No power to outlets


Old 09-18-01, 07:39 PM
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I do not have power to several outlets and all of the fuses in the breaker box are fine.

I have checked the power for each circuit in the box, and they all have power. This is an old house and has the old cloth coated wire. When I test the outlets with a voltage tester I get a reading between 35 and 80 (differs for each outlet that is not working.).

Is it possible that the wire has become exposed and is touching the conduit causing a power loss?

Also, each outlet that I have opened only has two wires coming into the box for the outlet. I am used to seeing four wires when an outlet is in the middle of a circuit and two wires at the termination of a circuit. Were older houses wired differently?

Any information will be appreciated.

George Milliken
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Old 09-19-01, 05:54 AM
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Older homes built before 1955 were commonly wired with power of the circuit entering the light fixutures in a loop de loop light fixture box to light fixture box. Then the receptacles were powered by an octopus wiring design coming from that light fixture box or junction box to each individual receptacle.

Good chance from the sound of it that you may have a loose neutral either in the panel at the neutral bar or found in one of those junction or light fixture boxes.

You said you are getting partial voltage at the receptacles that vary in amount. This usually depicts a loose connection in either a hot or grounded leg or neutral conductor. What you are discribing leads me to believe you should start your diagnosis by checking all connections at the neutral bar of the panel then all connections in each junction box and / or light fixture box. Thats where I would start.

Good Luck


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