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Trouble with outdoor light and series of indoor outlets....

Trouble with outdoor light and series of indoor outlets....

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  #1  
Old 02-17-11, 05:07 PM
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Question Trouble with outdoor light and series of indoor outlets....

Recently I attempted to install an outdoor porch light on my mother's deck. After the installation was complete I discovered it did not work and that the previous fixture which had not been used in years also stopped working years ago. The switch for the porch light is on the inside wall of an addition to the house. Using the existing wiring in the wall of the addition a ceiling fan/light unit with three switches is powered and the seperate switch for the outdoor light is powered. The three switch ceiling fan/light works however, the outdoor light switch does not and is receiving no power after being tested. After attempting to wire the outside porch light three outlets on the walls of the addition all stopped working and are getting no power after being tested. These outlets are all in succession. I had a handyman look at it and he believed it may be a faulty circuit breaker. I would like to hear someone else's opinion on this matter. Any help is appreciated. Thanks
 

Last edited by brichmets; 02-17-11 at 06:44 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-17-11, 05:11 PM
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I would start at the last working or first non-working outlet and see if there are any bad connections.
 
  #3  
Old 02-17-11, 05:24 PM
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I checked all positive, negative, ground wires they were all connected properly when I looked at them the first time. I twisted them around their like wires and replaced the plastic cap. Still no voltage according to the meter. Before I started all the outlets worked so I am almost 100% sure the outlets are wired properly. Disregard: It's been a while since I looked at this thing.
 

Last edited by brichmets; 02-17-11 at 06:39 PM.
  #4  
Old 02-17-11, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by brichmets View Post
I checked all positive, negative, ground wires they were all connected properly when I looked at them the first time. I twisted them around their like wires and replaced the plastic cap. Still no voltage according to the meter. Before I started all the outlets worked so I am almost 100% sure the outlets are wired properly.
There are no positives or negative wires.

I would start at the last working or first non-working outlet and see if there are any bad connections.
Read TI's post again and try checking the last working outlet.
 
  #5  
Old 02-17-11, 05:54 PM
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And as always move any back stabs to the screw.
 
  #6  
Old 02-17-11, 06:00 PM
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I had checked these connections several times a month or so ago and nothing worked. The next step taken was to eliminate the switch altogether and touch the voltage meter to the connections themselves and there was no voltage. I can rewire everything if need be however the connections black and white were not giving any power. I hope this explains things better.
 
  #7  
Old 02-17-11, 06:23 PM
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The next step taken was to eliminate the switch altogether and touch the voltage meter to the connections themselves and there was no voltage.
It doesn't necessarily mean anything. Try measuring from each lead to ground. One should show no voltage and one should be hot.
 
  #8  
Old 02-17-11, 06:31 PM
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I checked the last working outlet and removed the wires from the backstab and the wires themselves weren't lighting up the meter. As I said all outlets stopped working simotaneously. Thanks again.
 
  #9  
Old 02-17-11, 06:34 PM
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Just measured each lead to ground and it did not light up either.
 
  #10  
Old 02-17-11, 06:38 PM
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What room are the receptacles in? Have you looked for a tripped breaker?
 
  #11  
Old 02-17-11, 06:43 PM
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The receptacles are in an addition to the house. They run on a circuit breaker that was added about 10 years ago. It is not tripped. Previously I tried flipping it on and off several times while troubleshooting with no luck. Also, one outlet in the room still works it is the last one in line as well as two ceiling lights. However they are on the opposite side of the room next to the original house and may be running on a different circuit. I am unsure as I did not work on this room.
 
  #12  
Old 02-17-11, 06:58 PM
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Check for a tripped GFI somewhere upstream in the circuit. It might be in a garage or in a hidden area.
Andy
 
  #13  
Old 02-17-11, 07:29 PM
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I am not sure what a GFI is. I looked at the wires running up through the cellar under the porch(where I can;t see) and into the room. I see some silver boxes which are closed up the faceplate being held on with 2 screws (This wiring is 10 years old). Other than that I just see wires. The handyman I had look at this has a little side business fixing these kinds of problems and did most of the things you guys are suggesting. He looked at these wires in the cellar and said he couldn't see anything wrong. He is far more experienced than me. He suggested I replace the circuit breaker but also said, "he's not an electrician." Are these silver boxes GFI's?
 

Last edited by brichmets; 02-17-11 at 08:05 PM.
  #14  
Old 02-17-11, 08:11 PM
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The silver boxes are where connections are made. One example of a GFCI is a receptacle with a test button.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-17-11 at 08:29 PM.
  #15  
Old 02-17-11, 10:12 PM
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Thanks Ray, but I don't have GFCI outlet receptacles in my house most of the construction was done in the 60's and the addition in the 90's.
 
  #16  
Old 02-18-11, 04:33 AM
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You could have a bad connection in one of the junction boxes. Look for a loose or burned wire nut.
 
  #17  
Old 02-21-11, 02:58 PM
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I checked the junction box that runs to the room and the wires were all in good shape. They were secure in the wire nuts and all together. What's the next step in troubleshooting this problem? Would it be to check if the junction box is getting power? I have a GB Instruments voltage tester ($3 at Home Depot). Would it be safe to put this on the wires and test for power?
 
  #18  
Old 02-21-11, 03:15 PM
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I have a GB Instruments voltage tester
If that is a non contact tester the reading wouldn't be reliable. If it is a test light then yes. Turn off the breaker, label the wires and make notes on how they are connected, disconnect all the wires, be sure none are touching each other or anything, turn breaker back on. Measure between hot and neutral and between hot and ground.
 
  #19  
Old 02-21-11, 03:42 PM
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Yes, it is a test light. I will do that next. If anyone has any other ideas post em up thanks.
 
  #20  
Old 02-21-11, 04:26 PM
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I guess I might agree with handyman. well I know I had some thing sort of similar, part of the lights would work on a cuircut and part of them wouldn't, then I would hit the breaker again and I might get a different light to work and the other light not working.

I replaced the breaker $25 (old pushmatic) and everything then worked fine.
 
  #21  
Old 02-21-11, 07:01 PM
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I'm not too fond of handymen's wiring, seen too many hack jobs from them.
 
  #22  
Old 02-21-11, 07:11 PM
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all I am saying is the handyman said it might be the cuircuit breaker. Maybe he is right however I am no expert as others are here on board.
 
  #23  
Old 02-21-11, 07:16 PM
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Did you test the breaker ? Do you have power at the breaker ? Does your tester light up at the breaker ?
 
  #24  
Old 02-28-11, 04:04 PM
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I tested the breaker and it lit up. I was using a 120V test light. All breakers were getting power. Next, i will seperate the wires in the junction box and test them.....
 
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