Cannot find cause of dead receptacles.

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  #1  
Old 11-22-15, 02:28 PM
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Cannot find cause of dead receptacles.

Recently purchased a house, and everything was working. Had my coffee maker plugged into an outlet and was working. Got up one morning and no power to that outlet. Further testing found that three outlets on that wall The one on the island and the one on the floor did not work. Went down to the shop in the basement, and found that they light as well as the one outlet in the shop where not working also.

The rest of the basement (family room, bathroom, office,) all works. Upstairs three bedrooms, Two bathrooms, living room, dinning room, and the rest of the kitchen all work. in the garage all outlets and lights work. Outside all outlets and lights work.

Of note on the island there is a switch for the light over the island with dimmer, in the same box as the Island outlet, and the light switch and dimmer work. There are two lines going into that box one to the outlet and one to the dimmer only the white wires from those two lines are connected. I removed the wire nut and all wires were clean.

Testing. I first found the circuit breaker in the box labeled (island floor outlet north kitchen) Tried shutting it off and back on no change. Removed cover Switched circuit breakers for a circuit breaker on a known good circuit, no change. Looked everywhere for a hidden gfci, even behind the water heater and no luck. Gfci outlet tester on all non working outlets all lights off = open hot.

Whats next? Thanks in advance for any and all help...

Travis
 
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  #2  
Old 11-22-15, 02:48 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Panel indexes are notoriously poorly labeled. Look for other breakers that are tripped, or better yet, turn off each breaker and then turn them on. Are you sure that your only have one panel?
 
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Old 11-22-15, 04:00 PM
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Sorry I did leave that off. I turned every breaker off and back on. I can only find the one in the garage. I checked in the basement, and all the closets.
 
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Old 11-22-15, 04:44 PM
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Further testing found that three outlets on that wall The one on the island and the one on the floor did not work. Went down to the shop in the basement, and found that they light as well as the one outlet in the shop where not working also.
Assuming this is a kitchen and the house is less than 15 years old the basement lights should not be on the kitchen receptacle circuit. I'd wonder in that case if the basement fixtures were added later and if the problem is where they connected the basement fixtures. Since you have an island there may be a junction box for it in the basement and that is where they got power for the basement. I'm probably wrong but that would be the first place I'd looked.

The next thing I'd look for is 20 amp single pole breakers. In a newer house the kitchen should be on 20 amp breakers.
 
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Old 11-22-15, 04:49 PM
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Using a meter, check each breaker for 120V to ground.

If all good, I would start looking for a loose wire. Start looking at a receptacle that you think falls between the panel and the dead receptacles. You will need to look at each box.
 
  #6  
Old 11-22-15, 06:34 PM
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I pulled every receptacle that Is not working and found no loose wires. I also pulled the light of the box in the basement.

Will try to get to the store for a meter tomorrow.
 
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Old 11-22-15, 06:50 PM
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The house itself was built in 1996; however the kitchen was half the size it is now. The other half was a laundry room. Washer Dryer was moved to the garage. Not sure how long ago that was. The shop in the basement I know was a more recent addition. It was unfinished basement. The wire is exposed in the shop (insulated but no wall board). Most is white. The wire going to the affected outlets is yellow. There are two yellow. One end of one terminates at the light. But I can not find where it ties in.

The breaker I believe is the correct one is a 20.
 
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Old 11-22-15, 07:44 PM
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The breaker I believe is the correct one is a 20
And the yellow NM-b is a good indication you are correct.
The wire going to the affected outlets is yellow. There are two yellow. One end of one terminates at the light.
So you need to open the light and check for ~120 volts on the cable using a multimeter, preferably analog. (A non contact tester won't work.) If you have voltage there re do all the connections. Remove the wire nuts and reinstall after inspecting the connections. If no power at the light or still nothing working then you need to move on and check at the nearest dead receptacle to the light.
 
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Old 11-22-15, 09:49 PM
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Ok going to get an analog Multimeter after work tomorrow. Is one better then another?
 
  #10  
Old 11-22-15, 11:06 PM
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The sky is the limit. A basic analog from the depot is around $15 and will serve your purpose. If you want something that will hold up and is built a little better you'd spend more.

Gardner Bender 14-Range Analog Meter-GMT-318 - Home Depot
Gardner Bender 19-Range Analog Meter-GMT-319 - Home Depot

Not sure which models you'll actually find in stock at the depot.
 
  #11  
Old 11-23-15, 05:19 AM
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I pulled every receptacle that Is not working and found no loose wires
You also need to check the working receptacles. Hopefully you can find one or two that work on this circuit and others are dead.

A receptacle can be providing power, and at the same time fail to provide power downstream due to a loose wire or other problem.

Let us know if you cannot find any devices that work on this circuit.
 
  #12  
Old 11-27-15, 02:02 PM
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If any of your receptacles are back stabbed (wired into the back holes) and not screwed into the sides that can be a factor also..Ill never let those wires remain in the back whenever i check an outlet -many issues with them.
 
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Old 11-27-15, 02:19 PM
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A backstabbed device is only for #14. The code prohibits their use with #12.
 
  #14  
Old 11-27-15, 10:02 PM
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Correct but ive seen many kitchens on the 20 amp 12/2 using the 15 amp receptacles.and back stabbed .Late 90s a lot, Not recommended to use the back connect now.

~~Will be good to know they are all correctly wired -only thru the screws ~~
` .


Sounds like the one who did some of the work wasnt up to code anyway from what we have been told(basement lights on kitchen receptacles,as ray spoke of ).


I once had a back stabbed receptacle a while back that read shorted, then after pulling it out from wall ,had then read good-was inside contacts. changed to sides and no more issues.Later upgraded all of them to side screws .Never have wanted that on any of my outlets ever .But the past owners may have had that done then as it was a common thing years ago.
 

Last edited by trotter; 11-27-15 at 10:23 PM.
  #15  
Old 11-27-15, 10:30 PM
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-on the several you pulled out were they screwed into sides?
 
  #16  
Old 11-28-15, 08:10 PM
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The code allowed #12 backstabs until 1993. And many localities had not adopted the 1996 code yet (ours was still using the 1987 code when I did work in 1994). Companies were allowed to sell off existing #12 backstab stock, which was still on the shelves in 1995.
 
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