problem on a line

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Old 03-16-13, 04:13 PM
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problem on a line

Out of nowhere, one of my circuit lines is having a problem. Woke up the other morning to the power in my study being out. Flipped the breaker, but it didn't help. I assumed my breaker was no good, as I had power everywhere else, but that line. I replaced the breaker... no luck.

I removed all electrical appliances (computers, etc.) from all plug outlets. No luck. I began to open up outlet boxes and unhook power. Finally, I got the breaker to stay on, but half the room is out... (broke the link) How do I figure out what is causing the problem? (of course I could call an electrician, but if I can avoid the cost, I would like to try....) any advise would be appreciated.

p.s. I did some electrical work in this room about a year ago. I assume if I had done anything wrong, it would have given me a problem before now, right???
 
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Old 03-16-13, 04:23 PM
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Your problem is probably either at the last working receptacle or the first non working receptacle. You need to move any back stabs to the screws. Check all connections. Do you have a multimeter (preferably analog).

Have you followed the steps in: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ther-info.html
 
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Old 03-16-13, 04:40 PM
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thanks Ray, I will follow this guide. One question, I have an outlet that transitions to a new outlet I created to power under my desk to run my computer. This outlet is also one that is linked to a wall switch to power a lamp. So... I don't have any open screws to move the backstab to... any suggestions?
 
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Old 03-16-13, 05:27 PM
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As an electrician...... I only connect one wire to each side of a receptacle. The wires are combined in the box first and then a single tail is left to go to the device.

One wire or white tail and one black wire or black tail.
Same with grounds...... only one wire to device.
 
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Old 03-16-13, 07:58 PM
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I just want to highlight something here:

Originally Posted by PJmax
As an electrician...... I only connect one wire to each side of a receptacle. The wires are combined in the box first and then a single tail is left to go to the device.
 
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Old 03-25-13, 02:18 PM
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I have gone through all of the outlets and moved backstabs to screws from the point that I am having trouble to the end of the line. Same problem remains... Power to half the room leading up to the point of trouble, when hot wires are unbundled. As soon as I reconnect, the breaker goes... Any next steps, or do I go ahead and call an electrician??
 
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Old 03-25-13, 04:06 PM
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I have gone through all of the outlets and moved backstabs to screws from the point that I am having trouble to the end of the line.
You should be working from the first receptacle in the circuit toward the end of the line, not from the end of the line toward the panel. In addition to abandoning the backstabs, you should be combining the wires for each function - hot, neutral and ground - into splices to which you add a pigtail to connect to the receptacle.

Same problem remains... Power to half the room leading up to the point of trouble, when hot wires are unbundled. As soon as I reconnect, the breaker goes... Any next steps,
Yes. Let's say you have six total receptacles on this circuit. Working from the outlet with the panel feed, you have made splices with pigtails in each box and used the pigtails to wire up a receptacle in each of the first three boxes.

If, after you make up the pigtails in the fourth box, but before you connect the pigtails to a receptacle there, the circuit breaker stops holding, then you have isolated the problem to the wires leading from the fourth to the fifth box. Look for signs of arcing where those wires leave the fourth box and where they enter the fifth box.

If there are three cables in the fourth box, then you need to check in one more box. If the receptacle in the fourth box is controlled, in whole or in part, by a switch, then you need to connect the wires in the fourth box a different way.

Let us know what you find out.
 
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