Electrical Circuit Help

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Old 09-07-15, 05:55 PM
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Exclamation Electrical Circuit Help

Hello everyone, so I am new here because I am pretty sure I have an issue. I am trying to add some outlets to my basement for a new work bench I built but where I am going to get the power from is a little sketchy. My house is old, my parents bought it before I was born and have done nothing to it like add on or change the wiring and I am only 22.

I found some junction boxes that werent in use and traced them back to the circuit breaker, but along the way theres several juntion boxes that split off in to so many other different ways.

It seems like the junction box I found was wired to another which powers my living room above me in the basement. I know for a fact the wiring is messed up there since it seems like theres 3 romex cables going to the first two outlets.

As I follow it around and count each outlet about 7 I see it hooks up to another junction box which then splits off in two ways. One goes to 3 other plugs in the living room including 4 outlets and a light switch that we dont use in the basement. But the other romex that splits off SEEMS to go straight into the circuit breaker.

Im no electrician, just a low voltage guy but, I have a feeling, if my wiring tracing is correct, thats a big no no right there.

I plan on turning off each circuit in my house in a few minutes and testing my theory that the circuit is hooked up to two seperate breakers (or just a breaker broken from how old the house is). Is there anyone out there that can give me advice on what I could do next?

I plan on rewiring my living room once fall cleaning is over just to be sure but I would like some professional advice (hopefully advice that will help me and not tell me to get an electrician to do it)

Thank you to anyone who can help!!
 
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Old 09-07-15, 06:27 PM
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I have a feeling, if my wiring tracing is correct, thats a big no no right there.
Read what you wrote more then once but didn't really read anything wrong. Sounded typical for an old house. Can you be more specific on what you think is wrong?

As to the work bench run a new 20 amp circuit from the breaker box.
 
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Old 09-07-15, 06:49 PM
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Chances are slim that anything is connected to 2 breakers... but I've seen things more stupid than that. More than likely that more than 1 circuits share one of those junction boxes. Not a big deal.
Tracing your circuits is a great learning exercise, but while you have a circuit off, it's even better to open each box and look behind the cover/switch/receptacle to see whats happening with the wires. It'll likely answer your questions about those circuits.

Wondering why you plan to rewire the living room. If it's to solve a problem you don't really have, my advice would be don't bother. Spend your time on more productive projects. If there is a problem that needs to be fixed, share the details to get useful advice. (And no you don't need an electrician, residential wiring is very straightforward.)

As for the workbench, why not run a new run to the panel? Wire is cheap. ;-)
 
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Old 09-07-15, 07:29 PM
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There is no need to change the living room wiring before adding the receptacle for the workbench. Add a new circuit and leave the old alone.
 
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Old 09-08-15, 06:38 AM
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Thanks everyone for the replies.

I guess I didnt really explain well enough or I just over thought something but I thought my living room was connected to two seperate circuit breakers meeting halfway together not that it split up in to two different circuits.

The 2 circuits do seem to be connected from tracing the wire in my basement but are not after shutting down each breaker. Just me being ignorant on something I dont know much about.

I dont have any empty breakers to run a new circuit for my workbench but I will be using an existing breaker that I am removing several outlets from since the basement does not use them.

The reason why I want to rewire my living room is because some outlets shut off randomly and I am not sure why. When it happens to my parents I am not around to test the voltage running through. I have a random switch as well that is hooked up to one outlet that my parents want out, and they are also re-doing the living room to get rid of wood panel wall and to add LED high hats.

Thanks everyone!! If anyone has any input on that last part of outlets not working randomly that would be amazing. I few months ago I did replace the outlets inlcuding strip new copper for it and that didnt work much. I did test the voltage out yesterday and it did jump from 40v to 120v and back so could that be the reason?
 
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Old 09-08-15, 07:05 AM
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Voltage variations would be typically a signal of a loose connection.
 
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Old 09-08-15, 08:17 AM
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If you used the push in connectors in the back of your receptacles (back stabs) that could be a problem. They are unreliable. All wires should be connected using the screws. Have you read: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ther-info.html
 
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Old 09-08-15, 12:22 PM
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Voltage variations would be typically a signal of a loose connection.
If you used the push in connectors in the back of your receptacles (back stabs) that could be a problem. They are unreliable. All wires should be connected using the screws. Have you read: Troubleshooting a dead receptacle or light, Basic Terminology & Other info
Ill be checking for a loose connection in a different box tomorrow since the outlet I replaced is not the first in the series.

As for the outlet I used, it was a screw in.

Thanks for all the hehlp again everyone. Ill post back here tomorrow once I check that first outlet in the series to if it loose there.

Would the first outlet cause the rest in the series to die out too if it had an issue?
 
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Old 09-08-15, 12:58 PM
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Would the first outlet cause the rest in the series to die out too if it had an issue
Yes. .
 
 

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