Wall Outlets Not Working, But Light Is

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  #1  
Old 12-29-13, 09:16 AM
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Wall Outlets Not Working, But Light Is

My parents moved into an older house a few years ago. About a month or so ago, all of the outlets in one extra bedroom stopped working. Using a non contact tester, the outlets are getting power. I then check with my multimeter, and am not getting a reading. The only reading that I am getting is with one probe in the hot, and one probe in the ground. The light in the room is on the same circuit and it works. I have checked inside the light switch, and only see one set of wires that connect to the switch. I replaced all of the outlets today, but still have the same problem. Two things that I noticed today when changing out the outlets, 2 of the outlets have 4 wires, and the other 2 only have 2. The other is that on the outlets that have 4 wires, the neutrals and the hots are on the correct side, but do not align (i.e the line hot is one top, the line neutral on bottom). I am not sure if that matters. I check the panel after turning off the main power, and noticed that on the neutral bar, there are a few neutral wires in a few places that are put in a single slot. I tried to tighten as much as i could, but it didn't seem to work.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-29-13, 09:28 AM
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Using a non contact tester, the outlets are getting power. I then check with my multimeter, and am not getting a reading.
That's because non contact testers are only for guessing. Multimeters are for actual testing.
The only reading that I am getting is with one probe in the hot, and one probe in the ground.
Which indicates an open neutral.
The light in the room is on the same circuit and it works. I have checked inside the light switch, and only see one set of wires that connect to the switch.
Since you have a switch loop power comes in at the light. The first receptacle may be fed from the light. Remove any wire nuts at the light and redo the connections after checking inside the wire nuts for corrosion or a broken/missing spring.
 
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Old 12-29-13, 09:48 AM
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There is a troubleshooting sticky at the top of this forum you can follow. Look at the last working or first non-working device.
 
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Old 12-29-13, 09:55 AM
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I checked the light switch - there is only one set of wires. The light switch controls the light and fan, could it be up at the fan?
 
  #5  
Old 12-29-13, 11:15 AM
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could it be up at the fan?
Yes, that's why I wrote check the light. Fan is same. The power may come from the ceiling box is what I was writing.
 
  #6  
Old 12-29-13, 12:02 PM
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I went up in the attic - there is not a ceiling box that I could find. All I found was a 2x4 with a hole drilled though it with 3 wires pushed through.
 
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Old 12-29-13, 12:13 PM
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That is not correct. The splice needs to be made in an accessible junction box.
 
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Old 12-29-13, 12:17 PM
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There may be a surface mounted pancake box. You access the fan wiring by dropping the fan's canopy or the whole fan not from the attic.
3 wires pushed through
Do you mean cables? There should not be any wires.
 
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Old 12-29-13, 12:32 PM
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A pancake box does not have enough capacity for three cables.

If these are three wires there are bigger issues
 
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Old 12-29-13, 12:39 PM
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I meant 3 cables. Sorry. I took off the fan and see the wire nuts. Here is how it is wired: One Hot and One Neutral - was hooked to the fan/light. 3 Hot and 1 Neutral with wire nut. 2 Neutral with wire nut. I checked each for loose wires/connections. I have not put the light/fan back on, yet. Any recommendations from this point?
 
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Old 12-29-13, 02:34 PM
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3 Hot and 1 Neutral with wire nut.
That is not a neutral. It is a white that should have been remarked as a hot on both ends.
I checked each for loose wires/connections.
How? Did you take them apart and remake them with new wire nuts? If no, do that but be careful not to mix up what wire went where?
 
  #12  
Old 12-29-13, 02:41 PM
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It wasn't marked - but I figured it was hot.

I took apart and remade them.

Still same issue. I guess I'll have them call. Thanks for all the help.
 
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