open neutral after using saw

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Old 09-02-18, 07:09 PM
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open neutral after using saw

So first of all everyone I am having a bad year and this electrical stuff is just making it worse. be patient with me as i am not an electrician and have only really changed switches and plugs and tomorrow is a holiday and i need power in my bathroom and closet.

I was using a saw to cut some flooring upstairs in the closet. After the third cut the power stopped working in the closet and the bathroom connected to it. I checked the breaker and it did not trip. I turned it completely off and then back on again to make sure i was not missing something there. The wires look fine in the breaker box as well. The circuit this is connected to is my downstairs bathroom and the power works just fine down there. When i plug my tester in it shows a hot ground reverse which after some research have figured out it is most likely an open neutral. I pulled the outlet the saw was plugged into and everything seemed to be fine and i reset the neutral connections in the wire nut. Still no power. I am wondering if the actual outlet could be bad causing this open neutral in turn stopping power from going to the rest of the closet and bathroom.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
TJ
 
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Old 09-02-18, 08:09 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You are correct..... that tester although said hot/ground reversed..... also indicates an open neutral.

You need to identify everything on the affected circuit. The problem will be at the last working device or the first dead device. A typical problem is that push-in terminals are used on a device like a receptacle and with age the contacts get loose and go intermittent and eventually go dead. If you see any push-in type connections...... move them to the screw terminals. This doesn't pertain to GFI receptacles as the wire does go into the back but the side screw holds it captive.
 
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Old 09-02-18, 08:18 PM
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someone wired up this house very weird. In the bathroom downstairs all outlets and fan and light work properly. this sits right below the closet upstairs and i believe i have found the outlet that has the power feed from downstairs.there are three outlets in this receptacle. one i assume is the feed from downstairs one then feeds to i can assume are the two switches to the lights in the closet and one feeds to the bathroom and 2 other outlets in the closet. I checked wire nuts and found some loose connections behind a light and in the receptacle and cleaned them up but still not working. The one thing i did was remove the neutral from the plug which was connected to two other outlets via a wire nut. this was the plug the saw was connected to. I did leave the hot connected to it. Can this plug be bad then causing the rest of the circuit to not have correct power?
 
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Old 09-02-18, 08:28 PM
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It's hard to say where the exact problem is. It sounds like there is a lot connected to what should be a bathroom circuit only. Years ago..... the bathroom was just connected to anything near by. Now it needs to be on its own circuit.

If you have a meter...... set it to read 120vAC. There should be no voltage measure from neutral to ground. If there is.... the neutral is open.
 
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Old 09-02-18, 08:31 PM
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can an outlet that is further down in the circuit cause no power at previous outlets or no? This sounds like a stupid question in my head but i need to ask
 
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Old 09-02-18, 08:50 PM
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When a circuit is run...... it starts at the panel and then loops thru each location on the circuit. It usually takes a direct route from the panel. So keeping this in mind..... if you know what is on the circuit..... you can logically follow it from the panel as it connects to different locations. You know what is dead on the circuit....... now identify what is working and try to find the connecting link.

I know I make it sound easy. It's not. Many times I'm called in to make a repair just like you need there. Most of the customers have no idea what's on the circuit so they pay me to find that out and find the problem. In order to save time and money..... I'll kill the problem circuit and inject a tone on it. Then I'll check each receptacle in the problem area for the tone. After that I'll remove each device that shows tone for a loose connection. The majority of the time the problem is due to using the push-in connections on the back.
 
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Old 09-02-18, 09:09 PM
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A problem downstream will not affect a connection upstream.

Reconnect the neutral to the receptacle and see if it works. All the connections need to be made to complete the circuit.
 
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Old 09-03-18, 05:10 AM
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I had a situation once where an upstairs receptacle was powered from a downstairs bathroom with a GFCI receptacle. Then that GFCI tripped, the upstairs receptacle lost power. I realize it was not correct wiring and it was repaired, but it had me scratching my head for a while. Is it possible that you have something similar? Good luck, Steve
 
 

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