Electrical problem!

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  #1  
Old 12-13-11, 04:48 AM
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Electrical problem!

The other day, my wife was vacuuming and all of a sudden the vacuum shut off. She thought a breaker popped, but when I checked it, everything was fine. My father and I then checked the outlets and the tester is saying rev. polarity on a few of them and open ground on the others. We tried a few different things like replacing outlets and still can't get them to work. When we removed one outlet, we had the power back and I tried the vacuum and it shut right off again. Any ideas? I don't really want to call an electrician...esp. this time of year! lol
Thanks for any help!
 
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Old 12-13-11, 06:00 AM
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  #3  
Old 12-13-11, 05:21 PM
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Are your receptacles wired via pigtail or daisy chained?

What kind of wiring is in your home? How old is the home/wiring?
 
  #4  
Old 12-13-11, 05:57 PM
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In old houses, there frequently are a lot of outlets on one 15 amp breaker. A vacuum uses a LOT of amperage and will easily trip these "almost used to full capacity" circuits. The solution is to find another outlet in another room which the vacuum does not trip.

Budget: Get a long 12 gauge extension cord to power the vacuum from that room.

To fix: Have new 20 amp circuits and outlets installed in various rooms to "off load" the existing breakers.

In new houses vacuums will trip AFCI breakers. In that case, use a non-AFCI protected circuit like kitchen or bathroom.
 
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Old 12-14-11, 05:53 PM
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I think the Op needs to look for a loose neutral connection. The high power draw of the vacuum has caused a connection to fail.
 
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Old 12-14-11, 06:42 PM
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The house was built in 1964...I'm assuming the wiring is from then, too. There are a lot of outlets that are on one breaker, but we've never had a problem using that outlet to vacuum. We've been in our house almost two years and this is the first problem we've had.

pcboss- Is there an easy way to find this loose neutral connection? haha
I don't know much at all about electrical and my father only really knows the basics.

Thanks for the replies!
 
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Old 12-14-11, 06:49 PM
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Best thing to do is find which receptacles are on that circuit and go to the last working one or the first non working one. You really just have to start taking things apart and looking around.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 04:10 AM
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We fixed the problem. Turned out that a hot wire was loose on one of the outlets. It looked fine the first time we checked, but we decided to check them all again and we found it. Thanks for all the help!
 
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Old 12-20-11, 07:08 AM
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Glad you got it. Thanks for letting us know.
 
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