power to outlets not working??

Old 02-25-14, 01:26 PM
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power to outlets not working??


I had an electrician install 3 new outlets in my basement a number of years ago.

In one case, the one outlet is coming off a box with a light bulb.

In the other case, there are 2 outlets in series coming off a different box with a light bulb.

The GFCI outlet in the first case stopped working fairly early on but I just figured I had to replace the outlet -- I just never got around to it.

Just this morning, I determined that my sump pump was tripping its breaker, so decided to plug it in to an extension cord coming out of the other new outlet (first outlet in the series of 2 new outlets case) which have been working all along. Well, both those outlets in that series died. I reset the breaker that I thought tripped (same as light), but I couldn't get the outlets working again. So I decided to take the outlet cover off and try the electrical tester (just lights up and beeps, not a voltmeter). It detected nothing off the wires running from the light junction box.

I then did the same thing for the other outlet which went out years ago, and lo and behold, the tester detected nothing from those wires either. Which would imply it may not actually be an issue with the outlet.

So I'm wondering what is going on here? I don't know what was done when the outlets were first installed. Do I need to go into each of the light boxes and see what is going on inside the box? I'm not an expert so am not sure where the power is actually coming from in each case. That is, what would need to be replaced?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! [If anyone has advice on the sump pump, feel free to comment on that as well! We had a thaw and then a freeze where I live -- is it possible the PVC going out is frozen? The backup pump does seem to operate ok.]

Old 02-25-14, 03:50 PM
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Which would imply it may not actually be an issue with the outlet
Or your tic tracer had a dead battery be careful. Multimeters are not expensive. It is always best to start at the last working receptacle in the circuit. Remove power and pull the receptacle. See if the electrician use stab backs. If so, remove the wires to the associated screw. You say "light boxes". Are you referring to ceiling boxes? If so, by all means check them out for broken wires or bad connections.
Old 02-25-14, 06:59 PM
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Did you test the wires running to the light junction box too?

If no power is going to the light junction box, I would go to the circuit breaker panel and test the black coming from this circuit's breaker. If it's hot, then it gets a little more complicated because there is something between the breaker and that light box that is interrupting the flow of current. See if you can figure out what feeds the light box and test backwards until you find the fault. My guess would be that it's fed either by the other light box or its outlet.

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