No power in section of wire

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  #1  
Old 11-02-14, 10:45 AM
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No power in section of wire

The electricity to my carport stopped working. It is wired with 10/2 UF W/G.

I used a tester to verify power from the fuse box into the crawlspace and to the cinder block foundation where it goes from inside to outside. Inside, up to the wall, I have power.

I dug down and found where it exists the house 24" down, I tested the wire on the outside of the foundation, no power.

So I bought a junction box and a splice kit, and wired everything up. Now I get power still from the fuse box to the junction box and outside up to the splice, but the original section of wire still as no power on the other end of the splice.

The fuse does not trip. I don't understand how or what would cause the electricity to not exist in just a section of a continuous piece of wire. How could I have power on one side of the wall but not the other when there are no defects in the piece of wire?

Is it worth digging the entire section of original wire up, or just run new wire?
 
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Old 11-02-14, 10:56 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

How are you checking for voltage.... with a non contact probe tester ?

Only you can answer if the wire needs to be dug up. I'm still trying to figure out how it's run and if it was continuous back to the panel because if not there should be a junction box already there.
 
  #3  
Old 11-02-14, 11:23 AM
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It is (was) continuous from the panel to a GFI receptacle in the carport. I have been using a non-contact voltage tester.

The run is ~10' from the panel into the crawl space, along the joists, down the wall to where it exists the house then 53' to the receptacle. The section I spliced is about 3' long from the junction box through the foundation to the splice, so where I didn't have voltage immediately outside the wall, I now have voltage 18" from the wall to the splice, but not beyond that on the original wire and certainly not at the receptacle.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 12:13 PM
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I have been using a non-contact voltage tester.
No good for this sort of testing. It doesn't tell you if the electromagnetic field it indicates is real voltage or just induced voltage with no real power. You need a multimeter, preferably analog for any meaningful testing. An $8-$15 one is all you need.
The fuse does not trip.
Fuses don't trip, breakers do. Is this really a breaker box not a fuse box?
 
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Old 11-02-14, 12:36 PM
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Indeed it's a breaker box, Siemens 404B1200

Interesting about the non-contact tester. I do have a multimeter, never used it for AC, only auto DC.

Can I just touch the contacts to the wire ends safely? Do I need gloved of any kind while holding the test leads? What sort of reading is bad, less than 120V? Is it possible to have voltage without setting off the EMF tester?

Outside of the testing, any theories on whether the issue lies in underground or somewhere above ground? Would wiring go bad in an undisturbed underground section or is it possible for bad upstream devices to affect the first downstream device?

Thank you tremendously for the replies thus far.
 
  #6  
Old 11-02-14, 01:38 PM
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I have been using a non-contact voltage tester.
Nearly useless when doing troubleshooting, but the box stores love them. They sell literally thousands of them every year.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 02:49 PM
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Can I just touch the contacts to the wire ends safely?
That is the way it is usually done. If you want to be extra safe tou can buy a set of alligator clips that slip on to the metal probe. You then clip the probes to the wires before turning on the power.
What sort of reading is bad, less than 120V
Figure 120 10%. If it is a digital multimeter not analog anything less then 90 volts may be a false reading.
Would wiring go bad in an undisturbed underground section
Heaving from the ground freezing and thawing can grind the cable against rocks in the soil or burrowing annals can chew it.
 
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