multiple outlets no power


Old 08-29-14, 04:52 PM
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multiple outlets no power


We have recently been installing new cabinets in our kitchen and have found as we are finishing up that 4/10 outlets in our kitchen no longer have power.

I went through the following steps:

Touchless voltage tester shows no power
Multimeter shows 0v n-g/0v n-p/0v p-g on all outlets (tested each individually / Tested actual Wires also)
Attempted to reset all breakers - none of them appear to be the cause of power loss
Took cover panel off of circuit box - tested each individual breaker to the bar all of them showed 120v-124v on single poles - 240's all showed appropriately

While I did install a new GFIC outlet in the bathroom on the ground floor this outlet is on another breaker and it is functioning right now anyway - no further GFIC's in the house.

I have run out of procedures to follow and am afraid that it may be the wire - in some outlets in the house I have found that the wire is mildly brittle however this is not the case throughout the house.

When Demo'ing the kitchen one of the currently non-functional outlets took a blow by a hammer and naturally sparked up - I assumed I tossed the breaker a that time - I did not test the outlet at that time. it is unclear at what time these outlets actually failed (but most likely at that time)
I also had to replace a wide 20amp breaker with 2 small breakers 20amps to fix a doubletap that we noticed in the box. (the box did list this as acceptable in this position) Unfortunately the electrician that wired our house in the early 80's was very nice to us and documented the box with "line 2" "line 4" "line 6" etc without labeling anywhere where these "lines" (breakers) control.

Am I in over my head - I would prefer not to call an electrician but I am not "skilled" enough to lay new wire going back to the box. What else could be wrong

Last edited by James Stafford; 08-29-14 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 08-29-14, 05:11 PM
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Welcome to the forums! You possibly had a multi wire branch circuit with the double breaker. What color wires were attached to it? "Outlets" are anywhere electricity pours out, so it could be a light fixture, so just for clarification, we use the term "receptacle" where it refers to where you plug in things.

If any of your receptacles use stab back connections, you could have a loose one at the first instance. Remove the receptacles and put the wires under the screw heads. Check the first non operating receptacle, or the last working one to locate where you dropped the hot wire.
Old 08-29-14, 05:22 PM
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Ok this problem is mostly resolved - I remembered I installed a USB receptacle in the kitchen just a few days ago - I did find a problem with one of those connections (although oddly still allowing power to this receptacle only). Fixing this connection brought 3 more receptacles up. however I am left with one receptacle which I am not receiving power in at all at this point.

Wireless voltage tester shows no power. Multimeter (touching bare wires) shows 0v between each of 3 wires. currently no receptacle attached to the wires since the receptacle was now powering.

Since the issue has changed quite a bit- where would you recommend from here. - I am using the screw heads not stab-backs.

POST: I am checking the last receptacle to see if I lost the hot as you states - I will report back
Old 08-29-14, 05:24 PM
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Your problem most probably involves the box you hit while doing the demolition. Shut the associated breakers off and pull that outlet out of the box. I'm guessing you will find that either the outlet itself broke internally or one of the attached wires broke off. Since the outlets are wired in series every outlet downstream from this one would also not work.If the receptacle uses backstab wiring, the other ones probably due too so at the minimum I would rewire each one getting rid of any backstab connections.

Under recent additions of the NEC code countertop outlets in your kitchen are required to be GFCI protected. In addition you are required to have at least 2 20 amp circuits feeding the countertop outlets. I'm not sure if you have pulled a permit for this work, or if one is required but why updating your kitchen you should definitely update the electrical along with the other work you are doing.
Old 08-29-14, 05:39 PM
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Old 08-29-14, 05:43 PM
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Msradell: At this time I have returned power to all receptacles except 1 - this 1 is the receptacle which was hit with a hammer - I have since removed the box and the receptacle and have the Wire bundle and 3 wires (as expected neg pos and ground (BWCopper)) these are not returning any power between the wires - this specific box is part of an island setup and is on one of the 2 ends of the series it seems since it is the only one remaining not working. The one closest to it on the wall is what I assume is the last box before it (which was out before - but no longer) - all wires in this box appear secured.

(see previous response by me for more details)

I have 0V on this wire bundle. Could the problem still remain in the receptacle which had the usb
Old 08-29-14, 05:57 PM
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It's certainly possible the receptacle with the USB is still causing your problem. If that box is in line with the box is not working it's possible that the load side in that box (wires that feed power to the box that is not working) are not connected properly. With the power turned off just pull out the USB receptacle and check your wiring.
Old 08-29-14, 06:16 PM
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sorry to clarify I have removed the US beatbox it currently has a standard 3 prong receptacle
Old 08-29-14, 06:18 PM
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Temporarily remove the receptacle where the USB was and wire nut the wires together.
Old 08-29-14, 07:56 PM
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I will try this tomorrow - it has gotten too dark for me to work without power and Electrocution isn't at the end of my bucket list.
Old 08-29-14, 08:23 PM
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What country are you in?

Multimeter shows 0v n-g/0v n-p/0v p-g on all outlets
(as expected neg pos and ground (BWCopper))
You are seriously confusing the issue using terms like pos and neg. AC power in the U.S. doesn't have positive and negative wiring. Again, what country are you in? You probably have hot and neutral wiring OR ungrounded and grounded conductors.

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