Circuit failure (no juice?)

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Old 01-22-16, 10:44 AM
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Circuit failure (no juice?)

Upstairs room had working ceiling fan, now it's not. Box has 2 switches, 1 for fan, one for outlet light. The breaker is fine, and it's hot on out going wire. I disconnected all wires in box upstairs: 1 12/2 has 2 wires, 2 has 3. I'm not getting any reading from the 3 wire, but the black feed hot wire makes my pen meter go off, but not my meter that indicates true voltage. The hall outlet and another out in the room is also dead. What gives? Any help? Thanks.
 
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Old 01-22-16, 11:58 AM
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the black feed hot wire makes my pen meter go off
The first thing to do is throw the non-contact tester away, it isn't needed and cannot be trusted when troubleshooting, it's just a novelty. Then, start opening the boxes on the circuit and troubleshoot using a real meter. Your problem will be at the first non-working device or the last working device. It could be a bad connection of the hot wire or a bad connection of the neutral. If devices are back stabbed, move the wires to the screws.
 
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Old 01-22-16, 01:31 PM
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Box has 2 switches, 1 for fan, one for outlet light.
What does that mean? Outlet can be either a light or a receptacle. Do you mean a receptacle controlled by a switch? If so is the whole receptacle controlled or only half?

To add to Joe's comment you need an analog not digital multimeter. A $8-$15 one is fine.
 
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