Two outlets not working

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  #1  
Old 02-21-14, 08:27 PM
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Two outlets not working

Two outlets in the basement suite's kitchen do not work, all others are fine.
I have a 14 yr old house and never had any issues with these outlets before.
No breakers were tripped, I cycled every breaker off and on anyways.
From reading other threads, I noticed that this type of problem is usualy caused by a GFCI receptacle that may be tripped, but this does not appear to be the case here.
There is no GFCI receptacle anywhere near these to problem outlets. I found a total of 3 GFCI outlets in the whole house and they have been reset and tested working.

So I opened the one outlet and found that along with the black and white wires it also has a red one, but the red wire is not connected to this particular outlet, it has a connection in this box and continues elswhere.

I measured the voltages and got zero volts across the black and white. I believe I measured across the red and white and got 110V, but zero across the red and black.

I am puzzled as to why the red wire is in this box if no 220v is required at these outlets. And if I get voltage across the red and white, does this mean the breaker and GCFI receptacles can be ruled out and it is most likely a wiring connection problem at one of the other receptacles?

Please help, thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 02-21-14, 08:49 PM
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I'm not a 100% sure since I'm learning myself from working around my house with somewhat of a similar problem. I have multiple dead outlets and I came across one that has a white, black and red wire and this particular outlet is controlled (powered on/off) by a switch at the entrance of the room.

Could it be that you have a switch or two somewhere that turns power "on" to those outlets?
 
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Old 02-21-14, 09:15 PM
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I found a total of 3 GFCI outlets in the whole house and they have been reset and tested working.
What about outside and in the garage?

So I opened the one outlet and found that along with the black and white wires it also has a red one, but the red wire is not connected to this particular outlet, it has a connection in this box and continues elswhere.
Which means you have a multiwire circuit. That means if it was done correctly there are two handle tied 120v breakers or one 240v breaker. See if you can find it in the panel. Look for a red and black wire on two breakers next to each other or going to a 240v breaker.
I measured the voltages and got zero volts across the black and white.
What about black to ground? You need to open all the receptacles in the kitchen and check the connections.

My90gl suggested:
I came across one that has a white, black and red wire and this particular outlet is controlled (powered on/off) by a switch at the entrance of the room.
If it wasn't a kitchen that would be the first thing to check. However the wiring as described given the location is more likely a multiwire circuit not a switched receptacle.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-21-14 at 09:35 PM. Reason: Remove N/A suggestion.
  #4  
Old 02-21-14, 09:16 PM
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That sounds like you have a multiwire branch circuit. That is where a three wire cable is run and the two hot wires (red and black) share a common neutral. If the black wire is dead and the red wire is live then the problem wouldn't be a GFI as with a GFI you can not share a neutral on two circuits.

You're going to need to trace that cable back to find the problem. You'll need to determine what else is on with those two receptacles and see where it's getting lost.
 
  #5  
Old 02-21-14, 09:46 PM
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Thanks for your input guys, I can confirm that these outlets are not switched.
Good to know that it cannot be the GFCI as I can confirm that the black wire is dead and the red wire is alive. As suggested I will open the other receptacles in the kitchen and see if there is a loose connection somewhere.
I will provide feedback, thanks.
 
  #6  
Old 02-21-14, 09:54 PM
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And remember move any back stabs to the screws. While probably not the cause of your problem the neutrals in the boxes should be pigtailed not connected directly to the receptacle. If they are pigtailed take those connections apart and remake.That is if you have two neutral in the box they should be connected to a pigtail and the pigtail connected to the receptacle.
 
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Old 02-22-14, 09:08 AM
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Which means you have a multiwire circuit. That means if it was done correctly there are two handle tied 120v breakers or one 240v breaker. See if you can find it in the panel.
The OP is in Canada so I cannot say for certain about the CEC, but the NEC did not require the handle ties till 2008. The house is 14 years old so I don't think you'll find handle ties or a 2 pole breaker on the MWBC.
 
  #8  
Old 02-22-14, 12:27 PM
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Problem Solved, Thank you so much!!
So even though I had cycled all the breakers off and on the other day, I started to measure the output of every breaker, and came across one that had red and black wire on a two handled tied 15A each breaker. There was 110v on the red but zero on the black. The breaker was definitely not tripped. I cycled it off and on again but no juice still on the black. So then I turned the main breaker off removed that culprit breaker and reseated it and then it started to work. So I guess it may have been a bad connection or a flaky breaker.
If the problem reappears I guess I will have to replace that breaker.

Thank you so much for your valuable input, saved me an pricey service call
 
  #9  
Old 02-22-14, 06:08 PM
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came across one that had red and black wire on a two handled tied 15A each breaker. There was 110v on the red but zero on the black.
But you still have an overloaded neutral. The tandem breaker feeds both red and black wires, in your MWBC, from the same leg.
 
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