WappRecycler: Power out

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Old 07-28-11, 08:04 PM
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WappRecycler: Power out

My problem is a expansion on John/redgrappler's. I have lost power to outlets and lighting in multiple rooms. The breaker is twin 15Amp and switching it out produced no change. My band-aid is extension cords from the outlets that still work.
If I read the thread correctly, the solution requires pulling outlets and lights until I find a loose or burnt wire.
This will be a monumental task involving 5 rooms and a garage with multiple receptacles and/or fixtures in each.
Is there some way in which I can set priorities before I begin moving furniture to gain access to receptacles?

The wiring in this house is a nightmare. I would like to begin at the breaker box and check for current in the lines attached to the breaker.

I am OK at switching out switches, receptacles and even breakers but tracing current is virgin territory for me.

If I recall correctly, there was a suggestion of sending current into a dead receptacle and seeing what lights up and what receptacles power up. The starting place for that would be the garage lighting fixtures which could be reached via a line run from a rented generator running outdoors.
 
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Old 07-28-11, 08:21 PM
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I have moved your post so that your issue doesn't get confused with the other thread. In the future please start you own thread so that your problem gets the attention it deserves.

Although it sounds doubtful be sure to check any and all GFCI devices you have in the house.

Without knowing how your house was wired it is tough to say where to start. The first area would be either the first out device or last working device.
 
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Old 07-28-11, 08:26 PM
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I too moved the post so I guess we have dueling mods.

How did you determine which breaker controlled the non-working outlets?

The breaker is twin 15Amp and switching it out produced no change.
If a single circuit is out only one of the twins should control the bad circuit.
 
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Old 07-28-11, 08:46 PM
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If I recall correctly, there was a suggestion of sending current into a dead receptacle and seeing what lights up and what receptacles power up. The starting place for that would be the garage lighting fixtures which could be reached via a line run from a rented generator running outdoors. .
This is extremely dangerous. Do not do it, and I haven't seen it suggested, either in this forum. The mods would have deleted any such suggestions promptly due to that fact.
 
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Old 07-29-11, 02:24 AM
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I do not know if the entire circuit is out but I know the breaker because it has tripped and been reset many times. Reason for trips was attempting to run more that one space heater on outlets within the same circuit. The upper twin controls a line that I am running my extensions off. The lower twin controls the line that contains the blackouts or is blacked out.
 
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Old 07-29-11, 02:42 AM
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Major problem is that I do not know how this house is wired. I had no problem running an AC in every room when our children were young. When our boiler went down and we had to resort to space heaters until I got it - and the burst heating pipes - repaired. We could run only one space heater on a line. We thus learned that one line controls our kitchen outllets and certain dining/living room outlets while another controls: the garage lighting; basement living area lighting; bedroom lighting and outlets; and, a living room outlet that is now the power source for the bedroom that serves as my computer room/office.
I just answered my question about the entire circuit being dead. It clearly is not.
 
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Old 07-29-11, 02:46 AM
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The suggestion to power a dead outlet involved a low power source such as a car battery rather than a generator.
 
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Old 07-29-11, 06:11 AM
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High draw appliances like space heaters can cause a marginal or loose connection to fail open. Look at the last working or first non-working device.
 
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Old 07-31-11, 01:53 AM
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Question Reply to pcboss

"the last working or first non-working device"
 
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Old 07-31-11, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by WappRecycler View Post
"the last working or first non-working device"
If you don't know which is the first non-working device, start pulling all non-working devices. If you don't find your problem, start pulling working devices till you do find the problem. You could find the problem in a receptacle box, a switch box or even in a junction box or ceiling box.
 
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Old 07-31-11, 07:41 AM
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Every house is wired differently, so there's no way to know which receptacle is connected to which. That said, 99% of electricians will run wire in a way that results in the shortest run between receptacles.

For example, the shared wall with a receptacle on each side will likely be connected on right after the other. Unless it's a kitchen or bath with it's own NEC rules, it wouldn't make sense to forgo the 12" wire run for a different circuit from 10 or 20' away.

But I think you're pretty much stuck having to check each receptacle. It's probably not a bad idea anyway since if one connection failed, there are probably a dozen others that are marginal.
 
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