Outlets not working

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  #1  
Old 04-09-07, 12:14 PM
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Outlets not working

Last weekend, my husband and I replaced an existing ceiling fan with a new one in the master bedroom. Everything went well and it worked like it was supposed to when we tested it with the toggle switch on the wall.

Then we went to replace the toggle switch with a dual controller, one that has a light dimmer and a fan switch on the same unit. We had everything connected and when we turned the power back on and tried testing the controller. There was small blue sparks (arcing?) within the controller as we moved the levers from off to the various on positions.

My husband turned off the power and we switched the wires thinking we had switched something around. We tried it again. We still got the blue sparks but this time it wasn't as much as the first time. We thought there might be something wrong with the unit itself so we disconnected it and reconnected the original toggle switch. The ceiling fan and light fixture worked the same as it had before we started messing with the switch.

It wasn't until later that evening that we realized we had a problem. My husband was on the computer and couldn't get any sound from the computer speakers. I went to turn on the radio which is plugged into the same outlet. This wouldn't work either. I then went into the master bedroom and because it was dark, I noticed that the clocks (one on either side of the bed) weren't working and the phone on my dresser wasn't working. I tried turning on the bedside table lamps, plugged into same outlets as clocks, and they wouldn't work either. I was by the master bath by this time and I noticed that the night light in there wasn't on either. I even tried switching the nightlight from the top plug to bottom plug. This wasn't working either. My husband had come into the room by this time and told him about the bathroom. He went into the guest bathroom and neither of the plugs on the outlet was working.
We tested the last outlet in the bedroom and it wasn't working either.

My husband went into the garage to see if anything had tripped. Nothing had but he proceded to turn everything off and then waited for a few second and then turned everything back on in the order that it had been turned off. Still none of the outlets worked.

This is a list of the Affected Rooms, Number of Outlets, Location of Outlet in Room, and Location of Switch in Room. Also, Relation of Rooms to Each Other:
Guest Bathroom - 1 Outlet on Left by Mirror if Facing Mirror - 1 Toggle Switch on Left by Door Frame if Facing Mirror. (Medicine Cabinet between Outlet and Switch.)
Master Bedroom - 4 Outlets. #1 on Left with Back to Door. #2 and #3 on Wall Facing You with Back to Door. (Bed between These Two.) #4 on Right Wall with Back to Door - 1 Toggle Switch on Right as Enter Door - Room just to Right of Guest Bathroom when Facing Doors.
Master Bathroom - 1 Outlet on Right by Mirror if Facing Mirror - 1 Toggle Switch on Back Wall if Facing Mirror (just inside door) - Room to Left when Facing Outlet #2 and #3.
Computer Room - 3 Outlets. #1 on Left when Back to Door. (DOES NOT WORK.) This wall is on Other Side of Master Bedroom Closet #2 - on Wall Facing You when Back to Door. (WORKS.) #3 - on Wall to Right when Back to Door. (WORKS.) - 1 Toggle Switch on Wall to Right when Back to Door. (Controls Outlet #3.) - Room to Right of Master Bedroom when Facing Doors.

Sorry this is so long. I just wanted to give you a feel for the house set up. I hope you can help. I am looking for any input at this point.
Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-09-07, 12:27 PM
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Well, one of two things has happened.

Your husband messed up the wiring and caused the problem.

Your husband caused a short circuit that caused a weak connection to open.

Obviously the controller you bought is a problem. it is not designed for your fans or you installed it incorrectly. You likely have fried and need to buy a new one, or simply go without.

Take the controller out and put the toggle switch back in. Then get the circuit working.

If you have no idea whether you can get the wiring correct, then start there. Verify proper power at all the locations. If you can't verify power, then start looking for an open circuit. If you have an open circuit, it is most likely a failed back stab connection. Never use the ouch in back stabs o then back of receptacles or switches. Once you find the open circuit, repair it. Then go back and verify the light and fan work.

Then, finally, install the controller, but only if the wiring and the fan are compatible with it.
 
  #3  
Old 04-09-07, 01:30 PM
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Toggle Switch Not Problem

Sorry if I confused you.
The problem is not in the switch. We put the toggle switch on after the problem with the controller. The switch works fine with the light and the fan.

The problem is in the outlets. Please re-read my original thread. I explained everthing there.

Thanks.
 

Last edited by Helpme07; 04-09-07 at 01:32 PM. Reason: Make it easier to understand
  #4  
Old 04-09-07, 01:31 PM
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Fine the problem is not the switch. Check the receptacles, find the open and fix it.
 
  #5  
Old 04-09-07, 01:54 PM
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Open Circuit

How do I find an open circuit and how do I fix it?

Is this possible with so many outlets and in different rooms?

Thanks
 
  #6  
Old 04-09-07, 02:00 PM
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You must check each and every receptacle, switch and junction box on the circuit, regardless of whether the device is working or not. Look for a loose or disconnected wire. Move any back stabbed wires to the screw terminals. Remake any wire nut connections with new wire nuts.

Use a two wire tester or an analog meter and verify power into the box and leaving the box. Yes, it takes time.
 
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Old 04-09-07, 03:57 PM
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Also, pick up a few books regarding residential wiring. These can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, library, etc.

These books will help you understand how circuits work and proper safety practices.
 
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