Dead receptacles, breaker OK?

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Old 12-09-15, 05:28 PM
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Dead receptacles, breaker OK?

Hi there,

I'm an electrical novice, and need some help.

I lost power to several outlets and the overhead light in one room.

I checked all the breakers, and none are tripped. I turned them all off and on anyway, since I don't know which breaker specifically controls that string of outlets, but still nothing. I checked each of the breakers with a multimeter, and they're all in the correct range, with no dead ones.

I opened the outlet closest to the breaker, and visually everything was fine. I took out the back stabbed wires and put them on the screws instead.

Since that first receptacle has 2 pairs of black and white wires, is it correct to assume that means everything down the line is daisy chained and the fault is likely to be between the breaker box and the first outlet?

There are no GFIs on this circuit. The condo is 5 years old, so all modern wiring. However, I did find mouse droppings in the breaker box.

Should I think about looking for a chewed wire in the wall, or is there a more likely cause?

Any advice would be appreciate.

Thanks.
 
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Old 12-09-15, 05:35 PM
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Welcome to the forums. Textbook investigation. Congratulations. Check the light fixture. It could be before the first receptacle and could be the culprit. Let us know before we dig deeper.
 
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Old 12-09-15, 06:38 PM
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Also check the switch for the light fixture. Remove and replace any wire nuts. Do you have cable or conduit?
Should I think about looking for a chewed wire in the wall
No, very unlikely.
 
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Old 12-09-15, 08:04 PM
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Thanks. I didn't think to check the light fixture and switch. Will do that tomorrow when there's some daylight to see by.

I'm not sure if I have conduit or cable. The only exposed wiring is what's going into/coming out of the breaker box, and that's a mixture of jacketed cable, PVC type conduit, and a flexible ribbed sort of plastic. Not sure what's in the walls, though.
 
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Old 12-10-15, 03:37 PM
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I opened the outlet closest to the breaker, and visually everything was fine. I took out the back stabbed wires and put them on the screws instead.
The condo is just 5 years old and you already discovered the receptacles are backstabbed. I believe if you remove each and every receptacle and switch in the entire condo and move the backstabbed wires to the screws you'll find and fix the problem and many future potential problems.
 
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Old 12-10-15, 04:28 PM
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is it correct to assume that means everything down the line is daisy chained and the fault is likely to be between the breaker box and the first outlet?
No. You're not sure this is the first receptacle on the circuit. I would assume (test for) a receptacle before this dead one that has power from the panel, working fine with a tester, but is not providing power downstream.
A long way of saying loose wire, bad pigtail, etc.
 
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Old 12-12-15, 02:20 PM
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Success!

The culprit was the backstabbed light switch.

As suggested, my long term project will be to fix all of the receptacles in the condo now to prevent a similar problem in the future.

Thanks everyone for all of your help! I'm glad to be enlightened, in more ways than one.
 
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Old 12-12-15, 03:15 PM
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I took out the back stabbed wires and put them on the screws instead.
Which means that all of the others are probably back stabbed and all need to be moved.
 
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