No power but breaker good

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Old 04-17-17, 08:19 AM
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No power but breaker good

I appreciate anyone's help! But please keep in mind that I need you to reply in layman terms because I know little regarding electrical work. I'd call an electrician if we could afford it, but funds are tight to say the least. I'm hoping there's a solution that I can fix.
The other day I believe our house was struck by lightning. Two breakers were tripped, and both our internet and satellite tv will need serviced due to apparent damage caused by the strike. When I reset the breakers I thought everything was fine, but a couple hours later I realized we had no power in our living room. The breaker was not tripped, but I switched it off as a precaution. A few hours later I turned it back on and power was restored. But when I proceeded to plug something back in there was a small spark from the outlet and I lost all power on the circuit again. The breaker never tripped. I thought maybe the breaker was bad but replacing it has made no difference. There are no gfci outlets in the circuit.
Any ideas on what the problem may be? Thx for any help!
 
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Old 04-17-17, 08:23 AM
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Do you have a voltage meter, and if so can you take voltage readings at the outlets in the house? If you're comfortable doing so, can you take voltage readings of the incoming service wires in your main panel?

Have you noticed any lights getting brighter and dimmer?

Do you have any electric major appliances like an oven or cloths dryer, and if so does the power come back on if the appliance is turned on?
 
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Old 04-17-17, 09:37 AM
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Thx for your response! I had a volt meter but can't seem to find it. I will have to invest in a new one if necessary.
I'm not sure how to take readings of incoming service wires.
I have not noticed the lights dimming or becoming brighter, and turning on the dryer did not make a difference.
 
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Old 04-17-17, 09:51 AM
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After a nearby lightning strike, I lost a few electronic devices, along with a GFI or two.

If you don't have GFIs on the circuit in question, you may have had a back-stab receptacle fail. Most receptacles should be wired with the wire wrapped around the screw. Some cheaper receptacles allow you to push a wire into a small hole, which is then held in by a spring. The problem is, over time, these springs lose their springyness and get loose. The surge may have been enough to cause additional issues and break the connection.

You'll have to find all the devices on this circuit and ensure they are all wired securely.
 
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Old 04-17-17, 12:51 PM
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Open outlet where you saw the spark, Move any back stabbed wires to screws. Let us know what you find, pictures will help, before any wires moved and after.
 
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Old 04-17-17, 06:02 PM
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Thx Zorfdt and pugsi for your tips! Yes I have back stabbed terminals, so I will check them. Got home too late tonight to do so in the dark so will do it in the morning and let you know what I find.
 
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Old 04-17-17, 06:09 PM
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Yes I have back stabbed terminals, so I will check them.
Don't check them, move them to the screws.
I had a volt meter but can't seem to find it. I will have to invest in a new one if necessary
Buy an analog multimeter not a digital multimeter. An $8-$15 one will be fine. Low cost digitals can sometimes give misleading readings, showing a small amount of voltage where there is none. They also have batteries that can go bad if not used often that affect voltage readings.
 
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Old 04-18-17, 08:24 AM
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Thx to everyone for your advice! Sure enough, the outlet that put out a spark had a disconnected and burnt wire tip. I had plans to change all outlets anyway to a different style, so I will rid all of the back stabbers. Thx again to everyone ... I really appreciate it! It's good to have power again!
 
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Old 04-18-17, 11:39 AM
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Thanks for the update..............
 
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