Accidentally tripped breaker, now ceiling fan won't work

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  #1  
Old 09-22-13, 01:20 PM
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Accidentally tripped breaker, now ceiling fan won't work

Yesterday I plugged in an extension cord that without realizing that it had some damage and its wires were touching. This immediately tripped the breaker for that circuit which covers one bedroom and part of another. After unplugging the broken extension cord I went and flipped the breaker back on. Everything works fine and all the outlets work fine but for some reason a ceiling fan on that circuit stopped working. Neither the lights nor the fan come on. They were working fine before this happened.

Any idea what happened to the ceiling fan and how I should fix it? It's the main light source for that bedroom so I definitely need it working.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-22-13, 01:31 PM
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Quite possibly the switch controlling the fan is using the stab back feature and has loose wiring. I would kill the power again and check that before going on with things. Is the fan using a remote control feature?
 
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Old 09-22-13, 01:40 PM
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You also need to check the receptacle you plugged the extension cord into. Move any back stabs to the screws. See Also: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ther-info.html
 
  #4  
Old 09-22-13, 02:43 PM
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Went around and double-checked things. The outlet I plugged the extension cord into also does not work. In addition, another outlet in the bedroom doesn't work either. The strange thing is that a third outlet on the same circuit works just fine.

Does this change anything or is the troubleshooting still the same?

Also, can someone explain to me what exactly happened here? Is it some kind of safety feature or something? I've tripped breakers in the past but I've never had something like this happen as a result of it.
 
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Old 09-22-13, 04:19 PM
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The strange thing is that a third outlet on the same circuit works just fine.
Then that is where you start redoing the connections.

Is it some kind of safety feature or something?
No. It is likely a poor connection that was made worse by the overload.

Do you have a multimeter, preferably analog? (Note: A non contact tester is useless for this.)
 
  #6  
Old 09-22-13, 05:49 PM
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Alright. I've got a digital multimeter on hand already. Can I use that instead of the analog?
 
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Old 09-22-13, 05:57 PM
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Digital is okay but it can be fooled sometimes. Consider anything less than 90 volts as 0v. At the nonworking receptacles check the voltage from neutral to hot and ground to hot. What wires do you have at the switch? Have you checked the connections yet at the last working receptacle?
 
  #8  
Old 09-22-13, 06:13 PM
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I've checked the connections at the working receptacle and they seemed fine, nothing was loose or burned. I did not switch them to the side screws yet.

Should I be checking the voltages by sticking the probes into the outlet from the front or should I pull the outlet out of the wall and touch the probes to wires on the rear? I have 2 black wires on one side of the outlet, 2 white wires on the opposite side, and one bare copper wire on the bottom. I checked the outlet that had the extension cord plugged into it both ways and got a reading of 0v throughout.


Thanks for the help so far.
 
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Old 09-22-13, 06:56 PM
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Should I be checking the voltages by sticking the probes into the outlet from the front or should I pull the outlet out of the wall and touch the probes to wires on the rear?
Best practice is to remove the wires from the device and test directly on the wires. Once you've verified 120V on one pair of wires, splice each color together with a pigtail made from the same gauge wire with the same color insulation and connect each pigtail to its appropriate terminal - white to silver and black to brass.
 
  #10  
Old 09-22-13, 07:43 PM
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Alright, I checked the outlet that had the extension cord plugged into it and got 0v. I then checked the first outlet in the circuit(the wire from the breaker box goes here first/the only working outlet) and I was getting 120v. I went ahead and installed a brand new outlet here using the side terminals since I have a few spares on hand. The new outlet works fine just like the old one, but the problem still persists.

Where do I go next?
 
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Old 09-22-13, 07:44 PM
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I've checked the connections at the working receptacle and they seemed fine, nothing was loose or burned. I did not switch them to the side screws yet.
Then you haven't done the first thing you need to do. Looking can't tell you if a backstab connection is bad but putting the wires on the screws will. Follow Nash's instructions for connecting them.
 
  #12  
Old 09-22-13, 07:53 PM
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Where do I go next?
Here:
a third outlet on the same circuit works just fine.
.
 
  #13  
Old 09-23-13, 08:47 PM
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Alright, here's what I've done so far.

I put a new outlet on the first plug in the circuit(the only one that is working) using the side screws. Earlier when I said there is a "third" outlet that was working this is the one I was referring to. The new outlet works fine but it did not solve my problem. I also went ahead and replaced the outlet that the extension cord was plugged in to, again using the side screws. This did not solve my problem either.

I re-checked everything and there are actually 3 more outlets and the ceiling fan on this circuit in addition to the two outlets I've already checked/replaced. The light switch to the ceiling fan only has one set of wires(one black, one white, and bare copper ground)which I'm assuming means it's the last thing on the circuit but I'm not sure; they are attached using the side terminals.

Now what? Do I need to go to the remaining 3 outlets and move them to the side terminals as well? What if that doesn't work either?
 
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Old 09-24-13, 03:03 AM
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What if that doesn't work either?
You haven't arrived at that bridge yet. You are on the right track, and it could be anywhere.
 
  #15  
Old 09-24-13, 05:48 AM
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I doubt this is it, but you never know how previous owners will change wiring;

Any chance there is a GFCI along the way that was tripped as well?
 
  #16  
Old 09-24-13, 02:10 PM
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The light switch to the ceiling fan only has one set of wires(one black, one white, and bare copper ground)which I'm assuming means it's the last thing on the circuit
No, that means the power from the panel comes to the ceiling box and the switch is wired on a switch loop.

Now what? Do I need to go to the remaining 3 outlets and move them to the side terminals as well?
Yes. Start with the next one downstream from the working one. Get that one working, then move on if necessary.
 
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