Please Help: No Power, Breakers appear on

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  #1  
Old 02-08-07, 10:53 AM
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Question Please Help: No Power, Breakers appear on

No power at light fixture leads. No power at both 2 way switches (up and down/both leads). No breakers are tripped. All other lights in the house are working. I'm stumped what else can I try?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-08-07, 11:19 AM
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How did you test for power? Did you test between the hot and neutral wires AND between the hot and ground wires (or a good ground)?

Did you turn the circuit breaker completely off and then back on?

Do other items on the same breaker work?

Have you changed anything or done any remodeling or reconstruction?
 
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Old 02-08-07, 11:51 AM
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No Power, Reply to Racraft

Originally Posted by racraft View Post
How did you test for power? Did you test between the hot and neutral wires AND between the hot and ground wires (or a good ground)?

Did you turn the circuit breaker completely off and then back on?

Do other items on the same breaker work?

Have you changed anything or done any remodeling or reconstruction?
1) Tested the power with 2 different volt meters.

2) Tested between both hots, hot and neutral and hot and ground in both switch boxes all configerations with switch up and down. Completely no read at all.

3) Just turned the circuit breaker completely off and back on and retested.

4) I'm not sure which breaker this light is attached to. I'm asuming it would be "lights" or "Kitchen". I don't have the tools or experience to pinpoint this exactly. Any suggestions as that was my next step?

5) Nothing was changed immediately before it was working that would directly effect this light. At least that I can think of an I'd did consider that.

I'm still stumped.
 
  #4  
Old 02-08-07, 11:59 AM
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You have an open hot connection somewhere on the circuit. It could be in the fixture or any other junction box on the circuit. If you don't know what else on the circuit this not going to be easy.
 
  #5  
Old 02-08-07, 12:05 PM
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I feel "the speech" coming on.

I would recommend getting the old school two wire voltage tester with the light and the fancy wand voltage sensor. You're going to need to do some detective work.
 
  #6  
Old 02-08-07, 12:05 PM
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Turn off (firmly) and back on every 15-amp and 20-amp breaker in the box. Yes, you may have to reset a few clocks.
 
  #7  
Old 02-08-07, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
You have an open hot connection somewhere on the circuit. It could be in the fixture or any other junction box on the circuit. If you don't know what else on the circuit this not going to be easy.
Yeah, I think your right. What's the tool I need to tell if power is present on the outside of the wire? I'm gonna try to track down the wire in the attic but need to know if it's hot or dead in order to pinpoint.
 
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Old 02-08-07, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
Turn off (firmly) and back on every 15-amp and 20-amp breaker in the box. Yes, you may have to reset a few clocks.
I tried that twice. Hopefully it was firm enough. They all snapped. Is that what you mean by firmly? Just want to make sure i'm not missing something.
 
  #9  
Old 02-08-07, 02:12 PM
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Well first the speech.

You should know what circuit breaker this light is on. You should know what breaker controls every circuit in your house. Now you know one reason why. Another reason is that the information could save your life.

When you are done fixing this problem, or as part of addressing this problem, take the time to do what you should have done when you moved in. Determine conclusively what circuit breaker supplies power to each and every receptacle, light and appliance in your house.

To fix an open hot you are going to have to check every junction box on the circuit between the light and/or it's switch and the main panel. Somewhere you have a failed connection. It could be a failed wire nut connection, a failed back stab connection, or simply a wire that has come off a screw terminal. It could also be a broken connection inside a wall, but you indicate you have not been doing remodeling (nailing, etc.) so a damaged cable inside a wall is unlikely.

Since you don't know and can only guess what is on this circuit, you will have to make all your inspections with the main breaker for your panel completely off. Further, you will have to open just about every junction box in your house, whether it be for a receptacle, switch or light. You will have to be methodical so you don't miss any. Depending on the age of your house you can probably skip the kitchen counter and bathroom receptacles. However, if your house is old they will have to be checked as well. Start with other lights and receptacles in the same room, or other lights in general. Turn the power off before opening each junction box, and turn back on and test after each box is closed again. Yes, it will take a while, but that's your fault for not knowing what is on the same circuit as this light.

As you check, redo all wire nut connections with new wire nuts. Move any back stab connections to the screw terminals. Take this opportunity to replace any receptacles or switches that are damaged or discolored, or that you just want to replace for some reason (change the color, turn the other end up, etc.). However, replace like receptacles for like receptacles. If your wiring is two wire and the existing receptacles are two prong, then only replace with two prong receptacles, and watch the tabs on the side of the old receptacles.

Good luck and take your time. Electricity can and does start fires and kill people.
 
