No longer have power to detached garage

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Old 01-26-13, 10:14 AM
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No longer have power to detached garage

Hi, I came home from work the other day, tried opening my garage, and it didn't work. Tried with the button inside garage, and that didn't work either. I then tried the lights, and got my electrical outlet tester, and nothing worked.

On the outside of my garage is a security light controlled by a light switch in my kitchen, and that randomly worked. i followed the wiring from that light, and it connects with all the other wiring in my garage. The floodlight that is right below the security light does not work. The wiring for the two lights go into the same box.

I tried flipping the breaker labeled garage in my basement, it did nothing. i flipped every other breaker i had to see if that would do anything, and it did nothing. I followed all of the wiring in my garage, looking to see if there is a separate breaker in the garage, there is not.

The wiring goes into a stud on the ground, which then goes underground i assume. However, in my basement, the only electrical going outside that i can see, is to my central air unit. I don't even have any electric outlets on the exterior of my house, for some reason.

House was built in 1948, not sure when the garage was built, but it is at least 25 years old. I bought the house in August, and everything in garage has worked fine until now. Only power i was using in garage was my garage door opener, and the floodlight. Everything else has been unplugged for the winter.

Thank you for reading, i know it's a long post. Please post any suggestions.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 10:22 AM
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If the wiring to the garage is post 1948 there should be a GFCI somewhere. Inside or outside. It may be in the garage behind a box or something you never move or an ouside receptacle or one in the basement, or bath or kitchen, or attic.

The wiring goes into a stud on the ground,
Not sure what a stud in the ground is. Post a picture of that. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...-pictures.html
 
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Old 01-26-13, 10:55 AM
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There is no gfci in garage or outside. i just test and reset all the ones inside my house, tried the garage power, and still nothing. I will upload the picture. Thank you for your reply.

 
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Old 01-26-13, 11:18 AM
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Looks like you have a conduit that goes to your main panel. If it is continuous you should be able to pull in new conductors if you need to.

Do you have a way to check for voltage?
 
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Old 01-26-13, 11:19 AM
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Being a detached garage, does the power enter a subpanel on the wall somewhere? It should, but if that old, may not. Have you pulled the cover off this box and looked at the wire connections? Remove the caps, inspect and put new wire caps back on the wires.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 11:23 AM
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That's not a stud! It is a junction box. Before putting the cover on give us a picture of the wiring inside.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 12:02 PM
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As far as i can tell, the power enters the garage at the bottom of this box. I have checked all along the sides of my garage, and above the rafters, and this is the only box that goes into the ground.

I do not have a voltage tester, but i will go out and buy one, along with some new wire caps. Inside the box, there are 4 wire caps, 1 wrapped in electrical tape, and three ground wires. Thank you all for the reply's.

 
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Old 01-26-13, 12:05 PM
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A cheap analog tester can be had for about $10. If you can't find an analog one, a cheap digital one will work, but you may have to deal with phantom voltage readings.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 12:39 PM
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Guys, I am detecting a MWBC as well. Do you have any breakers that have bars across the handles, that are not dedicated to 240 volt applications? Although it isn't supposed to happen, you may have a half tripped breaker on a multi wire branch circuit.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 02:01 PM
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Bars across the handle with fuses inside? I have one of those next to my central air unit. It has two large fuses inside.

I will be buying a tester and new wire caps tonight or tomorrow when I get back home.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 02:11 PM
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No, two breaker handles in your breaker box connected by a bar across the top of the handles or a pin through the handles. Could also be a two pole (240v) breaker with a single handle.

I'm seeing four wires so I'm not sure it is a multi-wire. Can you pull the wires out a bit more so we can get a better view. I'm trying to see where the two red wires from the top conduit connect.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 02:18 PM
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I will check tomorrow and will upload a better picture of the wires tomorrow when I get back home.

Thank you all for the help. I really appreciate it.
 
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Old 01-28-13, 02:18 PM
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I do not have any breakers with bars across the handle. I bought an analog tester, and tested all of my outlets, and two light switches. One of the light switches shows 125 ( i do not know what this light switch controls, it has never done anything), everything else shows 0. I tested the wires in the box also, and it all reads 0.

Here is a better picture of the box, i hope. This picture is before i replaced the wire caps.

 
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Old 01-28-13, 09:19 PM
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That's not a stud! It is a junction box.
I don't know... looks more like a sole plate to me.

Indstatic, the closer we can get to seeing exactly what you have, the better we can advise you. The pictures help, but I'm not seeing each splice yet. Could you just describe what you have?

What wires emerge from the pipe that is sticking up through the sole plate, and how are they connected? What are the black, white and bare wires in the unprotected 14-2/G "Romex" going off to the right connected to? And the wires in the pipe running up the wall - I can see a black, a white and two reds in it, but I'm not sure which wires they're connected to.

Where does that vertical pipe go? Where does the "Romex" go? What's on the other end of each of those?

Is that a piece of #6 bare copper lying in the joint where the siding meets the sole plate?

In your panel, what do the notes written in the schedule tell you?

Two more pictures, of the panel, might help. One that shows the schedule, and one that shows the wiring inside the panel. That one would ideally be wide enough to show the cables and conduits entering the panel.
 
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Old 01-30-13, 02:28 PM
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The wires coming up from the ground are 2 white, 2 black

The romex going off to the right goes to a box with 4 outlets, then goes up in the rafters where there is another outlet where my garage door opener is plugged in.

Both red wires go up to to a light switch, one red wire has voltage.

A black and white wire go up to an outlet and a light switch, which then goes up to the security light which works, but is controlled from light switch inside my house.

The wire cap that had electrical tape on it, when i tap it with my non-contact voltage detector beeps meaning i have voltage, but only when i tap it.

The copper you see in the picture is just a random tube, has nothing to do with it. Sorry, i should have moved it



 
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Old 01-30-13, 03:03 PM
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The wires coming up from the ground are 2 white, 2 black

The romex going off to the right goes to a box with 4 outlets, then goes up in the rafters where there is another outlet where my garage door opener is plugged in.

Both red wires go up to to a light switch, one red wire has voltage.

A black and white wire go up to an outlet and a light switch, which then goes up to the security light which works, but is controlled from light switch inside my house.
Originally Posted by Nashkat1
how are they connected?
in the J-box and in each box and fixture after that.

The security light may have been set up to be switchable from either location, and two of the wires coming from the house may have been travelers for that switching.

What do breakers #9 and #13 supply?

The wire cap that had electrical tape on it, when i tap it with my non-contact voltage detector beeps meaning i have voltage, but only when i tap it.
My non-contact voltage detector beeps when I tap it on my ear, my teeth, or a wooden table. That doesn't mean that any of those objects has AC voltage in it. It only tells me that the batteries in the stick are still good.

To test for voltage, use a multimeter. Preferably an analog multimeter.

It looks like you've lost the power from breaker #16. First test for 120V from the terminal on that breaker to the ground/neutral bar. Also trace the wire from breaker #16. Find the conduit or cable it's in and see where that goes. If you find power at the breaker, go test across the two splices for the piece of Romex in the J-box in the garage. And in any boxes it passes through on its way to the garage.
 
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