Circuit lost power but breaker still working


  #1  
Old 03-15-15, 08:41 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Circuit lost power but breaker still working

The breaker is still supplying electricity it seems.

When I check the plug it says hot neutral reverse. The lights don't work neither do the plugs.

It worked until I switched on the back porch light, then poof, gone.

Any ideas what that could be?

Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 03-15-15, 09:22 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,470
Received 4,053 Upvotes on 3,636 Posts
Usually when you experience a problem like that and the tester says hot/neutral reversed it's an open neutral issue.

You are getting hot to that receptacle but have most likely lost the neutral.
A typical problem that would cause this issue is the wiring was pushed into the back of the receptacles using the back stab connections which over time get weak and the wire gets loose.

The problem could be at the dead receptacle or the closest working receptacle to the dead one. Usually it involves turning off the affected circuit and writing down each device. Then check the closest working receptacle or the first dead one. Usually, but not always, they are near to each other.
 
  #3  
Old 03-15-15, 09:39 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
For serious testing you need an analog multimeter (best not a digital multimeter and certainly not a non contact tester).
 
  #4  
Old 03-15-15, 09:50 PM
Piddler's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: US
Posts: 105
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
It sounds to me like a ground or neutral problem. It looks like he was getting ground through the back porch light bulb and once the bulb blew out no more ground. There is a neutral problem in the circuit and could cause some serious problems if not found soon.
 
  #5  
Old 03-15-15, 10:07 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,470
Received 4,053 Upvotes on 3,636 Posts
Thanks Ray... completely forgot to mention a meter.
 
  #6  
Old 03-19-15, 01:25 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Sorry guys for not responding sooner, Thanks for the responses.

I replaced all but one electrical outlet, the problem I ran into with the last one is there is only one black wire, two white and a ground. Is that normal? Thanks.
 
  #7  
Old 03-19-15, 01:34 PM
S
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,163
Received 1,273 Upvotes on 1,213 Posts
Doesn't sound good. Did a switch previously control one half of the old receptacle?

Have you measured to make sure neither white is hot?
 
  #8  
Old 03-19-15, 01:39 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
I replaced all but one electrical outlet
Nothing in a receptacle to go bad so unless it is fried or no longer holds the plug no need to replace. Just redo the connections and make sure the screws not back stabs are used.
I ran into with the last one is there is only one black wire, two white and a ground.
No, not normal. How are the wires connected?
 
  #9  
Old 03-19-15, 02:15 PM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 5,086
Received 161 Upvotes on 147 Posts
Recheck that box with only 1 black doesn't sound right unless the circuit is run with conduit.
Geo
 
  #10  
Old 03-19-15, 05:15 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I'm replacing the plugs because they are old and are all plug only, no screws.

Here's what I'm looking at.

Thanks again.
 
Attached Images   
  #11  
Old 03-19-15, 05:18 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I have not tried to measure to see if either is hot. Should I?
 
  #12  
Old 03-19-15, 06:11 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
That is a switched receptacle with a switch loop. The wiring is correct. You left a lot of wires out of your description. That is why we were confused. That receptacle box feeds another load, probably a receptacle, with constant power.

I would suggest on the new receptacle you connect the two whites to a pigtail and the pigtail to the receptacle.
 
  #13  
Old 03-19-15, 06:27 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Yeah sorry about that. I didn't see the others until I tried to pull it out a bit more for a better picture. Thanks for bearing with me.

I will try the pigtail. Does it matter if I attach the pigtails to the top or bottom screw?
 
  #14  
Old 03-19-15, 06:39 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
To be clear only pigtail the white neutrals not the white of the switch loop. It doesn't mater which screw because the screws are electrically connected. The pigtail is to maintain neutral downstream even if the receptacle is disconnected.

Name:  image.jpg
Views: 162
Size:  43.1 KB
 
  #15  
Old 03-19-15, 07:37 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,470
Received 4,053 Upvotes on 3,636 Posts
Interesting receptacle. Back stabs and no side screws.

You are replacing those with new receptacles and using the screw terminals.
 
  #16  
Old 03-19-15, 07:50 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 16,321
Received 39 Upvotes on 31 Posts
Interesting receptacle. Back stabs and no side screws.
Yeah, my house was full of them. Still have a few that I don't use at all.
 
  #17  
Old 03-19-15, 08:18 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Yeah the receptacle was new to me as well.

Anyway got everything back in the wall and plugged in the out let tester this is what I got.

It's just weird to me that everything was fine then we switched on the patio light, no light bulb blew but everything just shut off in that part of the house. The ceiling fans don't work in two rooms, all the plugs but one(the one plug that shares a wall with the other room)work in one room, none of the plugs in the other room work they all give me the same reading.
 
Attached Images  
  #18  
Old 03-19-15, 08:44 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
Interesting receptacle. Back stabs and no side screws
And I'll bet the yolks were plastic not metal. Run into them one time. Leviton contractor crap.

Sorry I don't know what you are showing. I've never used one of those. For real testing you need an analog multimeter (not digital).
 
  #19  
Old 03-19-15, 10:01 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,470
Received 4,053 Upvotes on 3,636 Posts
Your tester is showing now what it did at the start.... correct ?
If yes.... you still have an open neutral somewhere.

Actually it's now ground reversed.

Without a basic meter your going to be working in circles. Those testers are just a quick check tester. Definitely not helpful in troubleshooting.
 
  #20  
Old 03-21-15, 08:28 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Will this do? How does it work? Sorry I'm new to this particular tool.
 
Attached Images  
  #21  
Old 03-23-15, 12:44 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Anyone have any insight? I'd appreciate the help
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: