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Electrical Power is off in my living room area and a ceiling light in my kitchen

Electrical Power is off in my living room area and a ceiling light in my kitchen

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  #1  
Old 08-06-11, 06:39 AM
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Electrical Power is off in my living room area and a ceiling light in my kitchen

Hi. I had a switch (circuit?) to smell as if it was burning. When we shut breakers off, we replaced that switch box (kitchen). At that time, the power in the living room and the ceiling light in the kitchen went out. The other ceiling light in the kitchen works fine. I have turned the breakers on and off several times...still no power in these two places. Please help. I am on my way to pick up a tester now.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-06-11, 08:31 AM
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Do not get a pen or non contact tester if you only get one. Get an analog multimeter or test light.

When you replaced the switch did the original switch have wires both on the screws and inserted into the back?
 
  #3  
Old 08-06-11, 09:03 AM
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Hi, Ray. I am just seeing your message; thanks for the response. I actually picked up a Receptacle Tester which checks wiring of receptables. It really doesn't work for me because the lights are off in the living room. The original switch had one wire on each screw. There was a wire that was burnt and hooked on the switch also, but we cannot remember which switch or where it was attached (just that it was attached)--I should have watched more closely.
 
  #4  
Old 08-06-11, 10:06 AM
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Tell us all the wires in the switch box and their colors. Is there a group of white wires wirenutted together? A picture might help.
 
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Old 08-06-11, 10:16 AM
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  #6  
Old 08-06-11, 04:06 PM
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Hi, Ray. Actually there are a group of white wires "nutted" together in the box. I have taken the pics but I am confused about how Flickr actually works so I am not able to attach them to this email. If you can think of another way for me to post my three pics by all means please let me know. I appreciate ALL you guys are doing to assist.
 
  #7  
Old 08-06-11, 05:29 PM
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Let me try to send the pics--not sure if this will work.

[attach]C:\Users\Christian\Desktop\switch box.jpg[/attach]
[attach]C:\Users\Christian\Desktop\switch box2.jpg[/attach]
[attach]C:\Users\Christian\Desktop\burnt wire.jpg[/attach]
 
  #8  
Old 08-06-11, 06:04 PM
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Pictures by shortknocker1 - Photobucket

Above is the link to the pictures of the electrical switches.
 
  #9  
Old 08-06-11, 06:36 PM
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In picture #1 is that a black wire with a lot of exposed copper showing? This needs to be fixed and may also be why part of the circuit has no power.
 
  #10  
Old 08-06-11, 07:12 PM
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Yes. I do believe so. How do I fix it?
 
  #11  
Old 08-06-11, 08:22 PM
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Your neutrals are also burned. The connection needs to be remade and a new wirenut needs to be used.

 
  #12  
Old 08-06-11, 08:38 PM
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The grounds need to be connected to the switch, too.
 
  #13  
Old 08-06-11, 08:46 PM
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Looking at the ground coming out, the #12/2 (or is it 12/3? can't tell, bad perspective) cable in picture one appears to be aluminum. That is more than likely the cause of your burnt neutrals. When copper and aluminum are spliced with a standard wirenut, the aluminum oxidizes, causing resistance, which causes the joint to heat up. Aluminum wire expands and contracts much more than copper when heated, so the joint weakens, causing more resistance, causing more heat, and so on. Until you wind up with something like that.

Also, if it is in fact aluminum, you must use switches and outlets rated for aluminum. They will say AL/CU somewhere on the back of the device. If it says CU ONLY it is only rated for copper and it creates a fire hazard.



Can you please pull the switches out so we can have a better look at what's in there?
 
  #14  
Old 08-06-11, 08:51 PM
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I suspected aluminum....
 
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Old 08-06-11, 08:59 PM
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I also noticed something in this one.. Again it's bad perspective, but it appears that the stripped (burned?) tail of the wire coming off the bottom screw of switch 1 is directly touching the ground wires. If it is, this is a dead short and should pop the breaker as soon as you try to reset it. If it doesn't it means you have a faulty ground to that box and that's a whole other issue..

 
  #16  
Old 08-07-11, 04:31 AM
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OK everyone...thanks so much!!! I believe it is time that I should phone "ET" (an Electrical Technician). Again, thanks for your assistance.
 
  #17  
Old 08-07-11, 04:50 AM
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I agree with the others.....aluminum and copper mixed.....no grounds connected to switches.....backstabs used.......
If the power is off, you can pull the switches and tell a lot more of what is going on. We may be able to help, but with the aluminum in the mix, I doubt you would be able to do it as a diy project.
 
  #18  
Old 08-07-11, 10:30 AM
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I agree that this is out of scope of DIY. You're best to leave this to an electrician.

If you could, Could you please take some pics of the work along the way, I want to see which method he uses.
 
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