Circuit dead after short, but breaker didn't trip

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Old 02-01-08, 09:56 AM
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Circuit dead after short, but breaker didn't trip

A kickboard heater under my sink shorted out today (it's the kind that's heated by the boiler but has an electric fan to circulate the heat), and after shutting down the house electrical, I removed the heater. Turned the power back on and noticed that the breaker had never tripped. And there's no power to that circuit at all. Would the first test be to simply replace the breaker? Could it have been bad? Or is it likely something more drastic has happened? Again, the breaker never tripped but the circuit is getting no power now that the house power is back on. Thanks.
 
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Old 02-01-08, 10:05 AM
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You could use a meter and test the voltage at the breaker before replacing it. It could be a loose connection somewhere else on the circuit. It could be a tripped GFCI depending on what else is on the circuit.
 
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Old 02-01-08, 10:06 AM
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don't freak

Most modern breakers have a tripped position that is different than off. You must move the breaker to off then on.

I like how the Square D QO panel actually shows you a red flag when a breaker has tripped. My Cutler Hammer CH panel and Siemens based transfer switch make it very difficult to see a circuit has popped.
 
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Old 02-01-08, 10:27 AM
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P.S.: There's power out of the output side of the breaker, and when I trip the breaker, power goes to 0, so the breaker seems fine. There are two GFI outlets along the wall behind the sink, along the same row as the appliances on that circuit, but I can't get either one to trip or reset. They're just unresponsive. Ideas?
 
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Old 02-01-08, 10:45 AM
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The GFCI on your countertop receptacles shouldn't be on the same circuit at your blower, but that doesn't mean it isn't.

A GFCI will not let you reset it without power coming to it. I'm guessing when you removed the blower, you disconnected the power going through it and to the GFCIs.
 
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Old 02-01-08, 10:52 AM
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I don't think that's it -- but you tell me: Absolutely nothing on that circuit is getting current after it leaves the box. The washer and dryer downstairs aren't getting power, the stove, disposal and dishwasher immediately above them, and the THREE GFIs on that wall (there's one for the stove I just discovered, too). The heater was merely one element of this circuit, and it wasn't wired in a way that removing it would shut down the whole circuit, I think. There were just two wires coming out of a BX whip, and they attached right to the heater. I'm assuming this was just a parallel extension of the circuit, which it appears includes numerous appliances and wall sockets. Does that make sense?
 
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Old 02-01-08, 12:51 PM
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Ok so the breaker is good. You need to find all the junction boxes and devices on this circuit and start checking them for an open connection or a tripped GFCI.
Since almost the entire circuit appears to be dead the problem must be near the panel. Any chance this circuit feeds outdoor receptacles? They should be GFCI and could be tripped.
Keep looking. If you can actually follow the cable routing the problem is in either the last working box or the first not working box.
 
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Old 02-02-08, 12:28 AM
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sound like one of the circuit have open netural or open hot codunctor but if the luminaires look more brighter or dimmer you should stop right there you may have a open netural circuit

if what the sisuation i expain above if that is the case turn off any 240 v appalinces [ dryer, electric range , waterheater, etc what run on 240 v] and call the POCO they will check out their side to make sure it is ok useally that is no charge and they will come out anytime 24/7 once the POCO verify it if their side is fine then you have other issue but we [ forum members ] will help you more once we get bottom of this situation.

Merci, Marc
 
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Old 06-21-08, 12:22 AM
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I don't want to hijack this thread, but the last post is pretty old. I have a similar problem, but more peculiar. I hope someone can help me out.

As a result of a short, all power on the circuit was out, and the breaker didn't trip. I took care of the short. Flipped the breaker, no power. Followed the circuit from the box and found a GFI along the way. Reset it. Now I have power all the way to that GFI (e.g., Lights in between GFI and box work). But I have no power in the outlets or lights past the GFI.

I thought it might be the next outlet, so I changed it out. No dice. Still dead. Checked with my voltmeter, and I have no power at this outlet and beyond. However, curiously, if I put a prong of my voltmeter on the hot wire of this outlet, and ground it, I have 120. Weird.

FYI. I do have a GFI down the line. If this doesn't seem to be reseting, could it be somehow affecting power upstream. Could it be a faulty GFI?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks, Styd.
 
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Old 06-21-08, 03:19 AM
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I will suggest that you replace the GFCI repectale but before you start to take the GFCI receptale apart make a note which one is line and load termails if you install the GFCI line and load backward it will not able get it either reset or stay off.

{ quick note here majorty of the GFCI are designed this way due the UL requirement }

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 06-21-08, 06:35 PM
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Sounds Like open neutral. Check the GFI load side for neutral.

Jeremy
 
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