  #10  
Old 02-08-07, 02:44 PM
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no power

Originally Posted by JasonNeedsHelp View Post
No power at light fixture leads. No power at both 2 way switches (up and down/both leads). No breakers are tripped. All other lights in the house are working. I'm stumped what else can I try?
sound s like you have 2 switches (up an down) that are three way switches?..you need to look in each switch box and the light fixture to see where your power is being fed from...check these 2 wires for power first....at least that is where i would start
 
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Old 02-08-07, 03:56 PM
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just a question...are you on septic or sewer? Sometimes Septic alarms can kick out a circuit in the house if they go off... Otherwise listen to Racraft's time honored speech (we hear it atleast once a month here so post back let us know if we can help and look for "the speech"...LOL) AMP
 
  #12  
Old 02-08-07, 06:25 PM
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Yes, I am on Septic. Where can I check for this?

Originally Posted by Sthrnamp View Post
just a question...are you on septic or sewer? Sometimes Septic alarms can kick out a circuit in the house if they go off... Otherwise listen to Racraft's time honored speech (we hear it atleast once a month here so post back let us know if we can help and look for "the speech"...LOL) AMP
Yes, I am on Septic. I've already reset all the breakers, would the breaker still stay off after that? Where can I check for this?

"The speech" actually has good info in it for me. So for a newbe like me it really has good useful info in it. I appreciate all these responses! I could hire someone to do this but with 2 semesters of electrical I feel like I should be able to figure this one out.
 
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Old 02-08-07, 06:31 PM
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All the suggestions here have been good but different people have different ideas on where to start. If and only if you feel confident working in the breaker box with the cover off and are aware of the danger of exposed wires and bus bars I'd first check to determine if each 20a and 15a breaker has 120 volts to neutral. Use an analog meter or test light. I like to be sure the circuit is really getting power before I start opening things up.
 
  #14  
Old 02-08-07, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
All the suggestions here have been good but different people have different ideas on where to start. If and only if you feel confident working in the breaker box with the cover off and are aware of the danger of exposed wires and bus bars I'd first check to determine if each 20a and 15a breaker has 120 volts to neutral. Use an analog meter or test light. I like to be sure the circuit is really getting power before I start opening things up.
Yeah, this is another thing I was thinking about trying. I don't have a lot of experience with wiring in the breaker but believe I can be safe. Why use an analog tester instead of a digital?
 
  #15  
Old 02-08-07, 10:36 PM
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Why use an analog tester instead of a digital?


ok the reason why use the analog tester instead of digital tester because the digital meter can read the " ghost " voltage and can give you the flause sense of reading voltage

the digital meter dont put any load on it so that why it can give you a false reading.

the analog meter do put a load on lines just like light bulb but only diffrence that it will read the voltage so therefore you should get 0 or 120 [ plus minus 5 volt range ] or 240 volt range as well depending on which wire you read

you may have to goggle the word " ghost voltage " or phathom [sp] voltage it will come up and explain what it mean more clearly.

btw some spetic tank pump or alarm do have GFCI so check it out as well

there are some case it do happend but true the shell of the lumiaire [ lightfixure ] can get loose inside as well i find this from time to time


so you have to double check the wires and connection very carefull [ if you are not too sure you can kill the main breaker for this ]

sometime the wires can break in the wall or nail or screw or critter can chew on the wire as well

but mostly start at the switch[s] where the light do affect then go from there


if need more question or help please do post it here

Merci , Marc
 
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Old 02-09-07, 09:55 AM
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Check all outlets, especially kitchen and bathroom, to find any GFCI outlets that may have tripped and need to be reset. A tripped GFCI outlet kills power to everything that draws power through it, including other outlets and light, etc.
 
  #17  
Old 02-10-07, 07:56 AM
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I did check the GFCI's

Originally Posted by aq_guy View Post
Check all outlets, especially kitchen and bathroom, to find any GFCI outlets that may have tripped and need to be reset. A tripped GFCI outlet kills power to everything that draws power through it, including other outlets and light, etc.
Yes, I did check that. Tested and reset everyone in the house. It made no difference.
 
  #18  
Old 02-10-07, 08:01 AM
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I checked this and all circuits had power

Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
All the suggestions here have been good but different people have different ideas on where to start. If and only if you feel confident working in the breaker box with the cover off and are aware of the danger of exposed wires and bus bars I'd first check to determine if each 20a and 15a breaker has 120 volts to neutral. Use an analog meter or test light. I like to be sure the circuit is really getting power before I start opening things up.
Ray,

I checked the breaker and all circuits had power. I guess I will start opening things up. I'm gonna start in the switch boxes first.
 
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