Breaker Help

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  #1  
Old 10-23-07, 08:21 AM
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Breaker Help

I just had my first problem with my new house....
Problem is that I had a breaker pop. No big deal, switched it back on, and the lights came back on. Problem is that when I was walking back upstairs, the lights on that breaker went out again, but the breaker did not pop. So the breaker is still on, but lights are not working. Tried switching that breaker and main breaker off and on, but they still did not work. Never have had a problem before, and the only thhing that was working on that breaker at the time that it went out was a three way lamp, and I had just turned on my electric mattress pad about 5 minutes before that. Any help, questions, suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-23-07, 08:26 AM
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A loose connection on the circuit has opened. Check everything on the circuit, working or not. Move any back stabbed connections on receptacles or switches to the screw terminals and remake any wire nutted connections.

Somewhere you will find a connection that has opened. It may not be obvious, and it could even be at the main panel. Suspect the main panel if nothing at all on the circuit works. If anything on the circuit works then it is not the main panel.

If you do not know everything that is on this circuit then your job may be much, much harder. You should have determined everything on each and every breaker when you moved in, so you should know what is on this breaker.
 
  #3  
Old 10-23-07, 08:35 AM
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There are still items on that breaker that work.
I have an older kitchen light that always flickered and is not working on that breaker now. Question is, a bulb broke in it the other night, got the bulb out, but the screw in part is still stuck in the fixture. Could this have caused a short that popped the breaker and now not making other items work because of a short?
 
  #4  
Old 10-23-07, 09:09 AM
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I suppose that a broken bulb could have caused the short, but that's along shot. You do need to remove the broken bulb. With the power off you can use a cut potato in the socket and twist, or you can use needle nose pliers, etc., to get the bulb piece out.

The issue you now have is an open connection. Large amounts of current (which a short will generate) likely caused a weak connection to open. A common cause is the use of a vacuum cleaner or the use of a hair dryer or the use of a space heater, or perhaps an electric mattress pad.
 
  #5  
Old 10-23-07, 09:14 AM
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Thanks racraft for the help and insight!
 
  #6  
Old 10-23-07, 10:58 AM
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Did everything that you said, plus put in a new breaker, still nothing, any other suggestions?
 
  #7  
Old 10-23-07, 11:01 AM
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Keep looking you haven't found the open connection. It could be in a working junction box anywhere on this circuit.
 
  #8  
Old 10-23-07, 11:09 AM
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Thanks!
Quick question though, what would I be looking for as far as an open connection? Is this also exposed wires?
 
  #9  
Old 10-23-07, 11:12 AM
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It is an older house with older wiring, 1952.

I have some boxes that have wires cut off and taped up also, but have no idea why they are like that.
 
  #10  
Old 10-23-07, 01:00 PM
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Okay, I did find 1 junction box, and it happens to be the one that runs from my bedroom where the mattress pad was plugged in, to the circuit breaker. The one grouping of wires looks good, but the other set is in bad shape. It looks as though it has been burnt, and the plastic twist cap looks like it is burnt to the wires.
Could this be my problem, and what do you recommend to fix it?
 
  #11  
Old 10-23-07, 02:51 PM
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Yes, this could be the problem. Examine the wires. If they are in bad shape they need to be replaced. If the wires are okay just redo the connections.
 
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