Chasing Non Working Sockets/Lights

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-24-19, 06:47 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 85
Likes Received: 1
Chasing Non Working Sockets/Lights

This is for a new house to us, so I don't know prior history. I am chasing non working sockets/lights using a powerpoint tester.


Master B/Room, major problem
In Bathroom -> no lights, and GFCI is not working.
I replaced with a new one but no joy. It has power alright but nothing works out of it.
Tests as follows
Entire socket, gets all 3 tester lights

No light is working - toilet, over mirror, over bath tub. Tester pen confirms there's power inside the switch.

In the M/R fan & lights work,
One socket works, it's about 8 ft on wall above sliding closet mirrors, sharing wall with Living Room.
3 regular sockets are bad, tester shows,
Socket closest to bathroom and the next one, tester lights A & C,
the last socket tester lights A C for top part, and A only for bottom part

LIVINGI ROOM
4 sockets are ok but one. It's closest to back window, sharing wall with Master Bedroom Closet. It has 2 electrical lines - in/out. So...
Top part gets A & C
Bottom gets A only

In the second bathroom only light works but GFCI does not. Tester does not pop any lights.

How do you chase & fix things like - open ground, open neutral, open hot, reversed hot/neutral?
 

Last edited by bambata; 06-24-19 at 07:03 PM.
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-24-19, 07:11 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,755
Likes Received: 19
First thing you should do is get an analog meter. This will allow you to do much more troubleshooting than that outlet tester. They re only about $15 at the home store.

Next, you will need to start taking things apart to find the faults. Remove each device that is not working, but do not disconnect any wires.
 
  #3  
Old 06-26-19, 08:21 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 85
Likes Received: 1
I do have the little digital meter from harbor freight. Will that do?

I have taken some out, except the ones in the bedroom. I see Wires are connected but I don't know next step since they are faulty as described previously.
 
  #4  
Old 06-26-19, 01:45 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,832
Likes Received: 29
Particularly when troubleshooting, I prefer an analog meter, and, as mentioned, they can be pretty inexpensive, but I have digital meters too, and yes, they work as well. You mentioned a tester pen, and assuming it's a non contact detector, they have their place, but not much for what you are doing so I would put that away for the time being because it will give you false readings at times and only serve to confuse the issue. As far as where to start, the first thing I would do, if you don't have it already, is begin a legend of each breaker and what is on it. Leave yourself space to add to it because there will be things like lights in closets, attic, etc., condensation pump, whatever that you can add as you go, once you get the current issues resolved. Then you use your meter to start verifying power at the various switches and receptacles nearest the panel and work your way out from there. You should read 120 volts from hot to ground and hot to neutral at any device. When you reach one that does not meet this criteria, that's where you start looking for bad connections, damaged wire or cable, etc. That's how I would start.
 
  #5  
Old 06-26-19, 02:34 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,832
Likes Received: 29
Forgot about this for a moment, but you said that all three lights lit on your tester and that doesn't sound right; can't say for sure, but thinking that may indicate a reversed hot and neutral or a bad neutral. So as you work your way along each circuit make sure that the receptacles are configured properly, black is hot, white is neutral, and bare is ground. The smaller blade of the receptacle is hot and has brass screws, and the larger blade is neutral and has a silver screws. And verify that the wires are connected to the screws and not backstabbed as those are prone to failure or at least subpar connections.
 
  #6  
Old 06-26-19, 03:58 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 3,763
Likes Received: 7
Hi, is this something that just happened or has there been work done in the area ? It doesn’t make sense that the Hot and Ground would all of a sudden get reversed as the tester seems to indicate.
Geo
 
  #7  
Old 06-26-19, 08:34 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 85
Likes Received: 1
No work has been done. We came into this house recently and just trying to fix existing issues. There might have been some work done prior to us. The few sockets I have pulled are back stabbed. So I have corrected those. I am sure I will find more. I will get back there this Sunday. Thanx for the tips.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes