Power out to room: Circuit Breaker not tripped

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Old 07-26-11, 08:02 AM
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Power out to room: Circuit Breaker not tripped

I am hoping someone can answer this question to avoid my spending a bundle of cash. One night the power outlets in my room all ceased to work. I did not hear any pop or smell anything burning. Immediately I went to check on the breaker and it was NOT tripped. The breaker is a (forgive my ignorance) two switched breaker, with the bottom controling my family room and the top controlling my master bedroom which was the room with the issue. In retrospect, I did have too much stuff pulling from this small breaker which I would imagine caused this problem. I tried swapping out the breaker with one I knew was working. That did not work. I check all the outlet recepticles and there doesn't seem to be any problem. I pulled out all the affected outlets. I am at a lost as to what to do next. I am also heavily concerned that a wire behind the drywall my have burned out w/o us knowing. Is this possible, knowing that the breaker was not tripped? I thank you all for reading this and any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, John
 
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Old 07-26-11, 08:21 AM
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Did you move any wires inserted into the back of the receptacles, backstabs, to the screws? Did you replace any wire nuts? If there are any lights on the circuit did you check the connections there and replace any wire nuts at switches and lights on the circuit? Are there any fixtures or devices still working? The problem could be at the last good device or fixture.
 
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Old 07-26-11, 09:50 AM
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It is possible that a wire burned in the wall, but that is very unusual so I wouldn't worry about that possibility just yet. It is much more likely that there is a loose or burned connection in a box on the circuit and you just missed it in your search. It could be at a switch, receptacle or light fixture. It could be at a device that still works. It can be a backstab on a device, inside a wirenut or crimp. You often need to take the wirenuts apart and remake them to inspect the connection. Sometimes it burns off where you can't see it.
 
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Old 07-27-11, 06:39 AM
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Ok, man...I am such a novice!!! I found the break in the circuit that was unstable. It was my light switch in my closet. Here is another problem that arose. I did not remember which wire goes to which backstab or screw I bought a regular light switch to replace the one that was damaged. I have three black wires...with no ground. One wire seems to go to an outlet that has another is controlled by another switch. The second wire goes to my closet light and the third wire lights up either wire it is matched with. I even went through different combinations to no avail. My questions, what am I doing wrong? Did I purchase a wrong light switch?
 
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Old 07-27-11, 08:17 AM
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How many points could you control your switchfrom? You may have purchased the wrong switch, or you just froget where the wires go.
 
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Old 07-27-11, 08:45 AM
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Before this debaucle, the switched only controlled my closet light. I think your second statement is correct, I did forget where the wires go. Any ideas how its suppose be connected? 3 black wires, one to light, one to outlet, one apparently hot wire. The switch (after research) is a regular two screw/2 backback with one ground screw type.

Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
How many points could you control your switchfrom? You may have purchased the wrong switch, or you just froget where the wires go.
 
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Old 07-27-11, 09:00 AM
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I did not remember which wire goes to which backstab or screw
Best practice no wires should ever go to a backstab. What they did was a lazy man's pigtail which can cause confusion and a less reliable connection.

Any ideas how its suppose be connected? 3 black wires, one to light, one to outlet, one apparently hot wire.
You are correct. You need to find which is which. You can determine this by connecting two of the black wires together and observing the result. Does the light come on? Does the receptacle become hot. It is possible by just elimination to do this but a meter or test light speeds up the process.

Measure each black to the bundle of whites in the back of the switch box. The black that shows 120v is hot. Connect it too one of the remaining black wires and see if the light or receptacle works. By elimination then you can mark one black light and one receptacle.

Once you know which black is hot and which is to the receptacle connect the hot, receptacle, and a pigtail together. Connect the pigtail* to one side of the switch and the wire from the light to the other.

*Pigtail is a short length of wire the same color and size as the other wires you are wire nutting it to.
 
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Old 07-27-11, 10:51 AM
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To expand on Rays expanation, what you have is power in, power continuing to another part of the circuit and the switched hot going to the closet light.
 
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