partial circuit failure?

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Old 01-06-08, 06:32 PM
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Question partial circuit failure?

Recently I returned home to find the electricity in part of my upstairs not working. I will try to describe the situation:

1) All the overhead lighting and most of the outlets upstairs are on the same circuit breaker.
2) During a remodeling project the previous owner installed GFCIs in all the upstairs outlets.
3) Neither of the bathroom light fixtures is working
4) One of the outlets in the master bedroom (on the wall next to the bathroom) had the "test" button stuck in and could not be reset.
5) The bathroom outlet was not working, although the test button was not stuck in and reset was pushed several times.
6) I replaced both outlets and now the bathroom outlet works fine, although still no lights and the bedroom outlet still doesn't work. I also tried replacing the bathroom light switch, but no luck there.

Does this make sense to anyone? I am really not sure if the non-working outlet in the bedroom is one of the ones on the circuit breaker with the lighting or not.

Also, just out of curiosity, is there some code that forbids light switches close to the bathroom sink? That is where the bathroom outlet is, and the plate/box include room and wiring for a second light switch, but there is no switch hooked up. The light switch hole in the plate is covered with some sort of permanent plastic. Until I took the plate off I just assumed it was a cheap fix for an over-sized hole. The (formerly) working light switch for that bathroom has a three-way switch on it with wiring, but the red wire is not connected to anything.

Any advice would be appreciated. Showering in the dark is harder than it sounds.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 06:35 PM
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Disconnect the load side of the stuck GFCI and see if it will reset, if not replace it and all shall be well. I suspect some of your non working objects are powered off the load of your tripped GFCI therefor have no power. Open all your covers for devices and check for loose wires. I bet you have backstab connections and that they are worn and loose. Especially Neutrals. If you have backstabs put them on the screws instead, check all splices and turn off and rest the breakers. Look for hidden tripped GFCIs as well.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 06:55 PM
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ah crap!

thanks for the reply, burke. i had completely forgotten about the outlet behind the dresser and sure enough once i reset that and the one by the bathroom everything works fine.

i'd still like an answer to that question about the light switch wiring, though.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 07:44 PM
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There is no code prohibition about switches near sinks. I suspect that a junction box existed and rather than rewire, the box was left in place.

It sounds to me like you need to map out your circuits. Your statement "I am really not sure if the non-working outlet in the bedroom is one of the ones on the circuit breaker with the lighting or not" implies that you have not yet done so.

Knowing what is on each and every circuit in your house and what breaker controls each and every receptacle, light and appliance in your house is important when you have a problem (the information would have helped you in this case). More importantly, the information could save your life.

Doing the mapping is something everyone needs to do shortly after moving into a new house or apartment. Since you apparently didn't do this then, you need to do this now.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post

Knowing what is on each and every circuit in your house and what breaker controls each and every receptacle, light and appliance in your house is important when you have a problem (the information would have helped you in this case). More importantly, the information could save your life.

Doing the mapping is something everyone needs to do shortly after moving into a new house or apartment. Since you apparently didn't do this then, you need to do this now.

This is Racraft famous word here i think i should make it sticky here so many readers can get his message really clear.



Merci, Marc
 
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