Circuit stop working after thunderstorm

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  #1  
Old 05-16-20, 05:54 PM
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Circuit stop working after thunderstorm

Hi,

After some bad weather last night where we lost power, once the power came back on, one of the circuits no longer works. It's a 15 amp AFCI circuit, with a bunch of receptacles and some switches. I tested the breaker, showed 120V. I tried another circuit breaker, still no power to the circuit.

I pulled one of the outlets to test, showing no continuity and no voltage. Everything worked fine prior to losing power, for the last 8 years, so I'm guessing the storm damaged something (fried a wire or something?). Just not sure about next steps, any advice much appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan
 
  #2  
Old 05-16-20, 06:02 PM
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What is on the circuit? Are there any GFCI? Electrical storms can sometimes trip a GFCI.
 
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Old 05-16-20, 06:08 PM
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Good question, but just double checked, no GFCIs
 
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Old 05-16-20, 06:10 PM
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Check for 120vAC from the small slot to ground at one of the receptacles.
You may have an open neutral.
 
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Old 05-16-20, 06:28 PM
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PJ, no voltage from ground to hot lead
 
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Old 05-16-20, 06:35 PM
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Ok....so it's not specifically a loss of neutral.
That leaves you to open every dead box to check for a problem.
This is a perfect application for a non-contact tester. You can test without even opening the box.

What I do is picture how the circuit is laid out.
Then I go to the closest point/box to the panel and start checking there.
 
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Old 05-16-20, 06:47 PM
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Thanks again, PJ. Unfortunately I think they are all tamper resistant outlets, so the noncontact tester doesn't insert. Maybe i can just take the covers off and test the terminals.
 

Last edited by aerodan1; 05-16-20 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 05-16-20, 07:15 PM
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My tester picks up without it being in the slots.
Also depends on metal and non metallic plates.
You can remove the plate and stick the nose of the tester into the box.
 
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Old 05-16-20, 10:59 PM
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I tested all of the outlets and switches, no voltage on any of them. Wondering what the next step is.

I guess maybe I should do a closer inspection of each outlet and switch to make sure no broken or loose wires. Maybe try replacing the first outlet or switch on the circuit.
 
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Old 05-16-20, 11:53 PM
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If you didn't get tick inside the box.... the power is not there.
Did you check the breaker with an actual meter or two probe test light ?
A non contact tester won't work for that test.
 
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Old 05-17-20, 12:11 PM
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Hi PJ, Yes, I checked the voltage for the breaker using a multimeter. I also tried replacing a few of the switches and outlets on that circuit last night to see if that would help, but it didn't.
 
  #12  
Old 05-17-20, 03:55 PM
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What does this circuit supply? To me it still sounds like a GFCI that you haven't found. Outside? Behind a pile of boxes in the garage or basement?
 
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Old 05-17-20, 09:55 PM
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Joed, This circuit is for two bedrooms, mostly receptacles and a couple of switches, as well as the lights in two bathrooms. No gfci Outlets

Update: The problem has been solved. I took another look at the wiring diagram I had drawn, and remembered that I had added an outlet in the attic on the circuit. That outlet was a GFCI and of course had tripped.

Thank you all so much!
 

Last edited by aerodan1; 05-17-20 at 10:23 PM.
  #14  
Old 05-17-20, 11:18 PM
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The attic receptacle should be rewired so that nothing is connected to the LOAD terminals. That way only the GFCI itself goes dead and not the entire circuit.
 
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Old 05-18-20, 03:07 PM
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Joed, great point! If I run a pigtail instead of connecting directly to the load terminal, will save the hassle of having to go up into the attic if it trips again. Thanks
 
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Old 05-18-20, 05:31 PM
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GFCI usually have a clamp style screw. You can put two wires under the clamp, one on each side. You should be able remove the wire from the LOAD and move it to the LINE.
 
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