Some lights/outlets stopped working. ?!?

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  #1  
Old 07-27-07, 05:48 PM
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Angry Some lights/outlets stopped working. ?!?

So yesterday morning a few of the ceiling lights and outlets around the house mysteriously stopped working. One room's overhead light won't work but a standing lamp in the same room still has power. None of the lights or outlets in the bathroom/bedroom work. My first thought was maybe a breaker got tripped, but upon looking at the fuse box in the basement none of the switches were tripped. I turned them all off and back on again but I still have the same problem. Could this be caused by something as simple as a blown fuse or is it something closer to a wiring problem? I'm really hoping for the fuse... o.O
 
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Old 07-27-07, 05:57 PM
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Since you mention bathroom I would check for a tripped GFCI receptacle. Depending on the age of your house ti could be located in bathroom, garage, outdoor receptacle, basement.

If not that then it could be a loose connection anywhere on the circuit including a working device.
 
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Old 07-27-07, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
Since you mention bathroom I would check for a tripped GFCI receptacle. Depending on the age of your house ti could be located in bathroom, garage, outdoor receptacle, basement.

If not that then it could be a loose connection anywhere on the circuit including a working device.
You're dealing with a complete noob here=/ Not too sure what a GFCI receptacle is. What would it look like, tripped and untripped; and if it is tripped what would I do to UNtrip it? I just want my lights to work >.< It's a pretty old house...70+ probably. Garage is separate from the house.

If it's a loose connection, how would I be able to tell where the circuit spans and how might I go about tightening it? Sorry for all the questions, this is just a last resort before getting some electrician out here. -.-
 
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Old 07-27-07, 06:24 PM
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A GFCI receptacle looks like a normal receptacle but has two buttons in the middle, a red and black button. Look at the receptacles in the garage, bathrooms, kitches, padio, etc for it.

Just push the reset button back in.

If you have non of these, I would look into getting a electrician out to take a look.
 
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Old 07-27-07, 06:27 PM
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You said you reset all the breakers, then mention a "fuse". Where are the fuses located? Generally a house will have one or the other, but not both. I vote with Joed on the GFCI tripping in the bathroom. It should be a dedicated circuit to that room only, but with older construction it happens.
Stand in the room and note the closest receptacle or light to the breaker panel that is out. You will be close to the problem. Check a receptacle next in line and see if it is attached with stab back connections. If so, you may have a loose wire in the box. Make sure you turn off the breaker to these outlets before you stick your hand in them.
 
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Old 07-27-07, 07:16 PM
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Okay I located the GFCI in the bathroom and pushed the reset button. Tried the lights in there and still nothing=( I was hoping for an easy fix like that but wasn't expecting one. Should I see if there are any more of these in the house? I have a feeling I'll just have to end up calling someone. My lizard is in my room with no electricity.
 
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Old 07-27-07, 07:18 PM
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Okay, standard lecture time.

You should already know everything that is on this circuit. You should have figured it out shortly after you moved in. If you didn't do this, your job may be much harder.

You will have to open every receptacle and switch box on the circuit andcheck for a loose connection.
 
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Old 07-27-07, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
Okay, standard lecture time.

You should already know everything that is on this circuit. You should have figured it out shortly after you moved in. If you didn't do this, your job may be much harder.

You will have to open every receptacle and switch box on the circuit andcheck for a loose connection.
This is my first house, and I've been here not a year. Didn't think to investigate all that, but at least I'll know now. Guess I'll switch the breakers off tomorrow and check all the outlets in the rooms where the power is out and see what I can find. Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 07-27-07, 07:35 PM
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Unfortunately houses do not come with owners manuals. You have learned a valuable lesson.

After you find and fix this problem you need to identify each and every circuit. You need a complete listing of what is the circuit. Conversely, you need to know what circuit breaker (or fuse) controls each and every receptacle, light and appliance.

If you do have a problem at a receptacle or switch, it could be anywhere on the circuit. In an old house the circuit could go anywhere in the house. The problem could be at a working or non-working location on the circuit, which is why you have to check everything on the circuit.
 
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Old 07-28-07, 05:28 AM
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Another thing you can do as a convenience, only, is to mark the back of each receptacle cover with the breaker that controls it. Unless someone comes in and changes all your outlet covers, you will have a reasonable reference when trouble shooting in the future. This is not fail safe, but a convenience. Painters will pull the covers and throw them in a box, so all bets are off, then.
 
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