. But I mapped the wires in my house and there are some curcuits that seem a bit shy of loads that might need to go to another one. I have replaced almost all of my recepticals.


I really appreciate the help?
 
  #17  
Old 01-27-07, 10:15 PM
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how are you sure that this cable leads to the breaker (I'm assuming thats what you;re calling the main?) b/w your hot (black) wire and your neutral (white) wire there should be no continuity. (unless you have light bulbs in a light and the switch turned on (not the light on just the switch) There should be continuity b/w the ground and the neutral (only of the wire that leads back to the panel) As i have no experience with the 508s wire finder i will have to do my best to relate to your situation in terms of continuity. The chances are slim that a surge caused a wire to break in middle of the run without there being any other encumberances at the point of breakage (if thats indeed what were talking about) You are far more likely to have a break where there in a junction or a device...I hope this answers some of your questions. If so feel free to procede as we, together, will figure this out for you
 
  #18  
Old 01-27-07, 10:26 PM
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The 508s sends a signal down the wire that can be traced behind walls. I move the sensor and can hear a sound where the wire is at. It can send a signal on both hot/black and nuetral/white and tell you if the curcuit is complete. I don't know if this works at the main/breaker. I trace the sound down to the breaker box. so I think that the wire that is the problem is in the breaker box. If the white wire were not connected correctly, would this cause this type of situation? Could it be a light switch? Do I need to start removing light switch boxes and see if the connections are good? Can power go from a Light switch to a receptical? I did not think so. I need a direction at what else I can check. An electrician charged over $800 to find such a problem at a friend of mine down the street. I want to do all of the leg work before I have to try that.

I appreciate you help!!!! anything you can tell me is appreciated.
 
  #19  
Old 01-27-07, 10:34 PM
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A delayed thought.... (I'm known for that)

Have you checked any and all GFCI recepticales? They may be outside or a bath or garage/basement. When you check, push the "test" button then the "reset". If any do not respond, this may be the issue.

(do you tutor in spelling?)
 
  #20  
Old 01-27-07, 10:36 PM
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Yes I have. My GFI receptical is in the garage. they are connected to the bathrooms, all plugs that seem to be close to a sink. Could my bedroom be tied to a GFI curcuit also?
Just tested them all. The one in the garage seems to be a gfi for most of them. There is one in the kitchen, that seems to be for the kitchen, one in the master bathrroom. They all reset back just fine.

No, I do not tutor spelling. I teach computers, so I can't write or spell, just type and spell only if I have a spell checker.

Thanks Again
 
  #21  
Old 01-27-07, 10:40 PM
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As electricity flows...It goes from the panel to the device (be it either a switch or a recep) on the black and then comes back to the panel on the white. If either of the black or white is broken the ckt will not function properly. the cable (romex with black white and ground) will run from the panel to any given device in the house so yes it can go from a switch to a recep. Here's what i would do in your situation. (taking this from the top and assuming i am the electrican you hired to fix it, ok) I would get my three prong tester (buy it at any HI store) and go throughout the entire house and remove the plates of anything that does not work. (theoretically i would have probably less than ten/twelve plates assuming only one ckt) Once i have found everything that did not work i would shut down the power to the house and slowly turn on breakers one at a time making sure that they all turned on something (as in i could physically prove that something new has turned on since the last breaker) This is what the electrician that wired the house is supposed to have done but few do in detail) when i finally found the ckt that didn't turn anything on (that would be the ckt that doesn't work) i would leave that ckt off. then procede to remove all devices from the walls where i previously removed plates (If it doesn't have a plate on it, it doesnt work if it doesnt work it comes out of the wall). I would then visually inspect all of the devices and wire junctions and boxes looking for anything suspect...(I.e. blackened boxes, loose wires, burnt ground wires or loose neutrals)
 
  #22  
Old 01-27-07, 10:56 PM
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I have removed every recepticle and replaced it with a new one. The old ones were push ins and I replaced them with screw ons. The only thing I have not looked at is light switches because I did not think that it would be part of the problem. I guess I will. Where would the white or black wire be to continue on to the other curcuits?
There is only one recepticle of the ones that do not work, that have three black wires comming into it. One of them traces to the curcuit breaker. It seems to run down to the garage by the sound of the tracer. There are 9 recepticles, and three lights, bedroom overhead, and two closet lights that do not work. Does this sound like a full curcuit? Or do you think that there are more somewhere else?
 
