circuit breaker only reset half the room


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Old 02-12-14, 07:53 PM
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circuit breaker only reset half the room

sometimes I forget the space heater is on in the living room; when I use the microwave in the kitchen while the space heater is on it trips the breaker. Until today all I've had to do is reset the breaker. It happened tonight but when I reset the breaker it turned the kitchen plugs back on--the microwave is working again. but the living room plugs are still dead.

I've noticed that I have to move the breaker switch from "off" to "on" a few times before it will stay in the on position. I clearly hear it click into place when it does stay. I've flipped that switch off and on a dozen times but still no juice to the living room plugs. Any ideas? I really can't afford an electrician right now.
 
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Old 02-12-14, 08:04 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Is this a newer house or older? Do you own this place? Do you have a meter available?
 
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Old 02-12-14, 08:18 PM
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Hi. I own the place so repairs are on me, not a landlord. It's 33 years old. I do not have a meter. I'm woefully ignorant about these things.
 
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Old 02-12-14, 08:34 PM
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That's Ok, we can help you out.

What is the number on the breaker? (should be 20 or 15) The kitchen counter receptacles should be on their own circuit. Is the microwave plugged into a low receptacle or a counter receptacle?
 
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Old 02-12-14, 09:14 PM
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the number is 15. I can't see where the microwave is plugged in; it's mounted in the wall over the stovetop. I can't even see the cord.
 
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Old 02-12-14, 09:22 PM
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the number is 15. I can't see where the microwave is plugged in; it's mounted in the wall over the stovetop.
It should be on a dedicated circuit.
I can't even see the cord.
Should be in the cabinet above it. What all is on the 15 amp breaker?
 
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Old 02-12-14, 09:33 PM
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as far as I can tell there are two wall outlets and the microwave on that breaker. I can't remember if the ceiling light in the kitchen is on it or not and I'm afraid to overload it lest nothing at all comes back on. I looked in the cabinets on either side of the microwave and can't seen where the microwave plugs in. If it helps, it's on the same wall as the one of the dead outlets.
 

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Old 02-12-14, 09:41 PM
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I looked in the cabinets on either side
Usually there is a cabinet above. If possible you need to run a new circuit for the microwave. Is there an unfinished attic or unfinished basement above or below the kitchen?
 
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Old 02-12-14, 09:48 PM
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there is a nook/shelf above, but no plug unless it's behind the wall of the cabinet/nook. No attic above or basement below. The microwave is working, tho. It's the wall outlets that are w/o power. Can the microwave outlet be causing issues with the wall outlets in the living room?
 
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Old 02-12-14, 10:50 PM
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The microwave is working, tho. It's the wall outlets that are w/o power. Can the microwave outlet be causing issues with the wall outlets in the living room?
I'm confused. You wrote:
when I use the microwave in the kitchen while the space heater is on it trips the breaker.... but the living room plugs are still dead.
Which I thought meant the heater was in the living room and on the same breaker as the microwave. Can you please clarify.
 
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Old 02-13-14, 02:25 AM
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they are on the same breaker. until now when the breaker trips and I reset it, everything is good to go. tonight when I reset the breaker, only the microwave came back to life. It, the space heater, and the two lamps plugged into the wall sockets in the living room died when the breaker tripped. (the living is right next to the kitchen) When I reset the breaker, the microwave had power again but the lamps and heater do not. those wall outlets in the living room never got juice again after resetting the breaker. It's like only half the outlets got reset.
you were right. the heater and microwave are on the same breaker but only one of them came back to life. sorry if I was unclear.
 
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Old 02-13-14, 07:54 AM
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Can the microwave outlet be causing issues with the wall outlets in the living room?
Yes. You need to find where the microwave is connected to power. My best guess is the LR receptacles come from there and you have lost a connection. Could you post a picture of the microwave and the area around it so we can all play guess-the-connection-location. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...-pictures.html
 
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Old 02-13-14, 08:53 AM
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It is likely you have an open circuit between the microwave and the LR...had a similar problem here in my home..had to rewire circuit from one outlet to another...wire went open between the two outlets. Also it could be burnt open at the LR receptacle....had one like that as well.
 

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Old 02-13-14, 09:05 AM
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I took all of the salt/sugar/flour, etc off the shelf last night. Nothing but bare wall back there. Well, maybe not "wall' but bare "back of the cubby hole"
 
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Old 02-13-14, 06:09 PM
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Is that a rangehood/microwave combination or just a microwave on a shelf over the range?
 
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Old 02-13-14, 06:16 PM
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If your answer to Joe's question is "just a microwave on a shelf" have you tried pulling it out?
 
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Old 02-13-14, 07:35 PM
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Seen it many times. Stove has a range hood over it and somebody decides to install a microwave in its place and the circuit can't handle it.

I suggest starting at the non-working receptacles. Unscrew them from the wall and check the connections. If the receptacles are backstabbed, move the wires to the side screws. Be sure to turn off the breaker when doing this as you can still have a hot wire even if they don't work.
 
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Old 02-13-14, 07:42 PM
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If you go in order along the walls from the microwave to the last dead receptacle (<--- I hope you notice this Joe) was the heater plugged into the receptacle next in line from the microwave?
I'm going to vote you kerplowed the receptacle.
Try pulling the receptacle the heater was plugged in to, with power off of course, and you should have two white neutrals and two blacks on the receptacle. Joint them together white to white and black to black, and turn power back on. See if the other dead receptacles work now.

EDIT: If you're a newbie I should point out that BEFORE you do your joints, check to make sure the little tab between the two brass screws is in tact. If it is broken off, do nothing and post back here.
 
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Old 02-13-14, 07:55 PM
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thanks everyone. Yes, the heater was in the plug closest to the microwave (which is built in, not just on a shelf) I'm not sure what you mean by "two white neutrals and two blacks" but it may become evident when I remove the plate. Is that what you mean by "pulling the receptacle"?
 
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Old 02-13-14, 07:57 PM
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Yep, remove the cover plate, and then the receptacle.
 
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Old 02-13-14, 08:01 PM
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Sorry about my lingo. Yes "remove" the receptacle.
This may not be your case, but typically there would be 4 colored wires. 2 black ones, or "hots", and 2 white ones, or "neutrals". There also may or may not be 2 bare copper wires, or "grounds".
 
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Old 02-14-14, 08:57 AM
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If you go in order along the walls from the microwave to the last dead receptacle (<--- I hope you notice this Joe)
......................................


the heater was in the plug closest to the microwave (which is built in, not just on a shelf)
I'll bet there is a receptacle behind the microwave. It may have been plugged in as it was being built in.
 
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Old 02-14-14, 09:04 AM
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I missed that the first time I read it; thanks Joe
 
 

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