No electricity


Old 09-16-01, 07:04 AM
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I have only been in the house for about 2-3 weeks. Before I purchased the house an electrician changed from fuse box to circuit breakers( house is approx 50 years old) on the advise of my home inspector. Today I was blow drying my hair when the electricity went out. Upon inspection the only rooms that do not have electricity are upstairs two of the bedrooms, bathroom and hall. Further inspection led me to the circuit breaker box although I found nothing "tripped", I reset everything and still no electricity. What should my next step be?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-16-01, 08:19 AM
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You have two entities that control that circuit. First is your breaker and the second is your GFI protective device. You may or may not have the GFI protective device depending on what year you home was wired originally.

You mentioned fuses to breaker box. This leads me to believe that you may have a GFI protective device. This GFI may be located anywhere in the dwelling. However, most likely you should find the GFI in a receptacle style in the areas where the dead circuit is located. Common places are in the receptacle of the bathroom, under the panel wherever it may be and in the lead receptacle on the circuit that may be in the bedroom etc. The breaker itself may also be that GFI protective device.

The breaker if toggle style often trips but does not look tripped. Be sure to turn off each breaker hard to the off position then back on. Be sure to listen for an immediate trip type click when the breaker trips as soon as you reset it. This can throw you off thinking the breaker is tripped but retrips immediately upon resetting. If this happens you most likely have a damage wire causing a short circuit in the branch circuit.

If you find the GFI won't reset this also depicts a short.

When you were using your hair dryer it often is a heavy load when something else is on that same branch circuit the breaker is overloaded in amps causing a trip.

Also if your hair dryer is old the dryer may have graphite dust built up in the dryer that has picked up moisture causing a leakage between the hot and grounded leg of that circuit causing the GFI to trip doing its job.

Don't forget to unplug that hair dryer before you try to re-energize that circuit. This can cause it not to re-energize if you don't.

Let us know what you find.

Good Luck

Old 09-16-01, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for answering. I do not believe their are any GFI's in the house(the house is about 50 years old with no updates to the wiring). The bathroom does not even have a wall outlet only a light switch and lights. I did unplug everything and went to the breaker box and turned everything off, then back on again. I am in the process of finding an electrician(harder than I thought) as I knew in advance most of the wall outlets have to be updated and additional ones added as well as updating the washer/dryer and refrig outlets. I do have one outlet that does work in one of the bedrooms, the overhead lights do not work and the other wall outlets do not work.
Thanks again, I will continue my search for an electrician.
Old 09-16-01, 12:08 PM
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Spend as least as much time searching for a GFCI as you search for an electrician. Look everywhere, especially behind any storage you may have in the garage. Don't stop until you can say that you are "absolutely sure" that you don't have a GFCI. You might feel silly paying an electrician $100 to push that button for you.
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