  #23  
Old 01-27-07, 11:06 PM
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This sounds like a full ckt...it would be if i had wired it. Good so now that we know whats on this ckt we can begin to trace it down. Where do the other two wires from the plug with three wires in it go? You can do this with a cntiuity test..I'm assuming you have a continuity tester. Troubleshooting is basicly a process of elimination...You find the one box with one wire coming into it and follow the logical path back to the panel. In your case being as you have thee wires in one box you should have atleast two boxes with only one wire in them. The problem with the lights will not be the switches themselves...it will be in the junction...Look for burnt or melted wire nuts or loose wires in the switch boxes.
 
  #24  
Old 01-27-07, 11:13 PM
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There is one receptile that has only one wire. The other end has two but I think the other wire goes to an outside light switch, guessing. The bedroom has a plug that has two, one of them goes to the light switch in the bedroom. The receptical with the three wires is on the outside wall right above the garage. I think that one wire goes to the end receptical and the other goes to one of the other recepticles. One goes down to the curcuit breaker. This is the one that I am concentrating on. with the wire tracer it seems to go from the garage to the breaker box. what should I look for in the breaker box.
 
  #25  
Old 01-27-07, 11:18 PM
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is there any way that you can tell which wire in the breaker box is the wire you are dealing with upstairs? Here i am suggesting testing the plug for power and if none then removing the two wires (white and black) from the plug going to the panel and putting them under a wire nut. This is to be able to find continuity. If we can trace the wire all the way back to the panel...wait a min...you said this is a bedroom? Do you have some funny looking breakers in there labeled for this bedroom? By funny lookng i mean do they have a little button on them?
 

Last edited by Sthrnamp; 01-27-07 at 11:19 PM. Reason: addition
  #26  
Old 01-27-07, 11:27 PM
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Nothing funny to me. There are curcuit breakers that have a bar that pushes back and forth.
As far as islating the wire.
I was gonig to do that next.
I am going to put the tracer on each wire and trace it backwards from the breaker while my wife uses the wand to hear if goes through to the upstairs bedroom. If it does, it would have to be the white that is open. If it does not then I could try and put a signal on the nuetral bar and see if she can hear it. Then I would know it is the black wire. So I guess I am going in the right direction?
When the main is off and all of the curcuit breakers are in the off position, what do I need to watch out for in the box?
 
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Old 01-27-07, 11:33 PM
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If the main breaker is off there should be nothing hot in the panel. even if the main is on the only thing you need to worry about is the buss bar running down behind all of the breakers and the little screw terminals on the breakers themselves...being as the neutral and grounds bond in the main disconnect you needn't worry about getting hit by the neutral bar...Just always watch where your fingers are (esp. ina hot panel) but in a dead panel ,with the main breaker off (probably outside) nothing in the panel will be hot. Yes you are on the right track..Do be careful if you are doing this hot. My suspicion is now on the neutral for that ckt. If this is the case and that ckt is energized but the neutral isn't hook up then there will be juice coming from the neutral My suggestion would be to turn the main off and then everything will be much safer (just make use of a flashlight) And tug on every wire in the panel...if its loose tighten it up...especially the neutrals (thats where it is sounding like the issue may be.
 
  #28  
Old 01-27-07, 11:39 PM
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I will be doing this on Monday. Thanks for the help. It is good to get a verification that I am going the right direction. I have allready tightened the white wires, but if I can isolate the the wire then I will have more options as to what I need to do. I will get back to you on what I find. That is good to know about the main and the main bus turning off. My kids hate it when I turn it off, I just tell them that this is to make sure that Daddy does not die. They seem to think that this is accepatable reason to turn it off.

Thanks Again for everything.
 
  #29  
Old 01-27-07, 11:48 PM
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Always stay safe...hope all goes well.. Aaron
 
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