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Cannot not find problem outlet after 3 outlets failed at the same time.

Cannot not find problem outlet after 3 outlets failed at the same time.

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  #1  
Old 02-25-13, 01:01 AM
themadcatter's Avatar
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Cannot not find problem outlet after 3 outlets failed at the same time.

I have a 1950's home with 2 prong receptacles. I had a new breaker box and GFI outlets installed near sinks 10+ years ago. These do not have grounding wires.

A few days ago I tested a nightlight in one of the GFI outlets in the kitchen to see if the bulb was bad. The bulb flickered. I flicked it with my fingers and it blew up, shattering into lots of pieces and turned black. The circuit breaker did not trip. The next day I became aware that three outlets no longer have power: the GFI (which I did try to test and reset to no avail), an outlet along a perpendicular wall and an outlet on the far side of the adjoining dining room. The one other outlet in the dining room, another GFI in the kitchen, and one outlet in the utility room (where the breaker box is located) still work. All six outlets are on the same circuit.

All the outlets have been voltage checked and pulled out of the boxes to check the wiring. There is no voltage reading for any of the three bad outlets. Replaced the GFI - still no power. Replaced the outlet in the utility room (non-grounded 3 prong) because plugs were loose when inserted and I've noticed the microwave, which was the only thing plugged into it, has recently been losing it's clock setting.

It has been determined that the utility room outlet is at the beginning of the wiring and each dining room outlet is an end. Of the 3 dead outlets, the GFI has 2 sets of black and white wires and the 2-prong outlet along the kitchen wall has 3 sets. The GFI was assumed to be the next in line from the utility room but that is not confirmed - especially since finding 3 sets of wires on the 2 prong outlet.

I have not yet gone up into the (freezing cold) attic - but I seem to recall seeing a box with exposed but capped wires like an outlet was being prepared for use but never completed somewhere in close proximity to the kitchen. Also, the house is on a crawl that was recently foam insulated. I don't know if the wires have been run from above or below.

I don't know what else to include in here.

Any help would be appreciated in determining where the break is. In the mean time I have shut off the circuit to be safe.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-25-13, 05:46 AM
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Receptacle Troubleshooting

Please read these procedures:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ther-info.html
 
  #3  
Old 02-27-13, 08:25 PM
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I read the troubleshooting blog before I added my own comment here. It was not helpful.
 
  #4  
Old 02-27-13, 09:14 PM
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The problem is almost certainly at the last working outlet on the circuit or the first dead one. To isolate the location, turn the power off, remove the last working device, and splice the circuit through. If that solves the problem, replace that device. If not re-install it and move to the first dead outlet and repeat the process.
 
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