Portable AC unit - now dead receptacles

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  #1  
Old 06-01-13, 01:02 PM
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Portable AC unit - now dead receptacles

Hey all,

Have a Bedroom previously unused, now my newborn son's room. Yesterday I plugged and ran a new portable AC unit in wall outlet. I assumed my wife shut if off early evening, until I tried to turn a light on.....and nothing.
I started with the breaker panel. I turned off and reset each breaker. House is 1964 in Buffalo, NY. I've only been in the house for a year. I believe breaker panel is original. There is a 50A breaker that seems to shut off everything in the house, and a few smaller ones that control, garage, furnace, stove vent individually . (50A breaker shuts off these areas as well).
All outlets in the room, and one in an adjacent room are dead. I've pulled every outlet including before and aft of the dead ones looking for loose wires. I've also changed a GFCI in the bathroom adjacent (other side of room with dead outlet). I've also replaced every wire nut I came across. The only thing I have not done is pull the light fixture in the closet, which is working.
I've gone through related threads, etc and tried most everything.

I've run out of time today, tomorrow I will start with pulling the closet light fixture. But, assuming that does not work, where else can I check?? I do have a multimeter, and an outlet tester to use.


THanks!
 
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Old 06-01-13, 02:01 PM
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First the obvious: Did you try a known working lamp in each plug-in of the receptacle? Did you try resetting the GFCI built into the plug of the AC? If using a grounding adapter because it is not a grounded receptacle tried another adapter.

Sounds like a split breaker panel. Very old. You need to measure from each 120 volt breaker to neutral. From experience with older panels it is not that unlikely for a breaker to fail. If all 120 volt breakers show "hot" at the receptacle measure black to white and if present black to ground. If no ground measure to the ground of a 3-wire extension cord plugged into a receptacle with a known good ground.
 
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Old 06-01-13, 02:06 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

It sounds like you've been on the right track but haven't found the problem yet. Do you have a grounding conductor in your wiring? Are you using your multimeter to test for voltage, hot-to-neutral and hot-to-ground, each time you have a set of wires disconnected? What is your receptacle tester showing?

Have you read Troubleshooting a dead receptacle or light...?
 
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Old 06-04-13, 11:14 AM
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Ray, I have tested every receptacle in the bedroom with an outlet tester and then a day later with a friend using the multimeter. We checked black to white as well as to ground, nothing on anything in the room.
We also checked every breaker in the panel, and all came in with 120v.
NAshkat, my receptacle tester doesn't light up at all at any receptacle in the room.

My friend and I also went into the attic to start looking for anything else. Did find where the previous owner had installed an outlet and coax near the ceiling of the bathroom for a wall mount TV (don't ask). the install there looked very clean, there was voltage present all throughout the junction box, and to the outlet there.
At this point I don't know where else to look ???

thanks for the replies.
 
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Old 06-04-13, 11:24 AM
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Did you move all, if any, back stabs to the screws and redo any wire nuts? Problem can be at the last good receptacle so you need to identify all the receptacles and lights on that circuit and start testing connections at every working receptacle and light and switch beginning with the one closest to the bad receptacle. Wire nuts should be inspected for corrosion inside and loose wires.

Note ACs should be on a dedicated circuit so you need to consider adding one when you get this problem resolved.
 
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